I wonder if director Carter Smith and other folks involved in the making of The Ruins have seen Tarkovsky‘s Solaris. I like to believe that it’s mandatory stuff in any school of cinema but I cannot know. I am asking the question because ‘The Ruins’ is based on a very Solaris-like idea – a monstrous Thing that is alive and mimics the behavior of the human beings it comes in contact with. Here we have a horror story, so the Thing is replicating sounds before penetrating the bodies and destroying the humans from inside. We never learn why, did it feel threatened? did the four young American trespass some sacred borders? but it does not matter too much, the fact that we are in Maya country must be enough for an explanation.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0963794/

 

The movie was made in the period after the Blair Witch Project conquered screens and captivated audiences (and their dollars) with the adventures of teens in a tent in an hostile environment. Suddenly everybody was making films with the same story structure, putting much more money in them, relocating in exotic places and providing variation on the theme of the monsters. This is another one of these and it does not succeed as most other failed also to generate the thrill of the first time Blair film (which incidentally I see it has dropped to a 6.3 grade in the IMDB rating).

 

(video source MoviesView)

 

Carter Smith does a reasonable job directing a team of young actors who start by looking like vacationers, then like participants in a ‘Survivor’ show and eventually assume the role of minced meed in the wheels of the horror show. The film has its good moments (a few) and its ridiculous moments (more of these) and overall will be enjoyed mostly by the aficionados of the genre. The rest of us looking for some quality will remember just the few gems. These who remind Solaris.