The Ruins – a bloody horror film directed by former fashion photographer Carter Smith, breezes by, feigning at both character and plot without bothering to develop much of either.
Horror moment center in Mexico, when the Americans Jeff, his girlfriend Amy, her best friend Stacy and her boyfriend Eric befriend the German Mathias in the swimming pool. Mathias invites the group to visit the ruins of a Mayan temple with his Greek friend Dimitri in an archeological field where his brother Henrich and his girlfriend are camped eighteen kilometers far from the resort.
The scenic Mayan ruins, covered with a monstrous plant, should have served as an ideal location for the unfolding of a horror film. Smith though, tosses this fertile ground to the side and chooses to focus "The Ruins" on a handful of gory set pieces. The most graphic of these, an anesthesia free double amputation, shocks, but like the rest of the film, never truly grabs. The primary actors, Jenna Malone the most recognizable of the bunch, never get much to do other than cower, cry, and eventually die.
I believe 3 among the group “jeff,amy,eric” are going to be alive if they never panic, so well the story make themselves complicated.
"The Ruins" drama, when it works, is drawn not so much from the threat of the vines—although that is ever-present—but from the threats that the characters present to one another. In a situation previously unimagined by these coddled American college students hard decisions become even harder. Agreement among the group is rare, and when it comes it's usually from conciliations that will come back to stir the pot. The film never truly allows these relationships to breathe though.