The Ruins

Jonathan Tucker  Actor Jena Malone  Actor Shawn Ashmore  Actor Laura Ramsey  Actor Joe Anderson  Actor

MPAA Rating: NR
Contains:Graphic Violence,Nudity,Sexual Situations

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The Ruins

Theatrical Release Date: 2008 04 04 (USA)

UPC: 097361385846

Studio: Dreamworks Video

MPAA Rating: NR   Contains:[Graphic Violence, Nudity, Sexual Situations]

Summary: Based on the novel by A Simple Plan author Scott Smith, director Carter B. Smith's Yucatan-set thriller follows four American tourists as they unwisely venture off the beaten path while vacationing in Cancun. When a friendly German tourist implores the Americans to help search the jungle for his missing brother, the group becomes hopelessly trapped in a nightmare scenario that seems too strange to be true. Jonathan Tucker, Laura Ramsey, Jena Malone, and Shawn Ashmore star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Category: Horror

Features: cc
Never-before-seen alternate ending
Original theatrical ending
3 deleted scenes
Behind-the-scenes featurettes
Commentary by director Carter Smith and editor Jeff Betancourt

The Ruins

Format: DVD

Release Date: 07/08/2008

Audio: DD5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1

Runtime: 93 Minutes

Sides: 1

Number of Discs: 1

Language(s) English

Subtitles: English,French,Spanish

Region: USA & territories, Canada

Chapters: Disc #1 -- The Ruins
1. Chapter 1 [7:33]
2. Chapter 2 [5:24]
3. Chapter 3 [4:35]
4. Chapter 4 [7:31]
5. Chapter 5 [5:58]
6. Chapter 6 [7:28]
7. Chapter 7 [6:34]
8. Chapter 8 [5:11]
9. Chapter 9 [6:48]
10. Chapter 10 [5:06]
11. Chapter 11 [4:56]

Jason Buchanan

A satisfyingly gruesome but brutally abbreviated version of author Scott B. Smith's epic downer of a novel, the feature-film version of The Ruins feels like someone blasted through the book with a highlighter in order to assemble the screenplay, and in their haste just happened to overlook some of the most interesting and disturbing details therein. Of course, a quick glance at the running time will be enough to let any fan of the 528-page novel know that the filmmakers aren't exactly striving to craft a direct translation of the written word -- despite the fact that the same man responsible for the novel penned the screenplay -- so those who are prepared for something a bit different from the onset may ultimately end up enjoying the film despite its clearly botched, over-test-marketed ending. The setup here is as simple as it is in the book: a group of American twentysomethings are vacationing in Mexico when they meet up with a German tourist whose brother has gone missing after running off to explore an uncharted Mayan temple. Since it's the final day of their vacation, the Americans agree to join their new friend on what was supposed to be a simple day trip to the nearby temple. Upon arriving at their destination, however, it quickly becomes apparent that forces beyond their comprehension are at work, and that any hope for escape becomes less likely with each passing minute.

The Ruins flows well, features solid performances by all the leads, delivers the goods in terms of gore, and successfully maintains the building dread and dying hope that made the original novel such a success -- especially in the early scenes when the group first arrives at their destination. Darius Khondji's handsome photography serves well to emphasize the sun-soaked menace of the otherwise scenic Mexican landscape, and the special effects used to create the film's primary terror are effective both when the threat is still external, and after it ultimately becomes internal. As with any film adaptation of a popular novel, there will be fans who lament the more intriguing aspects of the story that didn't make it into the movie. Many of these arguments will be justified; perhaps in a different era the studio producing the film would have been willing to take a few more risks and see this downbeat tale through to its logical conclusion (as the book did). Given the detailed setup, the revised ending just doesn't make any sense. For the purists, this Cliffs Notes version of the novel delivers enough satisfying thrills and chills to fill a solid 90 minutes; for everyone else, it'll just have to make do until some brave soul attempts a more faithful -- and utterly depressing -- miniseries somewhere down the line. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Gary Barber  Executive Producer 
Roger Birnbaum  Executive Producer 
Graeme Revell  Composer (Music Score) 
Ben Stiller  Executive Producer 
Trish Hofmann  Executive Producer 
Stuart Cornfeld  Producer 
Scott B. Smith  Screenwriter 
Chris Bender  Producer 
Carter B. Smith  Director 
Jeremy Kramer  Producer 
Jonathan Tucker  Actor 
Jena Malone  Actor 
Shawn Ashmore  Actor 
Laura Ramsey  Actor 
Joe Anderson  Actor 
Dimitri Baveas  Actor 
Sergio Calderon  Actor 

Country: USA