Teen horror flicks are as common as flies in the summer and usually as irritating. The Ruins follows the predictable formula of beautiful bored teenagers with a dumb sense of adventure landing in a deadly heap of trouble. Set in Mexico, the action starts off like Alex Garland's The Beach, except that X marks the spot on the map where a mythical Mayan temple is rumoured to be. The bearer of the map is the German Matthias, and the British actor Joe Anderson's Teutonic accent is remarkably bad. When the adventurous youths Amy (Jena Malone), Jeff (Jonathan Tucker), Stacy (Laura Ramsey) and Eric (Shawn Ashmore) arrive at the temple, they soon discover it's a famous spot for human sacrifices and they're to be offered up to the gods by the local tribes. If that were not trouble enough, the vines that surround the temple are of the killer variety. Like Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan, this is adapted from a novel by Scott B Smith. The fast-paced action is amoral and grotesque and the protagonists are amusingly despatched, but ultimately this B-movie homage to David Cronenberg's body horrors is too predictable.
Published: July 5, 2008 04:00 AM