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The Ruins (2008)



Average Rating: 5.3/10
Reviews Counted: 92
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 48

Despite a solid cast and truly frightening source material, The Ruins founders, thanks to a weak script and an excess of gore.


Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 11

Despite a solid cast and truly frightening source material, The Ruins founders, thanks to a weak script and an excess of gore.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.4/5
User Ratings: 529,905

My Rating

Movie Info

"The Ruins" follows a group of friends who become entangled in a brutal struggle for survival after visiting a remote archaeological dig in the Mexican jungle - where they discover something deadly living among the ruins.


Mystery & Suspense, Horror

Scott B. Smith

Jul 8, 2008


DreamWorks/Paramount Studios - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (94) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (48) | DVD (28)

A more than satisfactory scare fest.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Moral of the story: never visit an out-of-the-way Mexican ruin covered by vines and blood-red flowers that make a squeaking sound.

April 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comment (1)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Ruins does what a good psychological horror movie should do: rely on tension rather than gore to achieve its aims.

April 7, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelViews | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In compressing the novel down to a sloppy abridgement, the film fails to capture the eerie portent of its setting.

April 7, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The usual gore-and-gristle fare, but this one serves it up with a tad more suggestiveness and smarts.

April 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

More disgusting than scary, The Ruins is the latest in a long line of horror films about upper-middle-class travelers being terrorized in unfamiliar environments.

April 7, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you fancy a goofy little thrill that's a ray of sunshine compared to the usual glut of gloomy slasher flicks and tawdry torture pornos, The Ruins is just what the doctor ordered.

October 14, 2012 Full Review Source:

Tourists vs. flesh-eating vines; guess who wins?

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Watchable killer-plant horror movie.

August 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Who really needs to see some guy slice into a woman's lower back, dig around in there with his fingers, and then reel in a four-foot length of tapewormlike vine? I mean, really.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Georgia Straight

So bereft of creativity that it fails even to deliver to its base--teenage boys--the ghouls and boobs they so desperately want to see.

August 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Reverse Shot | Comment (1)
Reverse Shot

If it could happen to these kids, smart and beautiful, then it sure as shit is going to happen to me.

July 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Tenso, bem montado e dirigido com segurança e inteligência por Carter (que também extrai boas atuações de seu pequeno elenco), o filme consegue o impossível: transformar plantas assassinas em algo assustador.

March 1, 2009
Cinema em Cena

Smith's singularly bizarre novel managed what this film cannot: fear and sympathy.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

It had me squirming, and the sheer anarchy and amoral chaos involved was refreshing.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian

... soft-core torture porn that quite literally sets up its pretty, Hollywood protagonists for brutal sacrifice.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: DVD Review
DVD Review

Enjoyable, well made and genuinely creepy horror flick that transcends its ridiculous premise thanks to a strong script, some sure-handed direction and superb performances from a talented young cast.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Not just if you're a horror fan but also if you enjoy a well fashioned, slimy yarn to get wrapped up in.

July 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

I enjoyed most of the picture, particularly its ending, which much like the rest of the movie, remained pretty dark and pessimistic.

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Competent but somewhat slack, modest (and modestly budgeted) shocker that doesn't work quite hard enough to justify its plot mechanics. [Blu-Ray]

July 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

...gets bloodier as it goes along, substituting close-up gore for horror, grossness for fright. (Unrated Edition)

June 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comment (1)
Movie Metropolis

Slick, sick stuff, but save the odd squirm, a killer-plant horror that doesn't grow anywhere.

June 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Well filmed and acted, but with a plot as cheesy as a 1950s B-movie, this film is fairly creepy but not very scary

June 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

... it's only after you've left the theater that you realize just how totally, utterly ludicrous the movie really is.

June 17, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter

It's the kind of film that Sam Raimi might have directed 20 years ago, except that Carter Smith plays it straight, even though he seems to assume the audience won't.

June 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

This movie wasn't screened for critics. That's too bad, because this movie was surprisingly well done.

June 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Ruins

Mainstream horror film that dares to get nasty a couple of times, when a few American tourists decide to visit mysterious Mexican ruins in the jungle. The secret behind the eerie events is maybe revealed a tad too soon, and turns out to be a little silly, too, but there is a pretty decent sense of suspension throughout the entire film, as the situation gets more and more dire for the protagonists. Especially the somewhat unusual setting works in favor of the film's atmosphere and the characters are believable enough and not the generic idiots that add one bad decision after another. It also helps that the ending is neither preachy nor falls back on the last second scare. Pretty decent.
May 11, 2013

Super Reviewer


While a cheesy poster and an unimaginative title might lead you to believe that The Ruins is probably nothing more than a very generic nature horror flick the payoff is actually an increasingly suspenseful, and blood soaked squirmer. When I look at a lot of the horror films of recent years which take groups of beautiful teenagers into dangerous environments I see no signs of real quality. But watching this little film my faith in creature features was instantly resurrected. The acting is noticeably strong, although it's not explored further with character development it's easy to forgive because of the sheer skill at hand and how effectively filmed and brutally straight-faced it manages to unfold without at any point becoming laughable. As a regular viewer of horror, I found that to be the triumph. It is a very under rated film. It's nothing that remarkable but was born out of an original idea and is made pretty well on it's low budget. As an adaptation to the Scott Smith novel of the same name, I can't judge it. As a genre piece however, I don't think it is getting the full credit that it truly deserves. With a solid cast, a genuinely intriguing premise and a sick and bloody sense of mind it will indisputably work for the crowd it's going for. And I for one am part of it. While it does unfold with some of the typical slasher cliches, it got so much underneath my skin I simply didn't care. It's essentially a horror film that has ancient killer plants for it's antagonist in the same way as The Day Of The Triffids, it frightened me and didn't leave me rolling on the floor laughing, that just demonstrates how well made it is. It doesn't do anything new but as perfectly well constructed disgusting horror it really gets the job done, especially in a world where the great value of horror in cinema has become rare.
December 5, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The Ruins is an interesting little horror flick. The premise is very good, unfortunately it ends up being a decent horror flick. Throughout the years, there has been many horror films dealing with nature, The Ruins is yet another film in this genre of horror and instead of killer animals, we have plants that mutilate their victims. The film is decent, and though is lacking in some areas, manages to deliver intense moments of gross out horror. Carter Smith direction is good, somewhat unfocused; which makes this film not as good as it could be. Overall The Ruins is decent, but I felt it lacked anything to really make it a memorable horror flick. Gore fans will probably find this film appealing because there is plenty of good gore elements in this film. I found myself to cringe a few times here and there. Acting wise, there's nothing really remarkable. There's some good horror here, however The Ruins will not be seen as a memorable film in the genre. This is a different type of nature goes wild film, and it's quite interesting, but it could have been much better than this. The film has a decent plot with good gore effects, and it has the potential in being much better, unfortunately the film has limitations and it doesn't really take off. Entertaining, but flawed; The Ruins is a decent but imperfect attempt at horror. Still worth watching, just don't expect a film that delivers terrific scares.
March 12, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Movies Like The Ruins

    1. Stacy: [hurrying to catch the bus] Jeff is going to be pissed if we miss it.
    2. Eric: Oh, the terrible wrath of Jeff, followed by I'm sure the more frightening whining of Amy.
    – Submitted by Virginia L (3 years ago)
    1. Amy: We're being quarantined here. We're being kept here to die.
    – Submitted by Virginia L (3 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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