This post could really be titled "How my day went from bad to HORRENDOUS" but leaving out the personal details, suffice it to say I was pissed and crying when I got home from work, and I wasn't in the mood to watch a movie I'd never seen before (like I planned to do) so I decided to go with an old standby favorite movie of mine: "The Ruins."
A lot of people seem to hate this movie, and I don't get why. I mean, the premise is kind of out there I guess (there's this remote hill way in the forest of Mexico that is populated by some killer vines...they get inside you, under your skin, and slowly eat you like a parasite and take over your body until you become part of the plant). Ok, this doesn't happen in real life, but what horror movie DOESN'T have some fantastical element? Even the most realistic horror movie relies on some kind of plot device to further the story (even something as simple as stupid people who do stupid things that let the killer get to them) that you could argue is far-fetched. I don't get why so many people are so pissy about hating this movie. I mean, people can think whatever they want I guess, but let me tell you some reasons why I LOVE this movie:
The acting. Jena Malone is one of my favorites, and here, she makes her character to believable that I feel for her situation. She's a little whiny at first but then a lot of girls would be in her situation, and as the movie goes on and they get to the top of the mountain containing the evil vines, she gets more and more terrified without being over the top, and that's a hard thing to do. Laura Ramsey is great here as the panicked best friend who is slowly being driven mad by the "killer vines." She manages to make her character so relatable that I cried at her predicament (it would be horrible to know something inside you was driving you mad like that, and it would be horrible to be on the other side and knowing something was killing your friend and not being able to help). Jonathan Tucker was one I didn't like at first (because his character seemed so selfish until the end of the movie) but then on subsequent viewings I saw more depth in his character (and of course I love him at the end).
The story. Ok, at first I'm thinking, "who really cares? These are four selfish young college age couples who fight all the time, yawn" but the first time I saw it, after they got to the mountain and encountered the vines, I began to feel for them more and more. On subsequent viewings, like I said, they didn't bother me as much and I saw more into their characters. the point, I think, is that these are kind of spoiled, mostly privileged kids who aren't downright nasty, but who haven't had much life experience yet so they're kind of ignorant and selfish by default. They don't really mean to be, but they sort of don't know any better. Then they are tossed into this horrible situation and they have to cope the best they can, and they really do try and they really do care about each other, and that totally carries through. I felt their desperation and their fear and their pain.
SPOILER WARNING I GIVE AWAY THE ENDING OF THIS MOVIE HERE DO NOT READ THIS PART IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE ENDING SPOILED FOR YOU STOP READING IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
Here's the thing...the first time I watched this movie, I honestly thought that at the end, Jeff was going to run away and leave Amy there. I didn't know what was going on, and I'll admit, I was yelling at the screen. When he carries her body down the mountain and lays her on the ground and then begins talking to the guys with guns, I honestly didn't get it. then I slowly realized what he was doing, and when his speech builds to the crescendo and he says "Her name is AMY!" I actually cheered. And I was crying (I;m a sap, shut up). The thing is, I know it was just a way for her to hear him shout her name; a signal to let her know to run, but I still think that his speech holds a deeper meaning. Jeff is right, the men who shot them, the villagers, they don't care who is up on that mountain, they just don't want the vines to spread. They will stop at nothing to keep the evil out of their village (they even shoot one of their own). But the people on that mountain are PEOPLE, they are human beings with lives and stories, and it's important to remember that...when people die, someone should remember their names. Hearing him shout Amy's name reminded me of that, and that's why I cry. I felt bad for ever thinking Jeff was selfish, because he was willing to give his life to allow Amy to live. What a great guy, seriously. that's more loving that 80% of what you will see in "romantic" movies. That impressed me.
END SPOILERS YOU CAN READ NOW IF YOU WANT
In conclusion, I know it may have some problems, but I think "The Ruins" is a great little movie and I don't think people give it enough credit. It sure as hell cheered me up today after my day from hell, and for that, I'm thankful.