The Caroline Vault: In Ruins

Jamey and I went to go see The Ruins about a week ago because Jamey had read the book and wanted to see the movie. I didn’t know much about it other than it was a suspense/horror movie. Here are my thoughts about it:

You’ll love this movie if you like movies about amateurs taking complex medical procedures into their own hands at inopportune times without the benefit of modern medical equipment. Jamey failed to tell me that the movie involves a vine growing on ruins that consumes human flesh and envelopes anything that touches it. A group of college-age kids end up trapped on top of the ruins after they accidentally touch the plant. The vines are snake-like and wriggle around under people’s skin once they get ahold, and they sprout flowers that are somehow able to emulate the sounds around them, presumably to help ensnare their victims. As if that wasn’t bad enough, this random, tanned, curiously well-toned band of homogenous 20-somethings end up defaulting to the “medical advice” of one of the main characters who hasn’t gone to med school yet for all of the “procedures” they end up doing to extract the vines from various body parts/save each other from gangrene after a variety of avoidable mishaps injures almost everyone. I’m not even sure I trust the advice of my friends who have gone to med school, but this guy was having them perform all kinds of complex medical procedures using his almost non-existent base of medical knowledge. That was really the horrifying part to me, the medieval-esque grasp of the workings of the human body and “act now think later” manner in which it all was done–It was like something out of a 800 AD medical textbook. Oh yeah, and just fyi, if you’re trapped on top of ancient ruins that are hollow in the middle, don’t just send someone down the dark hollowed-out chamber in the center using a antiquated lever and pulley system because yes, the ropes/levers/pulleys will probably will break and your friend will be stuck down there to deal with a lot of creepy stuff. Most people don’t actually need to have that kind of advice explicitly laid out for them–the instinctive “don’t go down into dark, unknown holes using precarious tools without knowledge of an alternate means of escape” usually kicks in automatically at some point, but just in case…it’s sound advice–apparently a concept that the characters in The Ruins were unfamiliar with.Not surprisingly, I made Jamey leave early because I was just sitting in the theater with my eyes closed and my fingers in my ears rocking back and forth. I give it 5 stars. Just kidding. I give it no stars.

(Jamey’s response: I asked Caroline to write half a review of The Ruins, and I would write the other half. She covered it pretty well here, though, albeit in one gigantic paragraph.

Here’s the thing about the movie version of The Ruins: It’s actually pretty decent for its genre. It’s intense, the suspense builds, the vines are really creepy for a plant, the kids are better than your average cookie-cutter college kids in movies, and the plot never slows down. The book was better, of course, but the movie did it justice, even though it switched around some of the characters’ roles (one of the girls gets a vine under her skin in the movie, while it’s a guy in the book. This is just used as an excuse to show more of said girl’s skin).

If you go see The Ruins, I’d highly recommend going with someone who is too scared to even look at the screen. Just kidding. We probably shouldn’t have seen this movie. I’m not the type of guy who can watch horror movies, but I thought I’d be able to handle this one because I had read the book. I forgot, however, that the vines would really freak out Caroline. The same Caroline who is petrified of snakes. Vines = snakes in her mind now. I don’t think I’ve ever left a movie early, but as soon as the kids started cutting each other open to get the vines out, I knew Caroline was done. So we left. No big loss, except that there was a slight possibility that the hot blonde girl might have gotten naked again.)