The Ruins (2008) • USA

And now for something completely different. An angry temple that eats people; no over-sized half-wit with a chainsaw in this one. Instead, we have blood thirsty shrubs with the ability to reproduce sounds they hear, like cell phones and screaming. They literally get under your skin and when you die they drag you away. If you scream they mock you.

There isn't much particularly scary in this film, but there are a handful of squirm in your seat moments. I like the trend in recent horror movies to keep the gore less gratuitous and more necessary to the plot. Quality over quantity. Give the the special effects department some props for this one.

Jonathan Tucker is a little miscast, I think, but the two girls are pretty good. A couple other bearded guys play meat puppets. They all suffer while we look on. It seems a little odd that this group of kids witness the vines killing and dragging one of them away and then the rest of them just go to sleep in a tent and get up the next morning ready for more worries. Aside from that ....


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