Stay Off the
Grass Deadly Ruins
Man, I got the year right for The Ruins anyway, back when. And this is another non-review, yeah. Specifically, one with spoilers. Anyway, yeah, Scott Smith pretty much proves that it’s not always a bad idea to let the author be the one to make that book-to-screen jump. He nails it, I mean. I guess there’s something to be said for knowing the material. Not here to say Good job though. Not only that anyway. Just because the end of the movie version of the The Ruins doesn’t quite work, I don’t think. Not saying a (UK-) The Descent ending would have been in order, but, c’mon: just because this is a crawling, leafy slasher, that doesn’t mean it’s not a slasher, right? Which is to say the real narrative escalation happens in the last frames: “What, Michael’s not laying there dead anymore?” Something along those lines, which suggests that what’s happened is that Michael’s scurried out of that world on-screen, has maybe found a way into ours. That’s what The Ruins needed. Says the back-seat driver, yeah. The armchair quarterback. But surely somebody must have at least suggested this, right? It just seems so obvious — and here comes the spoilage: at the end, when the Greeks finally bumble out to the these ruins to save the day, instead of just having them look up this vine-swaddled pyramid, the whole movie about to happen again, just starring them now, why not escalate, why not just keep the camera in one place as they walk across that salted earth, so that we can see these unharmless red flowers opening behind them? Watching them, tracking them. The idea, the certainty, being that Amy, our Marilyn Burns here, when she split out of there, she was inadvertently — selfishly (Spock would never do this, though, yes, 28 Weeks Later definitely would/does) — playing some hybrid of Johnny Appleseed and Typhoid Mary. Which is to say that this vine, this ancient, bloody, hungry, unstoppable vine, it’s finally, after all these years, broken through its salt-barrier, outwitted its generations of Mayan guards. And now there’s not enough salt in the world to hold it back. All that’s left is for it to take root way up the Borneo, wait for the anaconda population there to get a taste for its sticky sweet fruit. Or some could even drift out to Skull Island; it’d fit right in with the citizens there.
None of which is to say that The Ruins wasn’t just excellent. Nothing but fun. I just wish it would have taken a bit more of a chance there at the end. Oh, and I guess I wish too that having an unAmerican accent wasn’t a death sentence.
And, in other news, The Shark Is Still Working looks pretty cool. However, Zombie Strippers. that’s what I expect to sweep all the Oscars this year. I’m there opening day, anyway, be it at the theatre or on Netflix.