The trailer for The Ruins, opening April 4 from Paramount, is online, and it looks like a matinee-level mash-up of Turistas (the travelogue elements, the latent xenophobia) and 2003’s Cabin Fever (the viral elements, the in-fighting). An R rating (which this movie has as well) and arguable “realism” presumably somewhat dented the former movie’s grosses, limiting it to only $7 million domestically in late 2006, while the same rating was seen as a big part of the latter’s insurgent, $21 million success. Here I expect it will act as more of a suppressor, necessarily excluding 14- to 16-year-olds who might otherwise drift in.
Starring Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Laura Ramsey (above right) and Shawn Ashmore, The Ruins is based on Scott Smith’s novel about a group of friends whose leisurely Mexican
holiday takes a turn for the worse when they head to an “ancient Mayan temple, off the beaten path,” where some long-dormant evil
stirs and presumably makes them all pay in ways other than just insincerely “friending” it on MySpace. Ensemble cardsharp flick 21 and Superhero Movie, each opening the week before, seem to have a commercial leg up on The Ruins, and with George Clooney‘s latest directorial effort, the period piece football comedy Leatherheads, opening directly against it, I don’t see a way that The Ruins makes inroads with audiences outside of its wheelhouse demographic, especially since everything other than the setting and that one, forced perspective well shot that echoes There Will Be Blood has already fled from my mind as I write this.
With respect to the movie’s dual posters, I think the first one — of a stretched-back head, with prone neck — is far and away the most effective. The second poster, an outstretched hand, is a little bit Evil Dead, but mostly just vague. For more information on the movie, click here.