“We’re being kept here to die” | The Ruins (2008)


Ben Stiller is a noted writer, director and performer of Hollywood comedies, who has headlined such blockbuster hits as There’s Something About Mary (1998), Zoolander (2001) and Tropic Thunder (2008). He is not necessarily the first name to spring to mind when thinking about horror movies, yet in 2008 he and his business partner Stuart Cornfeld produced The Ruins, a rarely seen yet stunningly effective horror film. It is a film as relentless as it is bleak, filled with dread and constantly rising tension. It is a film that gets under your skin – in the case of its protagonists, quite literally so.

Stiller and Cornfeld were both fans of author Scott Smith, whose 1993 novel A Simple Plan had been adapted into a widely acclaimed 1999 thriller by director Sam Raimi. When they were given the opportunity to read an advance copy of Smith’s latest thriller The Ruins, they immediately took the property to DreamWorks Pictures and suggested they develop it is a feature film. Smith’s new novel followed four young American tourists who, with three Greek travellers and one German backpacker, head into the Mexican jungle to meet up with the German’s archaeologist brother – who is on a dig at an ancient temple. Once there the group find themselves isolated on top of a hill by a group of armed villagers – and whatever lies within the hill is starting to hunt them down. Continue reading ““We’re being kept here to die” | The Ruins (2008)”