The Ruins

This week's episode is not a request, but just something we wanted to do. Both of us read the book this film was based on, so it added another dimension to our discussion about this killer plant thriller in the wilds of Central America.

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The Ruins (2008)

Episode 215, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw.

Todd: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: and I’m Craig

Todd: Continuing with requests, this one today comes to us from Joseph. It is The Ruins from 2008. I read the novel, uh, shortly after it came out and, you know, I don’t normally just run to a shelf and see something that I never heard of before. Pick it up and go, Oh, that looks interesting.

And then buy it and read it right away. Like usually that’s not the way I operate, but I think, uh, at the time I was on a trip somewhere, it was a pretty big overseas flight. And this novel had just come out. And I think Stephen King had said something pretty nice about the author and the author himself being a journalist.

This was actually not the first thing he had written obviously, but the first novel he had written, uh, and actually got a lot of encouragement from Stephen King. So I read a little bit of that and I thought, Oh, this, this, this would be interesting. Nice to read a first time novel. From a first-time novelist, who’s been mentored in some way and it’s horror.

And unlike you, Craig, I don’t, I don’t usually sit down and read a lot of horror. You know, I read mysteries and thrillers and Stephen King, which can be horror from time to time, but I don’t usually seek this stuff out and I remembered really enjoying the book. It was different enough, but. Still had that oddly sort of pulpy feel of this, just this whole scenario.

And this whole situation seemed a little bit familiar. Then when the movie came out, I watched it and, uh, it was okay. So, um, I was anxious to revisit it this time around having some distance between the last time I saw the movie and some distance from the time I read the novel. So I don’t remember a lot about the book anymore.

I haven’t gone back and looked up anything about it before our talk. So I’m, I know you’ve read it to Craig, right? So maybe you can help. Fill in the gaps a

Craig: little bit. Yeah, it’s funny. We actually have kind of a similar story because, uh, I was judging, um, a drama contest, uh, out of my town. And I realized when I had gotten there that I had forgotten to bring a book with me and there was going to be a lot of sitting around.

Uh, and so I raced to the grocery store, um, of the town that I was in and, you know, grocery stores have pretty limited selections, but I saw. This, uh, on the shelf, I think it was a best seller and it looked promising. Um, so I picked it up and over the course of that day, just in these little periods of time that I had between different one acts that I was judging, I was reading this book and I got so into it that I found myself like racing through my notes and evaluations so that I could get back to the book and have some time to read it before the next one act.

I kind of couldn’t put it down and I finished it all. That one day, I really liked it. Uh, like you said, it’s not like a literary masterpiece, but it was just really good storytelling. And I was kind of intrigued by the fact that if somebody had explained the premise to me before I started reading it, I would have said that sounds really stupid.

Um,

Todd: That’s what I meant when I said it was a little pulpy, you know,

Craig: but despite what initially appeared to me to be kind of a stupid premise, I actually found it to be a. Entertaining and I wa and suspenseful, and I was kind of on the edge of my seat. Um, and like I said, I couldn’t put it down. I finished it all in that one day.

And then, so I was excited to see the movie to the rights to the movie sold before the book was even published. Um, and, uh, the guy who wrote it, Scott B. Smith, um, was hired on to do the screenplay. And that, in my opinion is usually a really good sign. Well, often a good thing. I guess it depends on who the novelist is.

Um, so I was surprised, uh, when I saw the movie how different it was than the book. I mean, ultimately a lot of the same things happen, but they happen in different sequence, into different characters. And I’m not exactly. They sure why he made the choices that he did not to say that they’re bad. Sure.

Voices just different. I wonder if maybe it had a little bit too do with casting because probably at the time the movie was made and, and maybe even still now probably the biggest name in the movie is Jenna Malone or Maloney. I’m not sure how she says her name. Um, but she was a, a child actor and has been working ever since she was a young girl, but as a woman now she’s appeared in the hungry.

The games series, she played Joanna and the hunger game series at the time. I think that she was the biggest name of all of these four or five central characters. Um, and in, I mean, I’m going to go ahead and get kind of spoiler-y here in the beginning, maybe a little, I guess, but in the book, she’s the first to die and in the movie she’s not, and I wonder.

If maybe it was because of her status that that change was made. I have no idea. That’s purely speculation on my point there on my part. Uh, the point is yes, the book and the movie are different. And I remember too, because the book was so fresh in my mind being a little bit disappointed the first time I saw it.

But after, you know, kind of getting over that and going back and watching it again. And at this point, you know, this movie has been out for a while. I’ve seen it several times. I appreciate the movie, uh, on its own. Uh, I don’t think it’s amazing, but I think it’s pretty good. And there’s, uh, some definitely some good stuff to talk

Todd: about.

Yeah, I agree. And I have to go back and correct. One thing that I had said earlier, uh, this, I guess was Scott Smith’s first, a horror novel. He did do a novel before this, uh, that a movie was based on, he also did the screenplay for that movie as well. A simple plan. With bill Paxton. I think it’s directed by if I’m not mistaken, it’s directed by, uh, either Sam Raimi or the Cohen brothers.

I think it’s Sam Raimi. And that is a fantastic movie. It’s a fantastic story. And it’s really twisty and really, you know, sort of the story of this plan gone awry. And, uh, I would, by the way, highly recommend that I I’d be interested to read the novel now that I have now that I realize that, but he had done that 10 years before this one.

So, uh, this was his first step out the gate in 10 years. Like I said, I don’t really remember that much about the novel, but it does take place. And this is why I think it’s sounds soulful seems so familiar is it’s one of these stories of a bunch of, uh, college age people, um, who are on vacation in a foreign country.

You know, they’re all Americans in a foreign country and, uh, somebody comes along with some idea to go out somewhere and do something unique and special and they go out and being. Kind of stupid and out of their element, they’re, don’t really understand the culture they’re in and the places they’re in and things like that.

They get in way over their heads, which is basically like hostile. It’s like a cannibal Holocaust, you know, it’s like a lot of these movies. Um, but this has its own. Kind of unique twist on it. And I think it’s, although the premise itself is pulpy, by the way, the premise is these killer plants. Right. But not little shop of horror style, it works pretty well.

I think as, uh, as this kind of thriller, it worked well in the book and it did work well in the movie. I think the only thing that I came around away with watching this movie, the second time thinking was. I just thought a lot more stuff happened. Yeah, it’s true. There really wasn’t a lot that happened in the movie.

And I think for a movie about killer plants and these people who are surrounded all at all times by the threat of these killer plants, the plants are not all that threatening, except in certain. Moments. Right. And I have to feel that if I were in the situation that they were in, I would be a lot more freaked out and I would be making much different choices than they do.

Um, especially as it becomes clear to them what’s going on. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking, but in my head anyway, As far as the movie goes. I remember there being a lot more action in the book. I might be wrong. Was there,

Craig: well, I don’t remember that. Well, either because it’s been, you know, over a decade since I’ve read it, but I think that the difference is in a book, you can get a lot more into the nuances of character and relationships.

And I think. I think that that is a lot more, well, I don’t want to say it’s where the focus was because it was still a horror novel and there were still very S you know, scary, gross things happening. But, um, I think it was more character driven, uh, and just, you know, by nature of the medium of film, we don’t get to know the characters as well.

We don’t see. The subtleties of the nuances of their relationships as much. I mean, we see it a little bit. Um, but it’s also a little bit limited and the focus is really more kind of on the visual stuff going on with these plants, uh, which is fine because I think that, you know, the effects in the movie are good and it’s gory and gross, and it makes you squirm, uh, in your seat a lot.

And so it’s successful on that level, I think, but, uh, you’re right in that ultimately, you know, they get where they’re going and then they’re there, you know, and, and then they’re in trouble and that, that’s kinda how it works. But

Todd: I guess for me, the other general thing before we kind of dive into the plot is that I don’t think there was any problem necessarily with the character development in this movie.

I just. I don’t think I really fell in love with anybody. You know, I don’t think I ever was like, Oh, that’s an interesting guy. Or, Oh, that girl, you know, she, I really hope she lives or, well, he’s a jerk or whatever, and maybe. That’s not a negative, depending on how you view it, because the characters seem authentic.

They just seem like a, we dropped in on a bunch of college kids. So we don’t know a whole heck of a lot about, and we’re not with them for very long, um, before they get into the situation and then the situation happens and they got to deal with the situation. They’re not. You know, which is sometimes a fault of other movies jumping into high drama between each other really.

Right. There’s a little bit of some tension between some of the characters, but I would like to think anyway, that if I’m in a bad, horrible kind of emergency type situation, that I’m not going to. You know, go off for half a day and sulk because I’m a little more concerned about my boy, my girlfriend’s relationship, you know, flirting with somebody.

Yeah. You know what I mean?

Craig: Well, yeah. I mean, that’s even address directly, you know, at one point. So there’s these four young people, like you said, Jeff is a med student. I mean, they’re young, they’re in their early twenties. He’s a med student, his girlfriend, Amy played by Jenna Malone and then her best friend, Stacy.

By Laura Ramsey and Stacey’s boyfriend, Eric played by Shawn Ashmore and I, Jeff has played by Jonathan Tucker. If I didn’t mention that before these four people all together. And there’s one point when there’s an accusation or a misunderstand. Standing where they think that Amy has been flirting with or getting physical with Eric, who is her best friend’s boyfriend, not her own boyfriend.

And so when Amy is talking to her boyfriend about it and she says, you know, it’s not true. It didn’t happen. He basically says, listen, if the roles were reversed, would you even care? And I took that to mean, like, what difference does it really make it this time? Like bigger things to worry about. Yeah. The thing, you know, you said you didn’t particularly care about any of them.

Um, I mean, I kind of did.

Todd: I mean, I felt so distant from them. I guess. I just, um, there wasn’t any one particular character or two that I really latched on to, or that I. It felt like that I knew really well, you

Craig: know? Yeah, no, I understand what you mean. Uh, and, and I agree with you. That’s why I say like in the book there were, there was more character, but that doesn’t necessarily even mean that the characters were more likable.

Like for example, here, the movie really kind of presents Amy as the main character. I don’t remember that being the case in the book, it was very much just ensemble. They were a group. Um, and we were with all of them all the time. So it wasn’t, you know, a central character kind of thing here. They kind of presented.

Amy is the main character. And there are moments where she makes some choices and decisions that, you know, aren’t very, she doesn’t come across as very likable. I remember in the book that she was very unlikable, she was really selfish. Really careless with other people’s feelings and safety. That was something that I thought was kind of missing from the movie.

But again, they’re just two separate entities. The movie starts out, you know, like you said, like all these movies, like Theresa has all these movies where it’s these young people on vacation and they’re in Mexico, I’m at a resort and they’re just hanging out, doing, you know, young people’s stuff, drinking, hanging out by the pool and they meet this German.

One guy named Mathias and kind of invite him into the group. Uh, and he says that the following day, he, and some of his friends that he’s met there, these Greek guys are going to be going to visit his brother Mathias, his brother at an archeological dig. She’s an archeologist, you vent for a soda or a dig site.

And where did they take it? Can excavation Owens a sink, a main temporary kind of like the ones that nobody here wanted to go to the entire time that we’ve been here. Hmm. It’s not even, it’s a guidebooks VIP only. Yeah. See Jeff. That’s something I would do. Oh yeah. Sounds like fun, but if you’re interested, I’m going to say tomorrow Highness was supposed to be back by now, but, uh, he must be having a good time.

Huh? Ultimately they decide to go. But before that there’s still one night. And again, you kind of, uh, get a little bit of insight into Amy’s character and she drinks too much. Her boyfriend, Jeff goes to bed and she immediately is all over Mathias. And apparently this is not out of character for her.

Because her friends, Stacy and Stacey’s boyfriend, Eric, they’re taking bets on how long it’s going to take her to, or whether or not she will try to kiss Mathias, which she eventually does. And they have to kind of get her away and, and send her off to bed and stuff. And then the next morning they all get up.

Amy initially is very hung over and doesn’t want to go, but Jeff talks her into going and they all go. They take a bus to this small village and then in the small village, they. They catch a taxi, which is just a pickup truck with taxi painted on it. Yeah. And like, in all of these movies, you know, there are warnings, uh, don’t pull up to the creepy gas station and get a warning, but, um, they ask the, they have a map.

And in fact, uh, the Greek guys were all passed out drunk. And so the Greek guys didn’t come, but they left them a copy of the maps. They can join them later, but they showed the taxi driver, this map and the taxi drivers like, Oh no, no, no, no, you don’t want to go there. That’s not a good place. I’ll, I’ll take you to a better place, but they give him money.

And so he says, all right, I’ll take you any, drives them way out into the country and drops them off, uh, at what appears to be like a drop-off point. Cause there are other cars there, uh, and he leaves, but he gives them his cell phone number so that they can call when they’re done. They’re initially a little bit nervous about that, but Matea says no, it’s no big deal.

I have a satellite. Phone, I can get reception anywhere. So they go trekking through the woods. I, I I’m, I’m trying to quit. We get there, but I keep thinking of all of these, you know, again, like they, they have to Trek through the woods. They’re supposed to be able to find this path, but they can’t initially find it.

They see these two young mind children watching them kind of ominously from a dif distance. And while most of them are distracted. Did buy those kids. Mathias is kind of looking around and he finds the path, but it appears that the path has been intentionally covered. Amy, I think is like, why would that be, why would they cover it up?

And somebody else says, well, maybe the archeologists don’t want, you know, a bunch of civilians hanging around or whatever. And Amy is. Nervous about it, but, um, they decided to proceed in there anyway. And when they do one of the little kids, the little boy turns around and hightails it further into the forest.

They finally arrive. At these ruins. Now in the book, even though the book is called the ruins, there really were no ruins. It was just a big Hill, but here it’s like a temple that is pretty big. And it’s covered in these vines and they’re standing there and they’re like taking some pictures and things and they see, they can see kind of the flap of a tent at the top.

So they figure they’re at the right place. When all of a sudden from out of the forest come all of these Mayan men on horseback yelling and screaming at them and waving around guns and other weapons. Um, and of course, They’re frightened. And that is when they get themselves into trouble, I guess, for lack of a better

Todd: description.

Yeah. They, they don’t really know what to do. And, and they’re Spanish. One of them, I think, is a, Jeff can speak a little bit of Spanish, but it’s not really working. And these guys, you know, their kid can’t communicate, but they’re definitely yelling at them. Um, and they have guns out. Amy, uh, ends up back she’s she’s the photographer.

And so she’s snapping pictures and like don’t snap pictures of these guys. She ends up backing into the foot, basically of this temple, which is covered in vines, like you said, and she ends up stepping into the vines. This we later learned if it’s not immediately obvious to you when you’re watching the movie is what sets these people off.

And so they start screaming and yelling and threatening them more and basically forced them up to the top.

Craig: They know they’re in, you know, serious danger because one of the Greek. The guys did come with them. And when the Mayans saw Amy step into the vines, they freak out and the Greek guy tries to approach them to calm things down and he’s, they shoot him.

They shoot him through the chest with an arrow, and then they blow his head off.

Todd: Yeah, that’s right. These

Craig: kids know that, you know, these people mean business. So when they order them up, the temple, they go, they don’t, they don’t have any choice.

Todd: That’s true. Yeah. I forgot about that bit. They go up the temple to the top and there is this camp set up, you know, there’s the tent and everything.

Um, but Mathias is looking for his brother and can immediately find him. There is a hole at the top that with a structure over it, just a little frame and, uh, Rope that can be lowered down into it. So it’s clear that they were on this expedition and I can’t remember if it’s at this point, the Mateus comes across the body or not.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s right away. Yeah. Right away. He comes yeah. Across the body of his brother. I think it is. And they noticed at the top of the. Hill that they are unable to get their cell reception. We get to take care of this. Like you said, last week, wherever we got to take care of this early on, nobody has cell reception.

Um, and Mathias. Unfortunately the one who had the phone with it had been showing it to the Mayans to try to communicate with them. And they took the phone from him. So they had it at the bottom, so they don’t have cell phones, but they start hearing a cell phone ringing. Uh, from this pit. And so they decided to descend into this pit and see what’s down there.

And if the rest of the group is down there and at least find his phone, and I think this is pretty true to the, to the novel as well. Isn’t it at this point? Yeah. And Mathias gets lowered down, but as he’s being lowered, uh, the girls notice that the rope is starting to fray. Now if you and I were in the situation, we would probably hurry up and continue lowering the rope instead of reversing course and trying to pull it up again.

Right. Which was a really bad move on their part, uh, because the rope does indeed break and Mateus falls pretty far down, uh, into this. Thing. And so now, um, somebody’s got to go in after him and that somebody ends up being Stacy. I don’t know. She was the most equipped to really go down and take care of this guy, but they put her, you know, they make sure that the rope is all secure and solid stuff again, and they create craft a makeshift backed board out of backpack.

Things and stuff that they have lying around so that they can get Mathias raised out of this pit. Well,

Craig: yeah, they do eventually, but first when Stacy goes down, um, they lower her down and she gets to a point where she can see him at the bottom and they know he’s alive. Uh, they can hear him, but when she, she gets to a certain point, I would say she’s probably 10, 12 feet in the air.

They’re out of rope and they can’t lower any further. And I think it happened this way in the book too, but I don’t remember, but it really doesn’t make any sense to me because what they say is we’re out of rope. Can you jump now that doesn’t make any sense to me because then how are they going to get her out if she does, if she jumps down there and they don’t have any more rope, how are they going to get her out?

But I guess somehow they find more rope somewhere, but first she jumps down there and she’s okay. Except for when Mathias had fallen, he had had, um, a lantern and of course the lantern had shattered and, uh, she falls on some of that debris and cuts her knee. Badly. And so she’s injured too. And she finds her, you know, she says that, um, what’s his name?

Mathias is okay, but he can’t move. And she says, it smells like feces. It’s not what she says, but that’s what, and so it becomes obvious that, uh, he has broken his spine, which is why he’s lost control of his bowels. And, um, so they know he’s in trouble. So then they also have to. To send Amy down, they build that back board and they send Amy down.

Once again, they can’t get it quite all the way down to the bottom. So Amy and Stacy have to lift Mathias onto this back board, which everybody knows is a terrible idea. Um, you never lift somebody with a back injury, especially a spinal injury, but I suppose also what choice do they have? It’s either lift them or leave it.

I’m down there. So they lift him onto the back board and they do get him back up and they get back up. Gosh, I don’t even remember how things start to go bad.

Todd: There’s some little worse. Yeah, there’s some little Easter egg things. Like if you’re really paying attention that are showing you that things are a little sinister or something’s not quite right as they’re being lowered down or being pulled back up.

If you look closely in the background as they’re going down this channel or whatever that is lined with these vines. Uh, you can notice that the vines are shivering a little bit, almost like a little, little tendrils are kind of reaching, not just very subtly, you know, sort of reaching out to them. It could be mistaken for the wind.

And then they do hear that cell phone ringing. Uh, but they have to come back, uh, and, and try to figure out the cell phone. But because he’s injured, Amy runs down to she’s like we got to get help from these Mayans. Like they got to, you know, they’re the only people around here who can help us in some way.

Um, so she runs down the temple and is it the base and is kind of trying to get their attention. It’s kind of, there’s kind of a shouting match. And in her frustration, she grabs tears a piece of the vine off and throws it at them and ends up hitting one of the kids. Who was there, like these Mayans have basically set up camp down there.

Now it’s like, these people are here, we got to keep them on the temple. Uh, which is, you know, which is what they’re supposed to be doing. And so like their whole families have come out and they’ve set up camp all around there. And so this kid, this. His touched the kid. Uh, and suddenly they go a little crazy and they’re arguing and fighting and the kid’s crying and he’s like raising his hands and they shoot this, this boy, this little boy, which is always a troubling thing, uh, in a movie.

And, uh, you know, we always, we talk about this often when a horror movie goes there, you know, when it’s willing to put kids in parallel and show kids, and this is no bones about it. They blast this kid just as graphically as, uh, we saw the Greek kid get blasted earlier. So, um, yeah. Um, I thought that was interesting that the movie was willing to go there, but that tells them a, you know, they really are in over their heads.

They don’t know what’s going on, but B. Maybe it has something to do with this plant or these plants. I can’t remember if they exactly are putting that piece, those pieces together quite yet, but

Craig: they do. And I pretty like, you know, that because the kid had been touched by the vines and then they killed these Mayans killed one of their own and not only one of their own, but a child.

Um, I think that they put it together and then when they go back up, somebody notices that their clothes are covered in resonance. Do I guess, um, from these plants. Yeah. Yeah. It’s kind of what it looks like. I guess like pollen from these plants that are, it’s all over their clothes, it’s in their hair. Um, it’s on their skin and so they know something’s wrong throughout this.

They’re also having conversations about conserving water and Geoff remaining optimistic Demetrius play tickets. How does that help us? Oh, he was supposed to leave tomorrow morning on a seven Oh five flight. So when he doesn’t show up tomorrow, his friends are definitely going to know that something’s wrong.

How will they know where we are? They have a map to meet you a copy of the map for him. So there’ll be here tomorrow. We just have to make it through the night. He even, it says at one point, a bunch of white kids don’t go missing in Mexico and nobody does anything about it. Like he’s just confident that, uh, somehow they will be found.

They also know that those other Greek guys were supposed to be meeting them there. So they also kind of hope that maybe those guys will show up. I don’t know what they think would happen. And if those guys did show up, because those Mayans are down there with their guns and you know, but Jeff tries to keep everybody optimistic.

They, uh, they go to sleep, um, for a night. And when they wake up in the morning, Stacey’s legs are bothering her. So she pulls the blanket off of her legs and sees that her leg. Eggs are wrapped in these vines and that the vines in fact are going into growing into the wound in her knee. Oh, it’s so gross.

It is gross. Like in my notes, in my notes, I have. Stacy’s legs, exclamation point, but they, they pull, you know, the vines out. Uh, and I would assume that they noticed, because we can certainly see it, the vines move, like they’re almost like snake, like in their movement, but they pull them all out. And while they’re still kind of reeling from that Mathias calls Amy over and says, there’s something wrong, show me my legs.

And so she pulls the blanket off of his legs. And his legs have been from the knee down almost just entirely eaten down to the bone. Oh, by these fines, it is the movie’s gory. And, uh, and it does not shy away from showing you stuff. And it, you know, I can kind of take Gore or leave it. I don’t need it. It doesn’t bother me usually that much, but, um, the effects here are, are good.

Uh, it looks real and it really, I mean, I don’t know about you, but like I was squirming, you know, it’s, it’s you see those vines, you know, going into her wound and, and wrapped around and moving around his disintegrated legs and it, it just gives you the heebie-jeebies.

Todd: Yeah. I’m not sure if, uh, if I have squirmed so much in a horror movie since.

Like the first time I saw one of the soft films, you know, where, where we’re just getting really up close and personal with splintering bones and things like that. And this movie you’re right. It doesn’t pull any punches in that regard. And you know, that’s a good thing, I guess it does most of the horror, but here is the point at which, all right, so we’re halfway through the movie now and now there’s this problem.

So. They all realize that there’s something funky going on with these plants and the girls. They, they hear itself, the cell phone ringing again, and they realize that they still have that cell phone down there that they could probably get a deal with. So the two girls decide to descend down into the pit and there they are inside this big chamber with their lights.

And they hear the ringing and it’s coming from like a passageway, which is almost completely overgrown with these vines. I mean, there’s vines on the floor, on the walls, the ceiling, it’s like a tunnel of vines. So this is the point at which I’m thinking. I mean, of course we’re thinking like, no, you guys are crazy.

I’m thinking. Wouldn’t you be doing something about this that they didn’t seem to be displaying to me, appropriate amount of, um, freak out redness about walking through pushing away vines. The, that are basically these passageways, just big enough, basically for them to fit through. And then into this little chamber, which is, once again, you can’t even see the walls or the ceiling or the floor.

It’s all thick vines. And there’s a guy in there, uh, that they find his corpse and his phone and they get the phone, but the phone is broken and they start hearing the ringing still, but it’s not coming from the phone. Amy looks over and sees the, Oh, and this is such a great visual. Actually they, these, these vines have little red buds on them, little red flowers and the little statements inside that flower.

Are vibrating. The flowers themselves are making that cell phone sound and it’s all around them. Now, all of a sudden, just the plant is almost mocking them. And then they start to Hightail it out of there. And I don’t know, it’s different when you’re reading a novel, right? Cause you can imagine anything, but when you see the visual of this and these girls surrounded by this plant that is mocking them.

How they managed to get out of there. The only explanation I have is that the plan itself wanted to play with these people before it ate them. I don’t know. It just, didn’t it just defied logic and sense to me, you know? Well,

Craig: yeah, I know it does. Uh, And, and like when they finally realized that it’s as though the plant knows, they know now.

And so it becomes, it becomes aggressive and it like starts grabbing at them and trying to pull them in. And, uh, at one they, they, they run back, you know, to their rope, but along the way, Stacey, the, you know, the vines trip her up intentionally and wrap around her leg and start pulling her back in and. Amy has to, you know, go back and pull her out and they do get, you know, back onto the rope and, and, uh, they’re screaming and the guys pulled them up and the vines are kind of moving all around them, but, uh, they do get up you’re right.

It does seem like, well, You know, if the vines could have gotten them, it would have been down there where they were completely sorted rounded. And that’s why I said, if you had told me the premise of the book, I would’ve thought it was dumb because you know, it’s killer plants. First of all, that just doesn’t in my mind sound particularly scary.

It just sounds. Silly. It goes beyond that because not only because there are killer plants, I mean, there are plants that will kill you, right? Not in this kind of aggressive fashion, but you know, I get it. Nature can be dangerous. Fine. So the idea of the killer vines. But then there’s also this thing that they can imitate sound and they can imitate the phone.

And again, it’s not like in the world of nature that this is impossible. There are animals that can perfectly mimic sound, but in the book, as silly as it sounds like this plant, whatever it is. Seems to be entirely scenting it in that it can move. And yeah, there’s one part coming up. I don’t remember where it is.

It’s coming up soon. They get them back up. Eric wants to make a run for it. Jeff says they can’t, there’s no way they’ll get past the Mayans. Stacy starts getting paranoid is not the right word. She can feel the vines under her skin. And in fact, the point comes where you. You can see them. They are, they’re like at first you kind of think maybe she’s just paranoid and justifiably, so, but eventually you can see that in fact, yes, they are moving around under her

Todd: and, and she’s kind of breaking down here anyway because, uh, you know, she, I think it’s like the next morning or something after they have this encounter, she goes an awful lot accusatory and says that she heard Eric.

Having sex with Amy. And they’re like, what are you talking about? And she’s like, I heard you guys last night, don’t deny it. And then, uh, the sounds of her and her freak out, start getting echoed back at her. And it turns out that the plant, which is surrounding them, even at the top of this ruins, this plant is surrounding them the entire time.

Yeah. And so that this is, again, this kind of. Saying like everything pretty much gets proven to them. Uh, you know, she’s woken up with a plan inside of her. The guys had legs were getting eaten off by the plant. They watched the vines, you know, try to pull him away. And they had to, you know, to keep, to, to pull them back.

The girls went down there, they had that experience. They had the experience of the cell phone. They had this experience. It’s like, all right, you guys are surrounded by this plant. All times, I don’t know what I would do in that situation, but I’m pretty sure I would never turn my back on it. Right. You know?

So this is the point where the movie kind of like, um, I just like, there’s just a discord. There’s a disconnect that I’m having a hard time. Time wrapping my mind around it’s bothers me. I get what

Craig: you’re saying, but there’s really not anything they can do. They can’t leave. Uh, and, and there’s no, you know, how do you fight a plant?

You know, like you start, you start. Picking all the flowers, like, I, I don’t know what they would do, but what you said about the plants mimicking her speech. That’s what I was trying to get to because, um, it sounds so ludicrous, but in the book, as ludicrous, as it may have sounded. And not only can it mimic voice, but like, it can talk, it’s like a, a McCall, you know, or, or something that can perfectly imitate sounds.

It seems like it should be silly. But in the book, I remember it actually being pretty frightening and it still works. Okay. Here. Like, like you said, I think it works better in your imagination, right? Because to actually see. I see it maybe takes a little bit of something away from it. It still works. It’s fine.

Um, we, we skipped the part, uh, uh, Jeff, this 22 year old med student makes the decision that they’re going to have to amputate Mathias his legs because. Otherwise they’re going to get infected. Um, but not to worry because he has a spinal injury, so he won’t be able to feel anything. Um, and then they do this whole amputation scene and it’s horrible because all they have is like, A small hunting knife, like a pocket knife.

Um, and then he breaks the bones with this large rock with kind of a, not a sharp edge, but at least, um, an edge to it. And, you know, they, it shows it in pretty graphic detailed. The worst part of it is that Jeff clearly didn’t know what he was talking about because Mathias obviously can feel it. Because he’s screaming in agony through this whole thing.

And we not only do we see both the legs get chopped off, but then Jeff uses like a frying pan. That’s been in the fire to cauterize the ends of the legs, which we also see. And it’s just, I mean, it’s brutal while this movie, you know, there are scenes that take place at night. Most of it is in broad.

Daylight, right. Bright daylight. Uh, and, and the, the movie was filmed using natural light. Uh, and so everything is very bright and clear. And so you see everything and as things start to get progressively grocer, uh, I mean, there’s just no holding back. The next thing that happened. It really is, is Stacy can feel these vines moving around underneath her and it’s come to the point where they can see them.

So Jeff, uh, using that same knife cuts into her skin and starts pulling them out and they’re riving and trying to stay in and trying to avoid the knife, these vines. But, uh, he, he gets them out, but it is disgusting. I mean, we see him. Sticking the knife in. And, you know, I don’t know how they did this effect, but it looks real and he sticks it a good inch and a half, two inches into her and is digging around and the blood is just pouring out and he’s digging his fingers in these wounds.

Ugh. It makes me shiver. Talking about it, but they, they do get them out. They think they do, but then they’re all sitting around and Amy looks at Stacy and she sees, and we see the vines moving around in her forehead and Stacy can feel it. And she believes that they saw it. But they’re just trying to keep her calm, but she wants to cut more.

Uh, and they say, you can’t, we can’t cut more. And that, that appears to be true because this girl is bleeding like crazy. If they kept doing this, she would surely die, but, uh, they wake up. The next morning. Unfortunately, Stacy wakes up first and the plants kind of taught her the night before she had been saying, I want to cut it.

I want to cut it. So the plants start chanting that and her voice. Got it. Got it.

So when Eric gets up in the morning, he gets out of the tent and we just see Stacy from behind from kind of a distance she’s standing, but her head is lowered. And you can tell, even from behind what’s happening, uh, you can see some blood on her side and on her legs, but when she turns around, she has just carved herself to ribbons.

Uh, I mean, she’s basically flayed one of her legs

Todd: that was really gross. Uh, I forgot

Craig: about the whole thing and she’s continuing to cut. Um, and they’re telling her to stop and she’s saying, no, it’s okay. I just have to get this one more. And she’s digging and Jeff approaches her. And as though she thinks he’s going to try to take the knife from her, she swings around with the knife and slices, his hand, he and Amy, Jeff and Amy tried to tend to that wound.

And Eric, her boyfriend approaches her and she swings around and you know, she’s, there’s no other thing to say then basically she’s kind of crazy at this point, you know, she doesn’t do this intentionally or out of malice. But I think just out of survival instinct or whatever it is, she turns around and she plunges the knife right into either his heart or his lungs, but to the hilt.

Todd: Yeah. She’s a strong gal.

Craig: Yeah. To get all the way through the breast plate and everything. Right. And he goes down and this, you know, like you said, it’s not as though we’re particularly connected to any of these characters, but this part was heartbreaking. You know, she realizes what she’s done and she’s horrified and, and she’s sobbing.

As, as she lays next to her boyfriend who is, you know, dying, you know, just gasping for air. And, uh, eventually he does die and the vines immediately grab him by the legs and start pulling him away. And she is. Is sobbing sobbing, and she eventually just starts begging, begging Amy to kill her. And Amy saying I can’t, I can’t the vines pull Eric away.

Jeff smartly pulls the knife out of his chest before they pull him away entirely. And then it. Cuts away to a shot of the Mayans standing and looking up the Hill and you hear Stacey’s screams and then they stop. Yeah. Do you, do you think they killed? Yeah, I do.

Todd: I think Jeff killed her. Yeah. It’s. Yeah, it’s crazy.

And it was shocking to me, but you know, she’s begging for it and she’s bleeding probably half bled to death.

Craig: Oh yeah. She would have died anyway,

Todd: being the med school student and sort of the more stoic, I mean, he was. He did, uh, I mean, as, as messy as those amputations were, he did a pretty good job of maintaining his cool through that as well as carving into her and pulling the things out.

So, I mean, I, it made sense to me that he could do that if he decided that that was medically appropriate

Craig: would have been the merciful thing to do. I mean, she would have died anyway and she had to have been in just excruciating pain plus the misery of knowing what she had just done. So it w. I agree with you.

I think they did. I think that Jeff probably killed her, but, um, either way she’s dead and that leads up to the end, which is very, very different than the way that the book ended. But I like the ending as it plays out. And, and there are actually a couple of diff a couple of alternate endings that we can talk about, but the way, you know, the theatrical release ending, um, I think it’s pretty good.

Todd: Did we see the theater? We saw the, one of the alternate endings didn’t we did. We, I’m not sure. I read in IMD B uh, something about the ending. And it said that there’s an alternate ending. Oh, it says. This is just an alternate ending on the DVD feature, shows Amy driving away. When she looks in the rear view mirror, it shows a small vine moving under her skin just below her eye.

And we saw that, right. We saw that. So that must be, we must have seen the alternate ending. I don’t remember what the difference was.

Craig: Gosh, I’m confused. And I would have to look it up too, because all right. So anyway, what happens is Jeff makes a plan and there are a lot of deleted scenes. Not a lot, like three or four, you can find them all on YouTube.

They’re all on. I guess the Blu-ray, uh, in a deleted scene, you actually see them talking about the plan. You don’t see so much of that here. You just, he smears her with blood, um, which they have plenty of at this point and, and mud. And then the next thing we see is the Mayans standing down, by the way, at some point we didn’t talk about it, but they figure it out.

They figure out that the vines, the Mayans are keeping these vines isolated. They’re there, they’ve salted the earth all around this Hill. And that’s why they’re forcing. Them to stay up there because if they were to come out, they would bring the vines with them. So, uh, we see the Mayans down at the bottom and Jeff starts coming down the Hill and he’s holding Amy, who is presumably dead.

I mean, she looks dead, she’s limp in his arms and he lays her down on the ground, uh, at the foot of the Hill. And then he starts talking to them and he says, my name’s Jeff. Um, I’m 23 years old or whatever. I was going to be a doctor that was my dream. And the whole time that he’s doing this, he’s very slowly walking away from her and everybody, all of the Mayans who are.

Still down there are following him and moving away from her and leaving her untended or unattended, excuse me. And eventually he gets far enough away that he kind of stops and he says, and she was my girlfriend and she had hopes and dreams or something too. Uh, and you’re going to know her name. Her name was Amy and he screams.

Her name. And as soon as he shouts her name, she jumps up and bolts through the forest. So this was their, their plan is for her to escape and come back for him. But, uh, there’s not going to be anything to come back. Two because the central Mayan guy, um, shoots, uh, Jeff, they, they, they shoot him with several arrows and then eventually, uh, the guy shoots him in the head too.

No, at all. All of the other Mayans are chasing Amy through the. Forest in my mind, what I’m thinking at this point is what’s the point, like she’s already contaminated. The forest,

Todd: like is screwed

Craig: up. She just brought on the apocalypse. Uh, but they’re, they’re trying to, they’re, they’re chasing or they’re shooting at, or, you know, bullets are ricocheting all around her.

Uh, arrows are hitting trees around her, but she gets back to, it’s not even their car that she takes. It’s one of the archeologists car, I guess they found the key there or something. And at the very last second, she. Gets the car started and she drives away and she’s getting away. And the camera close does a very intense, close up on her eyes.

And we see vines moving underneath her skin. Like you said, I read an IMD B to that. That was an alternate ending. If that’s true. I don’t remember how it originally ended. The only thing that I can think is that maybe we didn’t, maybe we just saw her get away and we didn’t see the vines moving under her skin.

Todd: Yeah. I th that could be it because then there’s a, yet another scene after that, where the Greeks, I guess, who had fallen asleep or were passed out the day before, have made it back through and they. Are on the path and they come up to the ruins. And so that’s kind of that little zinger there at the end that this is about to happen all over again with a fresh new batch of people,

Craig: uh, right.

The book ended very differently. Uh, first of all, we, we failed to mention that Mathias died. You know, we keep talking about these killer vines. They really only kill one person. Uh, the vines only kill Mathias. And the way that they kill him is that they. While others are distracted, the vines, attack him and go down into his throat, uh, and suffocate him, um, in the book, Amy and Jeff get in a fight and this happens at night and the vines do that to Amy and Jeff is standing there watching it happen, but it’s dark.

And so he doesn’t know, he thinks that she’s just being petulant and not talking to him. But in fact, she’s being killed right in front of his face. Um, And in the book, Amy is the first to go. Uh, the last man standing or woman standing in the book is Stacy. And she, uh, at the end makes a sign like a BeAware or like a skull and crossbones.

I don’t remember, but she makes a sign and she puts it down at the base of the, uh, temple or, or the Hill. And then she kills herself as a warning to anybody else who will come. However, the vines pull her body and the sign away so that her warning is, is for not. Um, so the, the book is even more grimly than the movie.

Um, there was one other. Uh, alternate or additional scene that you can find on YouTube, uh, where we are in a cemetery and there’s a funeral going on, but our attention is diverted away from the funeral to a groundskeeper, uh, who is whistling. But when he stops whistling, he continues to hear the whistling and he follows it and it leads him to a headstone that says Amy, on it, on which these vines with these red flowers are.

Growing as though, you know, she has brought them out. She’s died, however she died, but she brought them out into the world. That’s awesome. Yeah. I liked that. I liked that ending, you know, I think it’s fine as the deleted scene. You know, it’s, it’s unnecessary, but I kind of like the implication of the vines, you know, having been brought out and we get to see that more than just seeing it under her skin in the car.

Yeah. I mean, overall, I think if you’re a fan, a fan of Gore effects, I think that you’re going to be really pleased by this movie. Uh, and just overall it’s, it’s kind of one of those ones. Year, did this come out 2008? You know, in that, that time period between 2000, 2010, maybe a little bit later, there was this horror, the style of horror movies changed a little bit.

They became a little bit less gritty. What am I trying to say here? Like everything here is in bright daylight. It’s very direct. Everything looks very, not clean as in the people look clean, but like the shots all look very clear and clean. Um, it’s not kind of that dark gritty stuff that we were used to in the eighties and nineties, there were more or less.

Todd: Shot as, as you would shoot, just like a teen drama or a romantic comedy or something like that in the cinematography, right. Or in the settings. Right. It’s very, I think the idea of course, was to make it more real to people and to show you, you know, you don’t need dark lights and nightmares to, to get horror.

You know, you, you can encounter the stuff in the middle of the day when you’re out with your friends, partying and spring break.

Craig: Right. Yeah. And so it’s got kind of that feel to it, but I, you know, I think it’s very competently made the acting is I have no complaints. I thought all of the performers were good.

Um, I found. The guy who played Eric particularly charming and stay Stacey too. You know, Jeff and Amy were kind of the central couple. They were kind of boring to me. I liked Stacy and Eric better. I’d rather hang out with. Um, but, uh, you know, while I do it, I don’t think that it’s an amazing movie. Um, it’s got a 5.8 out of 10 stars on IMDP.

I didn’t check the rotten tomato score. I think it’s good. I think it’s a good movie. And, and one that horror fans will enjoy it. Now, somebody like that. Your wife should never touch this with a 10 foot pole.

Todd: Truly not. It’s just way too gory way too gory. And I’ve got to, I’ve got to admit to, um, it’s, there’s nothing really wrong with this movie at all. It’s pretty satisfying in a lot of different ways. Even what I said earlier about it’s really a little hard to fathom that they can be surrounded by these plants, but the plants don’t end up posing such a danger to them as you would expect.

And they don’t end up, I think still kind of like reacting and acting the way that I would, if I was surrounded by what I thought was a killer plant, it can kind of be explained away. I mean, you can, it can be explained about by what you don’t know. Like, well, maybe the plants really aren’t actually that.

Capable, maybe they are biding their time and toying and playing with them. You don’t know enough about this plant. And that’s another interesting thing about this movie. You don’t know about the origins of the plant. You don’t know about these ruins or what there’s, there’s no attempt at all to say, Oh, this is like part of an ancient Mayan, you know, curse, or, you know, they don’t find hieroglyphics inside that, you know, foretell this.

And there’s none of that, which. Adds to the horror of the situation and conveniently covers those potentially loose threads. Right. So in some ways people might see it as a cop out in other ways. Well, this is just kind of how life is sometimes. Right? Right. Well, we just don’t know. So I, I can, I can even say that, that didn’t ultimately bother me, uh, like that sort of believability issue often bothers me in another movie because it may very well not have been a believability issue.

You

Craig: just don’t know. No, in this case, I prefer that they don’t try to explain it. You know, I felt like it would’ve been cheap if they had, I

Todd: think it would have been. Cheesier poppier. You’re right. You’re right.

Craig: We don’t need to know why or how it just, this is what it is and it’s scary and we deal with it.

I mean, or don’t deal with it. I mean, again, what can they do? But anyway, yeah, I would recommend the book over the movie. I enjoyed the book more. Yeah. Um, but maybe I would have enjoyed the movie more. Had I not read the book first and had I not read the book so soon before I saw the movie, I mean, I saw the movie like right away, right after the book.

So, um, maybe if it hadn’t been as fresh in my mind, uh, I would have appreciated the movie more. Or maybe if I hadn’t read the book at all, I would have appreciated the movie more, but I really did enjoy the book. And, um, the movie for what it is I think is, is perfectly fine.

Todd: There’s a lesson in here for all of us folks.

And don’t break warranty.

Well, thank you again for listening to another episode. If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend. You can find us online just by Googling to guys and the chainsaw. You’ll find us on Facebook, Twitter, and you’ll find our YouTube channel like us. I subscribed to us in those places and send us a message.

Let us know what requests you have, and we’ll do our best to get to them until next time. I’m Todd and I’m Craig with two guys and a chainsaw.


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