The Ruins (2008)

Pretty decent trailer, right?

I just watched this last night and I want to do a couple things here since this movie directly relates to something else I want to write about(see bottom). Firstly I’d like to review the movie, secondly I’d like to talk about how it relates to D&D in particular.

I think if you watched the trailer above and your even slightly interested in horroresque type flicks the trailer may peak your interest just a little bit. It did me. It has just about everything I’m looking for in a trailer, mostly because I’m in the mood for some good dungeon delving type stuff. It has intrigue, builds tension, doesn’t let on to to much, has that creepy ass scream. Imho, its just a good trailer. Well done. I will be honest though that I was preoccupied in 2008 and this one slipped by.

The movie stars this guy that looks kind of like this guy, which I think I got some confused by.

I was hoping for Yelchin(who was in Green Room, which is another amazing horroresque movie) but Tucker did a good job all around really. He was the character the movie is based around really and everything bad that happens happens because he suggested it in the first place.

Basically the plot boils down to college kids on a trip and they head to see a Mayan temple that turns out to be more than they first think and the locals get involved and the tourist kids become trapped and a bit of chaos ensues and they need to figure some things out. Roll film. That is about as spoiler free as this can be.

As far as how good this movie is…. I’d give it an over all of not bad. Not the best survival horror movie I have seen but definitely in the not bad category. I don’t know if I will ever watch it again but I will remember it. It has a few aspects that are interesting but I will also be honest in that this really had no dungeon delving which extremely disappointed me but in the realism of the show I don’t blame them for not going in there but it sucks because……

SPOILERS!!

…. this is completely a D&D movie. Completely hands down. The biggest let down for me in this movie is that they don’t explore the ruins but these guys are unprepared regular humans. They are not a D&D party of rangers, fighters, casters. This is a movie worth watching though in regard to getting an idea for a D&D session, maybe even a one shot. This would be best run in something like Dungeon World but I will say everything would be better run in a system like that.

Nice desert oasis on the top there, eh?

The people in the movie do not explore the temple or the ruins because once they actually go inside they learn what they have really encountered in the movie, the big reveal(the monster) is Devil Root. With maybe some Crawling Creeper thrown in the mix. The regular humans can’t go in there because the place is … crawling… with it and they would die like some people have before them. The locals have salted the ground around the temple to keep the devil root contained and when the kids come looking they are forced on to the temple and their fates are sealed. They need to find a way to escape but the locals, who have set up camp around them to contain them also, won’t let them get away. Kind of a kill on site kind of deal going on. The entire temple is covered in the stuff and as you can probably imagine its over grown on the inside also.

So yeah, this movie made me think of and picture an adventuring party happening across something like this in the same way -but- in the D&D version they would actually have to go into the temple and find their way through the temple and out some passage or something. There are a lot of different kinds of plant based enemies that are under utilized in D&D and theres a lot of room for building some pretty cool stuff here. Shit, throw in a Malboro as the end boss for the place. Hell, maybe for whatever reason this temple has a portal opened from the Beastlands where it has been spilling forth since. If that is the case then you could have some real fun.

What are you waiting for? Go make a movie of the mind!

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