In the car on the way to see The Ruins, my friend and I were talking about trash. "I watched two movies today," he said, "Blues Brothers 2000 and that Coast Guard movie with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher." He sighed. "I checked The Painted Veil out from Netflix, but after the first 10 minutes I just... couldn't."
I confessed that last week I sent Dr. Strangelove back to the 'Flix, unwatched, after it had gathered dust on top of my TV for three months. Within that three-month period, I managed to make time for Herbie: Fully Loaded, High School Musicals 1 and 2, the seminal Charlie Sheen rom-com Good Advice (heard of it? LIAR), many reruns of Law & Order in which I already knew that the piano teacher or the venture capitalist or the Martha Plimpton dun it, and a marathon of Escape to Chimp Eden. Another friend—a friend who studies film theory, even—recently told me that she did the exact same thing with Seven Samurai. Sent it back after a few months. Ordered that weird live-action Peter Pan instead.
A couple of days ago, Chinatown arrived in the mail. It sat on top of my dusty TV while I drove toward The Ruins.
Is it possible to spoil something that is already rotten? Can the secrets of a moldy turd really be termed "spoilers?" Because The Ruins is already the stinkiest stink-stank that ever stonked, and I want to tell you everything about it. Some stupid bitches and their boyfriends go to Mexico to bitch around, bitchily. They wind up at this ancient Mayan ruin, where a village of dirt-covered jungle people who don't speak English OR SPANISH yell at them in jungle-ese and herd them up to the top of the pyramid and won't let them come down. (Attention, white people: Do not go to Mexico! Mexicans are scary and will shoot you with arrows!)
So it turns out that an EVIL MEXICAN PLANT VINE grows on the ruins and eats turistas for its almuerzo! The jungle people guard the ruins and salt the soil so that the evil vine doesn't escape and eat the entire earth. (Okay, but guess what, Guillermo del Jungle? The vine doesn't care about the salty soil! It's a VINE! That is the entire point of a vine. Also, I know you're a two-dimensional racist caricature, but if you're so worried about keeping people off the ruins, couldn't you think about LEARNING SPANISH and then maybe PUT UP A SIGN!?) Oh, and also the plant can fucking TALK.
The rest of the movie is basically a documentary about DIY surgery. Abdominal Gouging for Dummies. A ruinous ruination of my Sunday.
I'm not sure why I prioritize satisfying trash over actual movies, but it has something to do with laziness, and with living alone. The Ruins occupies the worst possible spot on that movie continuum: unsatisfying trash. I drove home, unsatisfied, where I did anything but watch Chinatown.