Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Happy New Year.

Now that's over, let's get back to business. Don't know about you but all this fake good will to all persons gets a bit tedious after a while. TV tends to be blander than normal, all the good stuff has concluded their various series the week before Xmas, and The Sound of Music is on one channel or another. Actually that isn't a criticism, at least not from me, because I just bought the 45th anniversary 2-disc special edition on Blu-Ray. I'll explain about that another time.

Anyway, all this crap just puts me in the mood for a good gory horror movie and, by good planning on my part, I had two suitable DVDs ready. Here are the covers.

Yep, two 18-rated horror movies. Actually it's almost unusual for a horror movie to get an 18 rating these days unless there's a lot of sex and bad language. Gore alone isn't usually enough unless it's really extreme gore. Hell, even the DVD re-release of Evil Dead 2 only got a 15 rating which rather flabbergasted me. As I already knew that neither of these were torture porn and I hadn't heard anything about sex I was expecting a real gore-fest. After watching them I looked up reviews on the Web and learned that some people walked out of a showing of Ruins at one point. It was a gory scene but I found myself thinking: hmm that's gory.

By either accident or subconscious design, both films have a similar setup:  a small group of people in an isolated situation being menaced by something non-human. But that's all they have in common.

In The Ruins (2008), a group of young Americans find themselves trapped on the ruin of a Mayan Temple in Mexico (Australia actually, but shush) inhabited by a carnivorous plant and unable to leave because the local people will kill if they try as they may be infected. In Splinter (2009), a couple in their mid-20's are carjacked by an escaped con and his junkie girlfriend but find themselves trapped at petrol station and under attack from a splintery thing which takes over peoples' dead bodies and uses them in a grotesque way to trap new prey.

Both are quite entertaining jobs, both well-made and well-paced, with a reasonably interesting story. Ruins is gory in a bright blood, torn flesh way while Splinter is gory in a bodies being twisted into grotesque shapes they shouldn't sort of way. And both feature crude limb removal. Splinter is probably the better of the two because the characters are different, interesting and develop throughout the course of the film, also I preferred the ending. But I enjoyed both a lot and which certainly watch them again sometime.

Yes, it's the old crawling hand routine courtesy of Splinter.

Plant life on Mayan ruins may look harmless but not when it's growing in your veins....

No comments: