As summer finally arrives in the UK, streaming service fans are also reaching for something summery... but the film that's hit top spot in Netflix UK's most-watched movie rankings depicts a summer holiday gone very, very wrong.
Based on a (fiction) book, The Ruins follows a group of American schoolkids (all early 20s, according to the film) on holiday in Cancun, Mexico, who meet a fellow vacationer who's about to explore a mysterious Mayan ruin located deep in the jungle.
Not knowing that they're in a horror movie, this quartet of holidaymakers ventures to the ruin, only to find that the natural environment isn't as welcoming of them as their holiday resort was...
Cue lots of blood, murder, graphic violence and grimace-inducing body horror, but that's expected in this "young American tourists on holiday somewhere remote" genre of film. The Ruins certainly isn't for the faint of heart, especially for people who don't like nature. We're not going to spoil what the actual threat is though, you'll have to watch the movie to find out.
The movie stars Jena Malone (Sucker Punch, The Hunger Games series, Pride & Prejudice), Shawn Ashmore (X-Men series, Frozen), Laura Ramsey (She's the Man, The Covenant) and Jonathan Tucker (Westworld, Snowfall, Justified) as its main characters, and was directed by Carter Smith. Ben Stiller is credited as an Executive Producer, but that's because of his friendship with Scott B. Smith, the screenwriter who also wrote the book that the film is based on. This certainly isn't a comedy!
When it was first released, The Ruins was a bit of a failure, as it didn't make back its budget, and it currently sits at 49% critics' and 30% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. However that's never stopped Netflix viewers from flocking to a movie before, with its top spot on the streamer's movie rankings.
Why is this? Well, The Ruins is undoubtedly gorier and edgier than your standard Netflix fare, so perhaps movie fans are enjoying this change of pace. Plus, Netflix has long been a way for people to rediscover forgotten and hidden older gems, and there are plenty of fun and freaky mid-noughties horror flicks waiting to be rediscovered.
If you've watched The Ruins and enjoyed it (or at least didn't hate it), it's worth knowing that there are actually several alternate endings to the movie that were released on its DVD but not on Netflix. You can watch the most out-there one on YouTube here.