So on Friday afternoon I headed out to see a 2:30 showing of this flick with a couple friends. I was super psyched to see it (I totally loved the book) although I toned back psychedness when I realized this movie wasn't being pre-screened for critics. And marketingmachine-wise there was an audible pop noise when they pulled the plug on selling it. But whatever! On the way there I picked up a turkey wrap with swiss, a plastic container of watermelon, a Snapple Green Tea with Lime, and a candy bar that I forget the name of. (It was foreign but it said 'mint' on it so I bought it. It was a little too mushy inside.)
I forgot my storage bag for all the food goodies so I ended up pushing everything inside my coat and holding it closed like the dude in Animal House stealing from the supermarket. I looked pregnant in my chest. Blatant smuggler. I gave the ticket ripper my ticket and he cooly said, 'Whatever you are concealing in there-- please throw it out when you're done....' I assured him I would and respected that balance between acceptable policy breach and good employee-ness.
Anyway, we get our seats and it seemed like the audience was filled with wise-ass teenage girls. Like in the very first 'shock' moment they made a point of screaming their heads off extra loud on purpose then laughing hysterically afterwards. But I didn't really mind. They got quiet soon after when the next couple scenes were girls prancing around in bikinis and a nice nekkid shot that included boobs, shadowed va-jay-jay, and butt.
As the flick introduced the characters, dude, chick, friend chick, boyfriend, foreign dude, other dude-- I flipped through my Cliff's Notes style memories of the book to try and place these new faces on the faces I saw in the pages. To see if they clashed. But the memories were all blurry so the imagery of the book merged smooth into what I was seeing on screen and I was psyched to see it all come to life... knowing what was coming.
(To make a long story short summary. Here's what this movie is. Dumb college kids go to an ancient Mayan ruin that is covered with vines. The vines are bad. Don't touch the vines. Vines are bad. Don't touch the vines! Because the vines are bad! Wait! Don't! Uh oh you touched the vines!! Now you're f--ked, stupid.)
There's alot of this movie I could pick apart if I felt like it. There are some logic problems to how the Mayan people acted. The no-where-ish personality of the characters. And the rushed ending and blah blah. But the desire to nitpick at this thing gets totally overrode by the relentless fun terribleness of their situation and the juicy bone-snappy skin-crawly gore! I gotta admit this flick creeped me out much more than I was expecting. I was friggin snap jolted once or twice and a few of the 'torture-y' sort of scenes made me groan loud and laugh at the high-wire horribleness.
This flick is getting roped in with the ultra-terrible Touristas and some other 'torture porn' style recent crud but I think that's an unfair placement. I do think this movie is better than that uncoof trash. It had a tight new setting and a creepy fun villain. And I felt the desperation from these no name unlucky suckers dealing with death vines alot more than the usual hard nippled what's-her-name-again half-star tied to a chair with mascara running down her face as someone approaches with a metal tool... Yawn.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- I was scared the vines were gonna look all sucky-- but I thought they were
- For the most part the changes from the book weren't all stupid.
- Any gross scene having to do with legs was extra good.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- The whole thing felt a bit like a joke.
- I thought the last couple minutes was lame leading right out into the stupid choice of end song credits.
- There are nagging logic problems throughout.
All in all, if you dig creepy and have the stomach for some fun groan out loud terribleness-- I say go see this thing! There's something slightly comforting about the fact that you can't really picture yourself in the situation. It makes it more fun comedy then horrible horribleness. Like in Saw (although I think all Saw movies suck) they try to make you place yourself in the situation. With something like this you're just watching these dopes go down the tubes piece by piece-- and it's nice that it's really nothing personal.