The Ruins (2008)
I was kind of leery about this one as I assumed it was going to be sort of like The Cave or whatever, only set in The Ruins rather than the cave. It was way better.
About a bunch of assholes vacationing in South America who hook up with this hot German guy (Joe Anderson, who played Max in Across the Universe) and decide to foray into the jungle to meet his brother who was hanging out with an archaeologist at the ruins of an old pyramid. They are greeted by a gang of hostile locals who quarantine them on said pyramid. Then they get picked off one by one by the evil living within the ruins.
The film is slow getting going, but after that is very well paced, maintaining a feeling of impending doom throughout. It's a little predictable, but only because the film only has one direction in which it can rationally go. They also rely (mostly) more on the characters' fear and anxiety rather than disturbing images. Although, when they do use disturbing images, they are pretty fucking disturbing. Holy shit.
The film does fall into the category of don't-go-abroad-movies, and rest assured, after seeing this, if I ever venture south of Texas I'm staying the fuck put in my hotel room.
In fact, why go south of Texas when I can stay north of Maine in a nice safe province like New Brunswick (actually, I'm going to hold the assumption that NB is nice and safe until I see Jason Shipley's Blood Shed. EDIT: I have seen Blood Shed and NB is not nice or safe).
It's also a bet-on-who's-going-to-survive movie (I was rooting for Hot German Guy, but knew he wasn't going to make it and alas, he was among the first to die). Mr. Green bet on Jena Malone. I bet on the ancient evil. I won ten bucks. Spoilers.
Anyway, this movie was surprisingly well done, with a 'monster' that haunts even my waking hours... okay, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but it freaked me out while I was watching it...
Directed by: Carter Smith. Written by: Scott B. Smith based on his novel. Starring: Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Laura Ramsey, Shawn Ashmore, Joe Anderson, Sergio Calderón.