The Ruins is a 2008 natural horror film directed by Carter Smith in his feature film directorial debut, and written by Scott B. Smith, based on his 2006 novel of the same name. The film stars Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore, Laura Ramsey, and Joe Anderson. The story follows a pair of couples on vacation in Mexico who join a tourist to visit a remote Mayan ruin, that unfortunately is inhabited by a carnivorous vine growth. Stuart Cornfeld, Jeremy Kramer, and Chris Bender produce, with Ben Stiller serving as an executive producer.


In a brief prologue, a woman crouches alone in darkness, and screams for help before she is dragged by an unseen force. Two young American couples — Jeff, Amy, Eric, and Stacy go on vacation to Mexico. They meet Mathias, a German tourist, who is looking for his brother Heinrich. His last known location is an archaeological dig at a remote Mayan ruin in the jungle. They are also joined by Dimitri, Mathias' friend. The group reaches the ruins of a Mayan temple, and are confronted by Mayan villagers armed with knives, bows, arrows, and a gun. Mathias tries to explain their purpose, but the villagers do not understand Spanish or English. When Amy accidentally steps on some vines, the villagers become extremely agitated. Dimitri approaches the villagers, hoping to appease them, but they shoot and kill him. The rest of the group flees up the steps of the ruins.