$34.99 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 PARAMOUNT


$39.99 2.35:1 DOLBY TrueHD 5.1 PARAMOUNT



Scott Smith's(A SIMPLE PLAN) page-turner, "THE RUINS" created a huge stir two summers ago, especially after Stephen King praised it as a masterpiece. It was unique in many ways, including the fact there were no chapters, as it was meant to be read straight through, due to its gripping power. The film version was released and became a short-running box-office failure. Fortunately, PARAMOUNT has released it on both dvd and blu-ray and it may have the chance to find its rightful audience. The film, adapted by the original writer, stays close to the novel. Post college graduates, on a run-filled Mexican vacation, decide to journey off from their resort with a German friend they've made, to visit the excavation site which his brother had recently gone to, with a girlfriend, only to not return yet.  As soon as they reach the site, things go from violently bad to even worse, and things will not let up until its horrifying conclusion.  Without giving much away, the only problem with the book is actually fixed within the film. There's a certain horrific device relating to an alien or supernatural type of vine, that just didn't seem believable in the novel. Somehow, the special effects, direction and cinematography all come together and make this pivotal aspect work without a hitch!

There have been some minor changes, which actually deter slightly from the novel, and diminish some of what could've made the film nearly great. But, all-in-all, "THE RUINS" manages to hold its grip, and succeed as a tense, rapidly paced "minor" horror film.

PARAMOUNT has released the film on dvd in its theatrical and "unrated" version, and on blu-ray in "unrated" version, alone.  There's virtually nothing of note differentiating the two, although the "alternate" ending will probably satisfy as many as it disappoints, but either way, it keeps in step with the novel's dark conclusion.

PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for both formats(16:9 enhanced for dvd, 1080p/VC-1)for blu-ray.  While both formats look great, the dvd is notably softer than the blu-ray, and colors aren't as well balanced. The blu-ray offers perfectly saturated colors and vivid depth and resolution. Scene after scene jump off the screen with detail. It's still a bit soft in places, but not nearly as much as the dvd. Some of the darker scenes on blu-ray and dvd lack the detail we'd have preferred due to less than inky blacks.

PARAMOUNT provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for dvd, and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for blur-ay. Both are aggressive and engulf the audience right from the start. Dialogue, music and layers of effects are well balanced throughout, but the TrueHD mix offers better bass and dynamic range.

The same extras are included on both, including some deleted scenes, audio commentary and alternate ending.