Runtime: 87 minutes
Starring: Marcienne Dwyer, Matt Dellapina, Chris Hill
Director: Preston DeFrancis
Synopsis: Six strangers sign up for a slasher movie re-enactment, in which they are dropped into the woods and pursued by knife wielding assassins. But when the body count becomes real, Alexandra must unravel the mystery of who is responsible if she wants to survive the ordeal.
★ ★ ★
Ruin Me was my second pick at a Shudder Exclusive film since I decided to take advantage of their seven-day free trial. It’s basically a horror-themed Netflix after all, so it’s right up my wonderfully twisted street.
What struck me first and foremost about this film was the diabolical acting in the very first moments of dialogue, which really didn’t give a good first impression. Perhaps I started off as being too critical, but I was ready to jump ship and find something else right there and then. Thankfully I didn’t, as despite that rocky beginning, it got a little better the further it progressed. The questionable acting approach could have even been explained by the ending, if I wanted to go that deeply into character analysis. I’m saying no more in that regard.
I’m a huge fan of plotlines just like this – strangers putting themselves in such extreme, yet supposedly fake situations, where they essentially need to sign waivers for the potential abuse they’ll receive. But such games can go dreadfully wrong, right? It could be considered a little predictable, or a lot predictable these days, as it’s been done before, but so has everything. The very relevant question of what was real and what wasn’t was, in my mind, quite enjoyable. I like when I’m kept guessing, even if the outcome can only go one of two ways with a premise such as this.
Staying true to the cliches of the slasher genre, the characters were typically cliché; the overly sexualised and unstable gothic couple, the one that supplies humour, and the apparent good girl with a mysterious background. Due to Alexandra’s history, which became established over time, it attempted to use it as a tool to incite distrust over her very frightening experiences. I can’t say it did it very well, as it was clear there was no basis for suspicion – she was a recovering addict, not psychotic.
Perhaps unlike the norm, gore was largely absent. There were some scenes with a minimal amount of blood, but hardcore lovers of viscera would be disappointed. I wouldn’t blame this on a low budget, but on the fact that the plot relies on being vague in terms of death. Graphic disembowelling and decapitation would clearly give the impression that the danger was indeed real, thus diminishing the whole point of the movie.
The ending included a couple of twists, and I admittedly knew that one in particular was coming from early on. There were hints throughout that weren’t all that hard to follow, but I appreciated it regardless. What would a slasher be without a far-fetched revelation to tie it all together?
Whilst I wouldn’t consider it a favourite, it did its job in entertaining me for its duration. I can’t say the same about a lot of horror films these days.
© Red Lace 2018