The movie THE RUINS is pleasantly shining out from the mass of the usual slasher releases of the last years. All the characters are directly introduced finding themselves after 20 minutes right in the middle
of the plot and the horror starts. The cruelty is sometimes pretty tough, the actors act within the defined scope and the logical errors can be excused.
Responsable for that is the screen play of Scott Smith who also wrote the novel, the brilliant casting of the actors – first of all Jonathan Tucker (who convinced in the TCM Remake and HOSTAGE) – and the plain direction of newcomer Carter Smith (who only directed short movies before and delivered a convincing motion picture debut).
Meanwhile in the US besides the regular cinema rated R version there is an unrated version available on DVD and Blu-Ray. This version offers 3 extended scenes, additional violent scenes and an alternate ending.
Comment in conclusion: For american conditions the unrated is comprehensible regarding that it is common use to cut some settings of a violent movie just to please the MPAA. At least the rated R version is still tough enough to watch even without the missing scenes. But not for european habits – they cut total sequences or the uncensored version comes direct to the shops or movie theatres.
You can get over the extended scenes because it only goes into details of characters who played subsidiary roles in the film. That has nothing to do with censorship more with loss of ballast and avoiding a break in dramaturgy.
However the alternative end is much more harder and terminates the movie consistent.
At least some more annotations to this report – the compared versions are:
1) the unrated version as DVD in anamorph wide screen 2.35 and
2) the rated R version as VHS screener inflated to full screen
For this reason you could see different frame formats! (the rated R version as well is in the anamorph
Wide screen 2.35)
Furthermore the cut at min. 44:14 has to be brightened up extremely for recognizing details. My image processing software is not the best and my correction may be a bit overstated. So here too, consider that the frames are not showing the real quality.
The cutting times, as an exception, refer to the unrated version because it was technically impossible for me to get exact timer values from the VHS tape.
The squad escaped onto the plateau keeping track on the men at the foot of the ruin. After the closeup on Mathias and the following shot on the men a longer sequence is missing. While Jeff checking out the situation with his spyglass in the rated R version, in the unrated the following occurred: Mathias turns around detecting some feet covered with leaves. He suspects nothing good, starts digging out the corpse yelling (in german) : "Heinrich? Oh nein! Mein Gott, warum?....Nein, warum?" Finally he uncovers the face recognizes his brother and starts sobbing. The members of the squad are horrified.
( 61 Sec. )
While Jeff keeps an eye on the agressors he explains "They keep coming. They’re setting up camps." Someone asks from the back "Why they're doing this?" and in the unrated version there are answers:
Eric means:"Jesus Christ, they've killed 'em both! Ey, and what about the girl? What happened to her? I mean, is she okay, is she even here? What happened?"
Amy couldn’t stand it any longer: "Just stop it, okay? Just stop talking!".
Jeff now joining them asking for water and Eric wants to know the news. Mathias also joining them and while washing the blood from his hands he tells them that they are besieged and that the agressors are waiting for something.
( 23 Sec. )
Right with Erics response “Maybe their preparing for something. You know, like a sacrifice!” there are two different angles:
Version rated R concentrates much more on Amy and Eric (even with Full Screen), she faces him while he’s talking – besides its one second longer.
Unrated version: Amy looks at the ground but turns towards Eric.And a total view which show all other members.
Difference: ( 1 sec. )
The rear view on Eric, who is observing the hustle at the bottom of the pyramid during the night, lasts longer in the unrated version.
( 5 Sec. )
Before Jeff leaves the tent in the morning there is one whole scene missing. In the night Eric goes to Stacys tent and snuggels up to her. In spite of everything she starts stroking and obviously masturbating him. But all in a chaste manner, no nude skin or other snafu can be recognized – besides Amy keeps an eye on them. Before the rated R version correlates again with the unrated there’s a front view of Amy waiting in front of the tent.
Alternatively the tent is opened 1 sec. longer in the rated R version.
( 83 Sec. )
Right after Mathias yells „No !”, the cut starts. The end of this take is missing, where he yells again (“Nein, hört auf!”), disrupted by a close-up from Jeff sawing on Mathias leg.
( 9 Sec. )
The front view take, where a pan is pressed against the stump of his leg last a bit longer in the unrated version (17 fps), therefore the side view take is longer in the rated R version – there is no time difference.
Also you can see a bit longer the pan is pressed against the stump plus a tough cut on Mathias cry of pain.
( 5 Sec. )
In a close-up Jeff looks at the bloody gash.
( 4 Sec. )
Another take where Jeff cutting into Stacys leg and yet another tough cut on her face contorted with pain
( 6 Sec. )
Also when Jeff cutting into Stacys back this take lasts longer in the unrated version.
( 1 Sec. )
While the escape of Amy ends with a close-up of her face in the unrated version – something’s crawling under her skin – there is in the rated R version another take of the departing car which finally passes some kind of a borderline. In addition a close-up of her face with no crawling under her skin.
Running length unrated = ( 9 sec. )
Running length rated R = ( 27 sec. )