ArtsCinema & TV

“Ruin Me” is A Slasher Film That Is Mediocre at Best

At first glance, Ruin Me looks set to be a decent horror flick with the interesting premise of a girl being brought into a camping trip that doubles as a haunted house, and has to make it out alive when things go awry. And of course, what could go wrong eventually went wrong. This is the debut feature film for director Preston DeFrancis and honestly, it isn’t perfect. But that’s fine, and there are certainly positive points about the film. For now, however, let’s not sugarcoat things.

Ruin Me: Campfire

The film stars Marcienne Dywer in the leading role as Alex, a non-horror junkie who is brought out by her boyfriend Nathan (Matt Dellapina) to a two-day camping trip for a fun spooky adventure out in the woods. This is after Nathan’s initial buddy failed to turn up. They are introduced to the event “Slasher Sleepout” – a name that essentially explains what you can expect – both as a participant and a viewer. At the start of the event, the couple meets other participants and are introduced to the game, are given their assigned accessory packs, and become familiar with the rules. From this point on, the weird characters and tools that they are equipped with give an indication of what can be expected from the film.

Thirty minutes into the movie and there’s a sense that the script is heading to nowhere, and that the filmmakers are desperately coming up with scenes to prolong the running time. The dialogues appear unnatural, forced even. Perhaps the only saving grace was the decent cinematography, which again was limited by the environment as most of the activities take place in a forest, where the participants have to solve puzzles and riddles to get to the next step. Torchlights casually ‘run out of battery’ once it gets dark, and Alex and Nathan try to get aroused while another pair of participants casually gets it on in their tents.

Ruin Me: Underwater Scream

On top of all these, Alex has a medical problem where she sees potential hallucinations, and for which she has medication. There are occasional flashbacks that reveal a heroin overdose that she’s had recently, and which she keeps from her boyfriend. As participants of Slasher Sleepout become murdered and eliminated from the game, she must focus and determine if all these are real or simply part of the game.

As a slasher film, the thrills contained in Ruin Me are mediocre at best. Nothing new, and nothing fancy. When it comes to the actors’ performance and scripting, Dwyer isn’t too terrible as Alex. She has to keep turning down a potentially horny Nathan who keeps trying to get into her pants, and also deal with surviving the camping trip. There are also some jokes that only horror fans would understand and appreciate. Otherwise, the pacing is uneven and the film has one too many dull moments.

Ruin Me: Marina Blood

With all the flaws that Ruin Me contains, it is still a decent popcorn movie best to be watched at home when groups of people just need a casual form of entertainment. It certainly comes in time for the Halloween season when all you need is a mindless horror flick to pass time.

If all you’re looking for is a pointless, silly horror movie where all you want is just to be entertained, then yes, this is probably for you. Otherwise, I’d advise looking at the dozens of better horror movies elsewhere.

Rating: 1.5/5

Photos Courtesy of Golden Village Singapore

Ruin Me
Directed by: Preston DeFrancis
Genre: Horror
Running time: 88 minutes
Language: English
Rating: NC16

Yue Jie

Yue Jie is a film and culture enthusiast who is deeply interested in all things entertainment. Besides English and Chinese, he also speaks German and French.

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