Playing tonight at Screamfest (find out where and when here)!
Directed by Preston DeFrancis
Written by Trysta A. Bissett, Preston DeFrancis
Starring Marcienne Dwyer, Matt Dellapina, Chris Hill, Eva Hamilton, John Odom, Sam Ashdown, Cameron Gordon, Rocky Rector, Tom Harryman, Alex Galick, Trenton Colbert, Traver Johnson, Jerry Maxwell, Tim Taylor, & The After Effect as the Slasher Sleepout Band!
Find out more about this film @RuinMeMovie2017 and on Facebook here
While the tone of RUIN ME seesaws back and forth a little, the film really delivers in fun winks to the slasher genre, while keeping one foot on the ground in order to effectively make the stakes feel high and dangerous.
RUIN ME is about a group of thrillseekers looking to take part in the ultimate slasher fear experience weekend in the middle of the woods. When his buddy bows out of the event, therapist Nathan (Matt Dellapina) brings his girlfriend Alex (Marcienne Dwyer) instead. A recovering addict and not much of a horror fan, Alex doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the group of die hard horror fanatics, but that distance from the genre actually makes her quite formidable when it comes to the brain teasers the group face once in the game. But as the game goes on and members of her group start kicking the bucket rather convincingly, Alex begins to wonder if this game of death is actually real.
RUIN ME is a film with many strengths, but what stands out as the strongest is its sense of humor. In the first hour of the film, the humor quotient is pretty high with most of the laughs landing on firm ground. As the tone of the film shifts and Alex begins doubting if the game is real or not and even begins doubting her own handling of the reality around her, things change rather quickly from a lighter tone to something much more somber and deadly. I knew this transition was going to happen, but when it did, the shift felt rather sudden nevertheless. The sheer terror Alex goes through is something well beyond the realm of good fun whether it’s a game or not and whether Alex gets out alive or not, her mind doesn’t look like it will ever be the same. A late in the game switcheroo takes this film even into a darker rabbit hole, losing all form of the type of humor and mirth that kept the original moments so watchable. I left this film feeling as if I myself have been toyed with pretty horrifically, and if that was the intention of the filmmakers, then they succeeded in spades.
Marcienne Dwyer is one hell of an actress. Spunky and likable, despite some questionable decisions she makes along the way. The rest of the cast, mostly made of caricatures of horror fans, are fun too for as long as they last. But the arduous trek Dwyer goes through as Alex is something that’ll move you as her story is a tragic and powerful one that one can’t help but root for.
RUIN ME is a complex little pill to swallow. If you don’t mind being toyed with by the filmmakers, I think you’ll want to experience this ultimate horror nightmare weekend. While the transitions were a bit too sudden for me, I still acknowledge RUIN ME as an effective little number with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing right along with the protagonist as to whether this is all a game or happening in the really real world.