Ruin Me follows a girl who attends a horror retreat with her boyfriend when his buddy drops out. Despite not actually being a horror fan she finds herself fully immersed in an experience designed explicitly for genre nuts. The problem is she starts to notice that things aren’t what they seem and the camp might be less camp and more real horror nightmare.
It’s hard to go into detail about this movie without spoiling anything, but it is a movie that relies heavily on playing with expectations and always questioning what is real and what is staged. The problem lies in the execution of this concept. There is not enough balance between “oh this is real, oh this fake” so it never exactly achieves that haunting question of oh my god I don’t know what’s happening right now.
Beyond that, the movie suffers horribly with pacing and backstory. There is a driving force behind why the girl is at the camp, but it’s kind of pushed on you and never fleshed out, so the impact of the climax was more disappointing than overwhelming. Not only that but there was very little in the way of tension because things either happened all at once or not at all.
I never felt gripped by suspense, and there wasn’t enough crazy horror camp to make up for it on the other end.
Still, it’s not a bad movie. The concept is cool, even if underdeveloped, and there are some good scenes. Also, the set up for this camp had me totally on board. I just feel like there was some disconnect between the end goal of the film, the set up to get to that goal, and details getting muddled throughout. Every piece on its own is not bad, not great, but not bad, but more importantly, the pieces never entirely come together.
I would say watch it, just don’t expect greatness. However, if the people behind this work together in the future (or even on their own) greatness could easily be achieved. There were some good bones to Ruin Me, the meat just never came together.