Ruin Me: A Shudder Surprise

Don’t you love a pleasant surprise? You find $20 in a pair of old jeans. There’s an onion ring in your fries. A random movie on Shudder isn’t absolutely terrible. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely not talking trash on the streaming service. Shudder is the only place to see the patron saint of pandemonium: Joe Bob Briggs. It’s also the only place I know of where you can see the absolute blood soaked delight- One Cut of the Dead. Pom! However, you can also play revulsion roulette by choosing a movie and trying to see what’s scarier — the movie or the boredom you’ll experience watching it. I’ll also divulge that I’m not paid by Shudder to write this, but I wish I was. I am a subscriber though, obviously, and I do recommend it to any horror films because horror movies- like pizza- are good even when they’re bad.

Ruin Me Poster IMDB

Ruin me starts out like your typical B movie fodder. There’s a bunch of ding dongs going on a trip to a “Slasher Sleepout” — a camping trip where you don’t get much sleep because you are terrorized by haunted house style baddies at all hours, your buddies are “killed off” at random, you are also forced to solve escape room style puzzles at every turn. If you’re taken out of the plot already because this seems unrealistic. I’ve got news for you, this is totally a real thing. The movie version is a little bit more amped-up and combines many different real life horror events such as escape rooms, haunted houses, horror themed camping trips, and a game of Werewolf (?).

Meet the jabronies. IMDB

Anyways, Slasher Sleepout aside, the jabronies venture out into the woods after being picked up, forced to sign waivers, read rules, forced to wear a sack on their heads and thrown into a van a la McKamey Manor. Their waiver pusher/ rule giver/ van driver is your typical over the top hokey redneck. The beginning of the movie is humorous, (no pun intended) campy, and cheesy. Let me introduce your cast of characters. Your protagonists are a super basic white couple. Basic boy wanted to go to the Slasher Sleepout with his bro, but his bro got a mad case of Cobronavirus and so he has to take his girlfriend. Said girlfriend is your typical Basic White Girl . She doesn’t like scary movies. Her favorite movie is Dirty Dancing. She’s quiet and doesn’t like the spooky atmosphere. In fact, she just wants to go home and is very reluctantly being dragged along. Then we meet the Edgy Couple. They both wear a lot of black and have black hair. They frequent Hot Topic. They’re huge fans of horror and escape rooms. Edgy Girl is also super sexual. During the van ride, she makes a cunnilingus joke to Basic White Girl to creep her out. Later she gets topless at a bonfire like Trash in Return of the Living Dead. Edgy! Next up, we have Nerd Guy. He’s chubby. He’s got glasses. He loves horror movies and he has an encyclopedic knowledge on them. He’s a virgin.

Basic White Girl starts Mary Sue-ing all the puzzles and somehow getting all of them right despite never having done an escape room. At one point, Edgy Boy has a puzzle involving severed fingers almost completely figured out. He’s frustrated because he’s sure that he has deciphered a word. Mary Sue comes a along and switches a few letters correctly solving the puzzle. Don’t you just hate that?

Mary Sue-ing a puzzle. IMDB

So you might be wondering why I’m praising this movie. It sounds like your typical schlock so far. And, yes, it is. I will say that it is well written and entertaining up to this point. It’s as cheesy and goofy as you can imagine that it would be, but it is as entertaining as a B movie of this caliber can be. After the movie establishes the characters and the scenario — a spooky sleepover where there may or may not be a real murderer — the movie starts to take a turn. The movie reveals that Mary Sue met her white bread boyfriend in rehab. Where she was a patient recovering from a heroine addiction and he was her counselor. From here, the twists get more and more intense. The cheesy Basic White couple is much more multi-faceted than originally let on. The movie ends up taking a lot of unexpected twists and turns. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, since I think it is truly an underappreciated gem. It starts out like a typical B movie, but I promise that if you stick with it- it’s worth your while.

I am a Co-host of the Horror Hoarders Podcast. I write movie reviews, horror fiction, and partake in the “dark arts”.