Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival Review: RUIN ME (2017)

Upon hearing about the premise of this film, I was pretty drawn towards checking out RUIN ME for the Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival. The concept intrigued me, as I am a fan of slasher movies, creative plot points, and new ideas. With that being said, I was eager to check out what this film had to offer its audience.

Directed by Preston DeFrancis, RUIN ME demonstrates an intense horror experience gone horribly wrong. Along for the ride and not being a huge fan of horror, Alex (Marcienne Dwyer) accompanies her boyfriend Nathan (Matt Dellapina) on Slasher Sleepout, an extreme camping trip meant to simulate an immersive slasher movie. A frightfully fun weekend quickly turns into a test of survival as unfolding events transpire into a murderous game of life and death. Each character is faced with real and metaphorical demons, with the main goal being to stay alive and remain sane.

All slasher films basically have the same concrete foundation, housing particular elements that create this subgenre that we all know and love. It’s what the writers do to set their story apart from the rest by adding some different seasoning to the soup. RUIN ME definitely has a fresh storyline that is bound to captivate horror fans. It’s a fun and exciting idea, giving way to characters who must overcome what is placed in front of them to either work together or fall subject to their survival instincts. A thin line between what is and isn’t happening becomes a huge plot point throughout the film, creating an untrustworthy atmosphere amongst everyone involved in this dangerous game.

I did find the characters to be very stereotypical and rather unlikeable. This felt intentional, but at times they became unbearable to watch. As an audience member, you’re rather unsure who to cheer for, as even the main character’s presence seems banal and confusing at times. Although I disliked the character development, all of the acting was great and well suited for their chosen personas, with each having their own challenges to face through the duration of the film. As previously stated, this aspect seemed intentional, showcasing characters with the sole intention of being for entertainment purposes only, rather than having a deeper structure to them.

Although RUIN ME didn’t fully come together for me in the end, as I found the character’s personalities and the overuse of handheld camera shots to be a bit of a distraction, that should not deter you from seeing this film. Different film techniques and approaches appease to different audiences, creating a unique experience for each individual watching a movie. I did enjoy it for what it is, and this is a film that will please anyone looking for a movie based around campy horror entertainment, as its promising and indulging premise will undoubtedly attract any fan of the genre looking to have a good time. Check out RUIN ME in a festival near you.

Abigail Braman
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