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The Vines covering an ancient temple

The Predatory Vines are  the main villain in 2008' The Ruins, based on the book with same name. The Predatory Vines is a mysterious species of plants originating from Mexico, growing on an isolated temple (but potentially spread as a result of the depicted events) [1]. From time to time, someone discovers the temple only to fall prey to the devious plant.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

The Predatory Vines have made an ancient Mayan Temple their home. The origin of the plant remains unclear but based on its notoriety with the locals, size of the growth, and its shunning by local wildlife, it is safe to assume that it is centuries old. The temple cannot be found on any map. 

In The Ruins, a German archaeologist named Heinrich, discovers the existence of the temple and invites his brother, Mathias to come an visit him, only to disappear later. Mathias befriends a group of teenagers who are more than interested to interrupt their vacation to go and take a look at the temple. When they arrived at the temple, they find it overgrown with strange plant. But before they can reach the temple, locals appear from nowhere. As they don't understand English nor Spanish, the group find it hard to communicate with them. When they touched the vegetation, the locals become more disturbed and as Dimitri, a member if their party, tries to approach and talk with them he is shot and killed. It becomes clear having come in contact with the temple the locals will not permit them to leave. The reason for this is initially unclear. After an accident in the temple, which paralyzes Mathias, two of the group, Jeff and Amy, go and try to talk with the villagers but they don't want to talk with them. Angry, Amy throws a clump of vines at a local boy, who panics and is promptly executed. It becomes clear that the vines is what scared the villagers. Soon it becomes clear to group why the locals are so afraid. The vine isn't an ordinary plant, but a highly adaptive apex predator that will do everything to eat those who touched it.

As the story progress, the plants end their lives one by one, until only Jeff and Amy are left. Jeff, knowing he's infected by the plant, sacrifices himself and attacks the Mayans so that Amy can escape, which she does successfully. A few weeks later, friends of Dimitri show up at the temple, likely to undergo the same fate as their friend...

Uncut ending[edit | edit source]

In the uncut ending, Amy manages to escape with her jeep but is later to be revealed to be infected as well. The vines appear in her face and causes her eyes to bleed. This end would imply that she spread the infectious plant further but unlikely since she would end up in quarantine when she reaches the hospital and the authority will send troops to deal with the plans.

Alternative ending[edit | edit source]

In the alternative ending, Amy died indeed and was later buried. Due to the carelessness in doing autopsy, coroners never discover the vines. When the caretaker of the cemetery where she is buried, passes by her tombstone, whistling Frère Jacques, something mimics the sound. He discovers the same red flowers as where found in the temple. He reaches out for the plant as the screen cuts to black. This ending would have implied that the plant spread further to human civilization. 

Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]

The Predatory vines are the apex predator of the region and feared by the locals because of what it can do. The plant appears to be sentient as it is able to target prey and set traps. Furthermore, they have the ability to lure their prey with sounds familiar to them. The red flowers of the plant have been shown capable of precisely mimicking an array of sounds. It doesn't require to have heard a specific sound to reproduce it[3] and even sound of an artificial source, like a cellphone.[4] The plant appears to have the ability to influence its victims behavior on a psychological level.[5].As they grow to deep in the temple, they seem not as depending on solar energy as regular plant do. The vines can attack in group as well. In most cases, they kill their prey by infiltration the body of the host. Even when cut of later, the vine inside the host will continue to grow, living off it's host.[6] Removing the vines by cutting them have been proven to ineffective and will eventually led to death due to blood loss. Amputating the infected limb halts the infection but it is clearly not enough to stop the plant completely. Based on the reaction of the locals who executed one of their own after coming in contact, it can be said that the plant can enter someone's body even by minor physical contact or even by spores. [7].

Victims[edit | edit source]

Predatory Vines made se in the The Ruins (film).

Name Cause of Death Film On-Screen Notes
Henreich and his colleague Unknown The Ruins (film) No Corpses were found inside the temple
Mayan Child Killed after being touched The Ruins (film) Yes Shot by Mayan Leader
Mathias Asphyxitation: Strangled to death. The Ruins (film) Yes Prior to his death, both his legs were amputated, through means of crude surgery
Stacy Ensanguination/infestation The Ruins (film) Yes
Amy (Implied in original cut/confirmed in alternative cut) Infestation The Ruins (film) Briefly


References[edit | edit source]

  1. At the end of The Ruins, Amy escaped the temple while being infected
  2. Based on the tight secury in the film, the Mayans have been guarded the temple for ages and have quarantined people before
  3. The flowers were able to perfect mimic the sounds of a moaning Amy, something it couldn't have 'heard' before
  4. It mimiced the phone of Heinrich, Mathias brother
  5. It was able to convince Stacy that her boyfriend was cheating on her
  6. The death of Stacy and the apparent death of Amy
  7. In the film, they killed a boy after touching the plant
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