Predatory Vines

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 mainly on one deserted temple but might gave been spread elsewhere [1]. From time to time, someone discovers the temple only to fall prey to the devious plant.[2]


The Predatory Vines have made an ancient Mayan Temple their home. The origin of the plant remains unclear but it based on it's notority with the local authorities and the seize of the growth, it is save to say that it is a few centuries old. The temple can't be found on any map. 

In The Ruins, a German archaeologist named Heinrich, discovers the existance of the temple and invite his brother, Mathias to come an visit him, only to disappear later. Mathias befriends a group of teenagers who are more then interested to interrupt their vacation to go and take a look at the temple. When they arrived at the temple, they find the temple, 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 one of the friends Dimitri tries to go and talk with them, he's shot on sight. It becomes clear that now they have come in contact with the temple, the locals don't want them to leave. The reason for this remained unclear for that moment. 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 panicks 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 adeptive apex predator that will do everything to eat those who touched it.

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

Uncut endingEdit

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.

Alternative endingEdit

In the alternative ending, Amy died indeed and was later buried. When the caretaker of the cemetry 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 AbilitiesEdit

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 a prey and for example enstrangle them.[3] 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 mimicing the sound of both prey animal. It doesn't require to have heard a specific sound to reproduce it[4] and even sound of an artificial source, like a cellphone.[5] The plant appears to have the ability to influence once behavior on a psychological level.[6].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.[7] Removing the vines by cutting them have been proven to inaffective and will eventually led to death due to bloodloss. 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. [8].

Victims Edit

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


  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. Mathias dies by strangulation
  4. The flowers were able to perfect mimic the sounds of a moaning Amy, something it couldn't have 'heard' before
  5. It mimiced the phone of Heinrich, Mathias brother
  6. It was able to convince Stacy that her boyfriend was cheating on her
  7. The death of Stacy and the apparent death of Amy
  8. In the film, they killed a boy after touching the plant

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