The Ruins, a Jena Malone-led body horror film in which a group of young people finds themselves trapped among bloodthirsty and body colonizing carnivorous plants.

While his latest genre outing, Swallowed, which premiered at the Overlook Film Festival this month, may have left the killer foliage behind, the squirm-inducing body horror and bodily penetration remain — as does Malone, albeit in a more villainous role this time around.The film focuses on two friends, Benjamin (Cooper Koch) and Dom (Jose Colon), on the last night before the former is set to leave their backwoods Maine town for the bright lights of Los Angeles and a career in gay porn.

The sexual tension and emotional connection are palpable between the friends, although Dom professes to be straight. But their bittersweet goodbye goes awry when the two get roped into a smuggling scheme by Malone’s Alice, one that first turns violent, then horrific, then ultimately grotesque. (There’s a haunting “extraction” scene that audiences won’t soon forget.)The film is unquestionably “queer horror.” To a person, every character that appears on-screen lands somewhere within the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and you get a strong sense this is exactly the kind of horror film that writer-director Carter craved when he was growing up queer in rural Maine.