Friday, April 4, 2008

The Ruins: Page to Screen and No Spoilers

Yep, I had to see it asap and I did. The Ruins started today and you should definitely check it out.

Released in July of '06, Scott Smith's The Ruins had a certain buzz about it that made it hard to ignore. A few months before the release, a friend of mine tells me she has this ARC I might want to read, it's about these kids and these ruins or something, it looked interesting...Ruins, I'm there. I am a sucker for certain plot elements (you'll learn that about me).

She brings it in and the first thing I notice is the huge blurb by Stephen King. Now, how am I going to resist a temptation like that? So, I went in thinking, horror story about college kids vacationing in Mexico and strange Mayan ruins, cool! 

Oh had I known then what I know now. You see, this is a case where you can't really talk too much about the story or you'll ruin the surprise. Unfortunately, the cryptic description that I did have, led me to expect something totally different than what the book actually is. I don't want that to happen to anyone reading this. I don't want to give people the impression that this book is anything other than what it is. I want people to go in knowing that they are going to read a great, harrowing, and gruesome psychological suspense novel. Sure there are horror elements to the story, sure there are some ruins, tiny though they may be, but this is by no means an archaeological horror story (what I was expecting). So, this is my attempt to enlighten because The Ruins is a fantastic book and I want everyone to like it!

The Ruins is about a group of kids vacationing in Mexico. They meet up with some other kids - 3 Greeks and 1 German - and they hang out on the beach having a good time, until the German says, "Gee guys, my brother took off to follow this archaeologist we met and he's not back yet, wanna come with while I look for him?" So they all say "Cool!" 

The group sets off, minus 2 drunken Greeks who have been left with a map so they can join up later. They find the dig site, and discover that the locals are a little uptight about their being there. Then, the locals surround them and threaten them with guns and bows and arrows so they can't leave the site. 

On to the movie! It was a good adaptation - on it's own, it's a great movie - as an adaptation, it's fairly true to the story, though not completely. They do change a few things - a couple of which I just plain don't agree with, but hey, they were changes made for movie audiences, not hard-core fans of the book. Jonathan Tucker - who I absolutely adore - stars with Jenna Malone. Ze German is a hottie who I have never heard of (UK born Joe Anderson) but has some interesting projects on his plate. I have to say that this character is the one who suffered some of the biggest changes and I wish they had left him alone. They kept in some of the elements that he brings to the story, but it comes out a bit forced since they had to lay it on another character. Shawn Ashmore (holy crap Iceman buffed up!) and Laura Ramsay round out the doomed vacationers.  

My suggestion, read the book and then see the movie and appreciate both of them for what they are. If you too are fond of Mr. Germany, let it go! And as for the other change, well, I think you'll agree that it was done for the typical Hollywood reason, but I don't want to spoil it so I won't go into anymore details! 


Cheryl said...

Thanks for the tip. I will have to check this book out. You always find the best books and have great taste.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED this book and just saw the movie clip. It's gonna be sooooo good!

Michelle Gagnon said...

Hi Becky! Ok, I'm glad to see your recommendation since I recently read the book (and loved it), and consequently had a dread fear of seeing the film. Based on the trailer it appeared as though they'd done the typical Hollywood trashing of the story, complete with scantily clad girls and strapping young men. But now i might have to give it a go...