Friday, December 19, 2008

Another wasted spot in the Netflix queue

I can see how people didn't like the Ruins, the novel, as it was grim and depressing, but it is hard to see how anyone could like the Ruins, the movie, as it was a compressed version of the story with nearly all the best parts removed.

The book quickly got the characters to the titular Ruins where they find themselves trapped and then hunted, but a teasing, slow moving enemy. The best part of the book was seeing how these characters dealt with their impossible situation. The characters are trapped on the roof of a ruined Mayan temple with threats all around. The overall feel was one of horrid claustrophobia. While they may feel safe from the enemy outside, it is the one within the Ruins that is truly terrible. This foul enemy is quite cruel in the book as well, it is both intelligent and wicked in its taunting of the trapped tourists.

The movie, which finishes in an all too quick 90 minutes, has no time for characters or for atmosphere. Instead, the story barrels along showing us the happy tourists turned into trapped, scared and then dead tourists. We see some flashes of cruel menace in the monster among the Ruins, but for the most part, it is without character, and could be any other faceless killer.

Scott Smith, author of the book, wrote the screenplay which makes me wonder if the director ripped his screenplay down to the barebones or if he has a different viewpoint on what made his novel work. If you are considering watching the movie, don't. Read the book instead.


tiddlybits said...

I was just pissed that the movie left the possibilty open for a sequel.

Tripp said...

I suspect (hope?/pray?) that the box office performance will preclude a sequel. But yes it is possible...