Friday, April 11, 2008

You had all of them on your side, didn't you? Didn't you?

Ha. I'm clever.

A week ago I went and saw The Ruins in the theater.
Today, I finished reading The Ruins - the book on which the movie was based.

I enjoyed both works, but the book was a LOT better. In fact, yesterday, when I was around the 200 page mark, I said aloud to Steph, "Man. I wish they had made this into a movie."

Because while the movie was pretty faithful to the book, quite a bit of the pieces of the puzzle were changed. It's almost like both of them were telling the same story, but the book said, "It happened like this," and then the movie said, "Well, kinda. But I think it happened like this."

And now, it's time for spoilers for both the movie AND the book, so only highlight if you don't mind having the story RUINed. (Hee!)

Movie spoilers:
I enjoyed the movie - there were several twists I did not see coming *at all* (namely: Dimitri getting shot at the beginning [holy crap!], the plants imitating the cell-phone ring [creepy!], the rope snapping), and there was one time where I actually jumped, even though I knew a 'scare' was coming. I think that it was when Amy was down in the shaft and examining the vines, but I can't remember exactly.

Another neat thing about this horror movie was that the 'killer' didn't really do much of the killing. The vine itself really only killed Mathias, after he broke his back and had his legs cut off. (Which, dude. Yuck.) Oh, and the girl at the beginning. But the rest of the deaths were due to the characters turning on each other and being all paranoid/scared/whatever.

The only complaint I really had with the film was that the ending seemed kinda weak. I was really expecting a different ending - an epilogue where it showed Amy getting back to civilization, but showing that she was infected with the vine. (Although had that happened, I would've no doubt complained that it was predictable and lame. [um. because that ending kinda is]) But *not* following up on what happened to her? That's just ...oookay. ?
And then showing the Greeks arriving was just like, "All right. So?" I mean, we didn't really know those characters, and yeah, it was showing that the cycle was continuing, but... I don't know. The entire ending seemed weak.

But up until then, I pretty much enjoyed the ride. I even turned to my coworker at one point (there were maybe 30 minutes left) and said, "I don't think that any of them are going to make it." Which I thought would've been a really ballsy ending. I mean, in horror movies one of the people always survives for the sequel. Right? You can't kill off all your protagonists. (I'm sure there are movies that have done this in the past, and feel free to tell me what they are, but I do know that it must be really rare.)
So maybe that was another reason the ending bugged. I was expecting the mother of all downer endings, and instead was left with an open-ended "she got away and that's all you need to know". Bah.

Book spoilers (with some movie thrown in):

Wow. Killing off all your protagonists really is a ballsy move.
And the vine is a LOT more insidious in the book than in the movie. That plant was just out and out evil. Taunting them. Laughing at them. Using their voices (which was also done in the movie, but much clearer in the book) against them. The trap that it set up in the shaft... The food odors.

And the acid sap was brilliant. They should've had that in the movie, because it raised the stakes a LOT. Not being able to destroy the plant without being physically harmed just makes it that much more formidable a foe.

It's interesting, though, how different characters met different fates. I mean in the movie, Dimitri gets shot before even going up the temple. In the book, he spends most of the narrative being called Pablo - and he's the one who breaks his back and has his legs amputated.
That was another better difference - the relationship between the 4 Americans and Mathias and the Greeks was much more believable in the book. The movie happened too sudden. In fact, until Mathias broke his back (in the movie), I was actually suspecting that he was leading them to the Ruins on purpose, and that he was going to be the bad guy. (Which is hilarious, since in the book they discus a movie version of their ordeal, and they state that Mathias, being the German of the group, would be the bad guy -"Nazi"- in the movie.)

I would like to have more backstory/explanation about the plant. And the Mayans' relationship with it. And how often does it actually get victims?

Overall, the book was quite engrossing, although depressing.
Unless you're rooting (ha!) for the plant. In which case it's the feel-good novel of the decade! The plant totally ate those young jerks! Go, plant!!

Now, though, I don't have anything to read anymore. Bummer.


Amy said...

I don't think I have any particular intentions of reading/watching this, at least not a lot, and yet I'm still not reading the spoilers. I don't know what's wrong with me.

BUT. Your comparison of the book and movie made me think of Clue. Would the movie have been better if they'd done it like Clue?

P@ said...

"Would the movie have been better if they'd done it like Clue?"

The answer to that is a resounding "YES!", regardless of the movie you are talking about.

Also, I now am picturing Tim Curry giving a rapid-fire explanation of how all the deaths took place at the end of the movie, and it would be hilarious.