By Author Scott Smith who also wrote The Simple Plan, later made into a movie starring Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, and Bridget Fonda. Oh and directed by Sam Raimi – The Evid Dead dude. I both read and saw the film The Simple Plan. Oops I’m supposed to be writing about The Ruins. Let me redirect.
Anyway, with The Ruins, Smith writes a suspenseful, gory book about young American tourists trapped on the ruins of a Mayan temple in Mexico. Local Mayas will shoot them dead if they try to leave, and eventually, the vines that grow all along the pyramid-like structure will kill them. They are nasty things, these vines. They pry into the skin, strangle the neck, and their flowers are like mouths and they mimic the screams of its victims and replay personal conversations to pit the survivors against each other.
The book and the film (directed by Carter Smith) pretty much tell the same story with some variations. What happens to certain characters in the book happens instead to other characters in the movie, etc. The endings are different. The book goes for a hopeless conclusion while the film has an inkling of hope.
Book or movie? Hmm. When working out my decision, I kept alternating between “a tie” or “the book as the winner”. But since I reserved one option for the book as the sole winner and no option for the film as a standalone victor, then I have to go for the book.