Friday, April 11, 2008

A Monster Vine?...Really?

WARNING: If you haven't read The Ruins, this will be a spoiler in the worst possible way.

I've just completed the first and only bit of novel-reading-for-pleasure since Summer of 2005, when I started studying for my prelims. Hearing nothing but rave reviews for Scott Smith's The Ruins, and knowing that I would want to have read the book before seeing the new movie, I picked up a copy and settled in with high hopes of being scared to death.

Yeah...not so much.

A vine? Really? That's all you can come up with Mr. Smith? I'm sorry, but the entire premise threw me off for two reasons:
1) there were never any damn ruins!
2) a talking, blood-sucking, really smart monster vine = Little Shop of Horrors without the music

I mean really...there were times I wanted to just giggle at the images being drawn. And for Stephen King to say it's the scariest thing since Silence of the Lambs? King is clearly smoking crack; step away from the pipe Stevie Boy!

I think my reaction is based on my belief that the scariest, most evil things usually come at the hands of Man (in the universal humankind sense). That is, while I really love, love a good scary ghost/monster story, the things I fear most are things other human beings could do (i.e. Hannibal Lector, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, etc.) I make the frequent exception for religious-based fears, such as demon possession (a really good exorcism story is fantastic), because I genuinely believe in forces of good and evil. But the whole vine thing is just too sci-fi for me. Objects of horror, for me anyway, need to be rooted in the realm of reality, some sliver of possibility.

I guess it wasn't all for nothing though; at least I know better than to waste my money on the movie!


Unknown said...

Ditto. I skipped the book and saw the movie (a rarity for me, but Jamie was dying to see the movie and didn't want to wait for me to read the book). It was...okay. I mean, there were a couple of shocking moments, but few scary ones. In fact, one "scary" scene made me burst out laughing. I've seen worse, but I've also seen WAY better. I'd much prefer a psychological thriller any day. I can't imagine anyone comparing The Ruins to Silence of the Lambs. Let alone Steven King. Incredible.

M said...

C has had this book on his night stand for months. I'll let him know he doesn't have to read it just b/c of the "reference" to Mayan Ruins! By the way, I've tagged you for a meme. Check it out at my blog.