The Ruins news reveals nothing
Hasn't anyone read the novel? I find this story funny, mainly because internet sites are going wild about it as though there's some huge big reveal on the scale of Cloverfield or something.
Well there's not. Yes the villain in Scott Smith's The Ruins (The Ruins / Amazon.com) is a plant. Big surprise, the whole novel talks about the plant from pretty early on. It's like saying "the villain in Harry Potter is an evil wizard!"...
Having read the novel, and I'd better get down to writing a review of it, I can see the possibilities for a film. It's a very different story to the one you'd expect, and the one that sites are getting themselves excited about online.
It is about a plant that's alive, but it is so much more than that, it's about the people trapped there and how they interact with each other, how the terrifying truth that they are stranded affects them in different ways, and how they react to each other as their situation gets worse and worse.
Some of it is quite shocking, and you can see the surprises could be quite hard hitting on screen, but although the protagonist is the plant, the story is about the people. More, I don't think I'll say and I'll hold off for the review which I might try and get written this weekend.
Scott Smith wrote the novel and the screenplay for the film, he is most known for writing A Simple Plan (A Simple Plan / Amazon.com), the film directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and the much missed Bridget Fonda.
This novel of The Ruins is excellent and really does take a fresh idea and bring it to life in an imaginative way, and I really hope that Hollywood doesn't decide to hack it to bits and leaves it intact.
Carter Smith is set to direct the film and the plot focuses on a group of young tourists who are bored of the usual holiday experiences and head off to help a holiday made friend find his lost brother.
Before he disappeared into the jungle on route to a Ruin and an archaeological dig, he left a small map, a map that was passed to him by the female archaeologist whom he is pursuing. So the group decided to head off and find the ruins, the team, and their friend's brother.
Once they find the site of the dig they are cornered and stranded on an isolated hill in the middle of the jungle. Trapped by an aware and intelligent plant life and the locals who fear it, they must try and find a way to survive.
Over at USA Today where the excitement began, they manage to get a quote from Smith who talks more about the plot:
"As the resilience of the characters is worn down, the plant reveals itself to be more of a foe...A foe with intellect and abilities beyond those of the average Venus flytrap."
For those of you who have read the novel and aren't so hyped up about the reveal that carries through almost every page, Smith has some good news about the tweaks made to the script.
He says that the ability of the plant to mimic voices has been removed as they thought that this would be unintentionally comic on screen. Well part of me is happy, because that does seem a rather large leap for the audience to take, but there's a really strong part we'll miss out on from losing this part.
What the voices do is start to play characters off of each other, you see the plant mimics their voices and starts to repeat conversations that some of them have had about others, totally out of context, and sounding very accusing and pointed. Then, as it learns, it begins to mimic their voices and saying things that they never said, and while some realise that this isn't real, others begin to doubt themselves and each other. This dynamic and social breakdown would be really interesting to explore, but I can see the difficulty in bringing it to life.
So yes, The Ruins is about a plant, but that's not the point. I'll try and get a review of the novel written this weekend.