Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On the shelf: The Ruins [so spoilery]

Yeah, so I saw Bugcrush like everybody else, and, like everybody else, I thought it was good. Carter Smith, director of that, got his first studio gig because of it, that gig being Ruins the Movie Experience. Whatever, I just saw the movie, literally, like two seconds ago. What I did before that was slog through the novel. Slog, because it was sitting in my room untouched, me only having read maybe the first quarter of the thing. About a month ago I picked it back up and sort of steadily got through it, until there was about a third left, at which point all I did was read this fucking book. I swear, it was born and raised in Awesometown (Isreal). 

Basically some young kids with lots to live for and very believable personalities go on vacay, meet a Greek and a German, then go on a trizzle to find the German's brother at some the Ruins or whatever. They get there and its all kinds of fucked up. Essentially, Scott Smith, the author, kicked my ass for about 500 hundred pages of mass market paperback (300 or so for trade). This novel is brutal. I usually don't read straight-up horror novels, not in years (I used to covet Bentley Little, Stevey Kingface, and House of Leaves was my favorite up until recently too), but Mr. Smith is an excellent character developer and scenarist. He had me by the balls the entire time. I don't wish I'd written this, but I'm glad that someone has taken horror seriously enough to have done so. Seriously, even if you think you're too good for a scary book, you will be pleased with this, I promise. He makes you feel for these people, and he makes you hope, as they do, that it's going to be okay in some way--maybe it won't be perfect, yeah, life won't be the same, but IT JUST HAS TO BE OKAY in SOME WAY, because that's the it works. That's the way it HAS to work, in life and in a novel with so much dedication obviously put into it. Why would somebody write a book just to slowly allow their characters (who they must live with basically forever) to slowly detiorate, mentally and physically, until they are gone, gone, gone? I guess the answer is 'because he can', because he does it here.

The movie is okay. Kinda weaksauce maybe? It has some gory imagery, but it's pretty flimsy and needless compared to the steady suspense and muscle of the novel. Whatever--it's what happens when you assume your audience will be made up of retards, I guess. STOP PANDERING. That is all.

Pandering to gays is OK because it is an underutilized pander.

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