“The best horror novel of the new century” was something Stephen King stated back in 2006. But even if that could be called an overstatement, Stephen King also said and rightfully so that Scott Smith’s novel, The Ruins, was “simply the best suspense novel of the year.” Which leads us to the question of who is Scott Smith. He’s a very unprolific novelist who has written two books and adapted both into screenplays. The first was A Simple Plan, directed by Sam Raimi. That film went on to numerous Academy Award nominations. His second, The Ruins, is our topic today.
Buried in the era of torture porn films and the many horror movies about American tourists in danger in foreign lands, The Ruins simply didn’t get the recognition that it probably deserved. When a group of foreign nationals on a relaxing vacation on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula visit a newly discovered archeological dig, what was supposed to be a cultural experience leads to our twenty-somethings being trapped and unable to leave.
Starring some of genre favorites including Jena Malone, Joe Anderson, and Shawn Ashmore, the film brought what would be considered a fairly difficult premise to the screen with fabulous results. Dark Discussions discusses the story, its differences with the novel, and in all cases your hosts believes the film is not only a hidden gem but also a top horror film of the first decade of the 2000’s.