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Ruins, The (2006)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Ruins, The (2006) Author: Scott Smith

Two young American couples, along with a Greek guy decide to help a German guy go find his brother, who left with a woman two weeks before. They end up getting lost but eventually find the campsite, which is where there was an archeological dig was happening. However, they just find the remains of some tents and some clothes. What happened to these people? They soon find out that it's because of a local plant - which covers the entire hillside they are on. A carnivorous plant. They try to leave the area but the locals will not let them leave the area where the plant grows. In fact, they notice that there is a very distinct border where nothing grows all the way around it. The natives know what the plant is and what it can do and they are feeding it. When someone stays in a spot too long the plant starts growing over them. When they tear it away and get the sap on their flesh the sap burns. And then there's those red flowers.

THE RUINS is an undeniably creepy novel and a lot of it has to do how it is written. . What works best is that the author doesn't have the characters speculate so much what the plant is or where it comes from. They are so busy trying to survive, to hang in there, that there simply isn't time. I know they are going to be making a Hollywood movie of this soon and I suspect it won't translate to the screen very well for this very reason. I also think that CGI of a killer vine won't be very frightening.

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