The Ruins


Jonathan Tucker as Jeff
Jena Malone as Amy
Shawn Ashmore as Eric
Laura Ramsey as Stacy
Joe Anderson as Mathias

Directed by Carter Smith

In his 2006 novel “The Ruins,” writer Scott Smith demonstrated that good ol’ David Cronenberg-esque bodily invasion can still give you the shivers and that there’s still plenty of frights left to mine not involving serial killers, hellish traps, ghoulies and ghosties. He did so through a blunt, brisk prose festering with paranoia and flayed flesh. It distilled horror right down to the grisly basics, furthermore, featured a vivid quartet of fully-realized characters – whether you liked them or not is a different story. Lest we forget Stephen King dribbled kudos all over the book’s jacket art (“The Ruins is your basic long scream of horror.”). In essence: This baby was primed for the big screen the minute its author set his words to paper. Two years and a production deal with Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films later, the story has snaked its way onto celluloid and, with it, no bone goes unexposed, no drop blood is wasted and none of Smith’s original gruesome set pieces are left behind. “The Ruins,” a painstakingly faithful adaptation, adds a few wicked surprises and is every bit packed with the concentrated dread that made your skin crawl in the novel.

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