Twitter Reviews

11/25/07

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I'd heard this was the best horror novel of 2006, and been wanting to read it since; I finally got around to it and it was definitely worth the wait. This the probably the most intense book I've ever read, a real page-turner. Usually I read a chapter or two of a book a night before I go to sleep. But I couldn't stop thinking about this book while I was reading it, and did a rare thing, and read it during the day. Finishing it in a couple of days, instead of the usual couple of weeks.

The book is about a group of young adults trekking into the jungle to look for one of the guy's brother, whose been missing for a few days, following a girl to some remote ruins. Deep into the jungle they go, finding a small village whose residents try to scare them away. The group stumble across a small hill covered in beautiful foliage, surrounded by a clearing in the vegetation. Once they make a move towards the hill, the villagers turn from trying to chase them off, to forcing them to stay there.

They find some tents at the top of the hill, along with some other signs of recent activity, but they are unable to find any people. Things start to go from bad to horrible really quickly. People are badly injured, they've brought no supplies, the villagers threaten them with death if they try to leave and there is a mysterious force far worse than anything else they're faced with.

The book takes us inside each of the characters heads as they deal with their horrendous situation. Some of them are expecting to be rescued, some trying to figure their own way out, and some waiting around to die. I won't ruin what the mysterious force is if you haven't read the book, but I expect it to work for some people who are more willing to suspended their disbelief; but if you like realism, this isn't the book for you.

Of course a movie is already in the works. The first teaser trailer is below. I expect that they'll get the events mostly right, but without being able to see into the character's minds, the effect can't possibly be the same. I expect those who've read the book will enjoy the movie more, knowing what's going on in the characters head. The situation is enough to make a good horror film out of, if they do it right; it could be great or hokey, most likely somewhere in between. I hope it's half the film that A Simple Plan is, the movie based off of author's Scott Smith's first book.


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