I read the book, by Scott Smith (in case you don’t know who he is, “A Simple Plan” might sound familiar), on a long flight from JFK to Kiev Borispol last year.
I have to say, my reaction to the trailer, at this point, is mixed. It seems promising, but there is that whole “Touristas” vibe there as well, you know?
The book revolves around a group of hapless tourists that are attacked by deadly, carnivorous plants. Sounds stupid, right? Well, just you wait… This is no “Little Shop of Horrors.” Because these plants release their spores quite effortlessly, effectively “infecting” a potential host, nearby villagers surround the area and will not let the tourists escape. And the plants themselves have a terrifying self-awareness that makes them much creepier than your average Venus Flytrap on steroids. The plants can torture, both physically and psychologically.
It’s a spectacularly spooky read, and it’s also one of those stories that’s incredibly easy to screw-up. If you really too much on the gross-out factor, you destroy Smith’s hoodoo, that queasy build-up of dread and hopelessness that made The Ruins such a fabulous read. I hate flying, but I was glad to be up in the air while reading this book – away from menacing plant life. Even after I got into Kiev, I eyed my grandmother’s potted violets with suspicion for most of my vacation.
Will the movie be able to properly capture the book?
Well, Jena Malone is in this, and I think she’s terrific. Carter Smith, the director, has said that he’s a big fan of the book’s incredible bleakness, and therefore, I have hope. It also seems as though the ending won’t be changed.
I’m not sure if the film will have a wide international release (and I’ll probably be abroad when it comes out), but it seems like one of those things that could really work. And by “work,” I mean invade my dreams for more than one night.