All across the country, Spirit Halloween stores have popped up. Which means, Halloween is right around the corner! My favorite holiday. It's the time of year to start getting creepy. Put out the Halloween decorations, watch scary movies, and read some horror books! And on that note, here's a few scary books I recommend you check out this year!
The Shining by Stephen King
This has become my all time favorite Stephen King book! I won't bother telling you the plot. Chances are, you know about it by now. If you've never heard of it, well, I have no clue what you've been doing with your life. Read it! The spooks stay with you for a while!
I am Legend by Richard Matheson
The book is different from the movie in many ways. And maybe I'll do a post about that in the future. In the book, people have turned into true vampires. Robert Neville spends his days hunting vampires were they sleep. At night, they stand outside his home and antagonize him. There's something far creepier about them speaking and yelling Neville's name in the middle of the night. Great book. Creepy in many parts.
Last Call by Sean Costello
There are some scenes in this book that I can vividly remember like I had watched a movie. They're intense. It's about a serial killer named Bobcat who likes female victims and a fascination with their teeth. It's a creepy story that you'll love!
3AM by Amy Cross
Don't answer the knock at your door at 3AM. Just don't do it. There's ghosts in this book and it's all about a haunted apartment complex and one woman's search for her missing Aunt. It's wonderfully crafted and creepy.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
One of the best horror stories of all time. If you don't know what Dracula is about...I don't even know how to finish that sentence. It's such a creepy book and Dracula is such a great villain. And I would highly recommend checking out the prequel book Dracul written by Bram's great grand nephew and J.D. Barker. I do no recommend the sequel he wrote, Dracula The Undead.
Flash!, Bang!, and Boom! by Roxie Prince
Alright, these are three books. That's cheating. But, they are all collections of flash fiction pieces so if you read all three, it's like reading one large book? Wait, this is my list. I don't need to justify myself. These stories are great and many of them will stick with you for a long time. And don't take my word for it. The No Sleep Podcast thought they were spooky enough to include one in their show! Trust me, you'll love the spooks from these books!
The Ruins by Scott Smith
Some college students decide to go on an adventure in Mexico and find themselves stuck on some ruins with evil vines. The vines are alive and attack and eat people. As long as the vines stay on the ruins, the world is safe from them. But these kids aren't. It's a gruesome tale. If you like dark horror, this is for you!
The Resort by Bryce Gibson
The plot is somewhat similar to The Ruins. So, if you liked that, you'll like this. Something strange is going on at Mackenzie Walker's family owned resort island. Some teens on the island are dead and something evil is killing them. Mackenzie takes in on himself to hunt down the thing responsible. A great and creepy tale!
Those are some great books that will leave you feeling creeped out, scared, and horrified. And if you're looking for something by me, I would recommend Getaway and Echoes of the Past. My two horror related books. Getaway focuses on a family torn apart by murder, betrayal, and adultery while on a family trip. Echoes of the Past follows Sasha's desperate attempt to rescue her daughter from a town gone mad. Any book on this list would be a perfect addition to your Halloween season read. Trust me!
Have you read any of the books above? Drop a comment below and let me know what you thought of them. Have some spooky book recommendations of your own? Let me know!
Hello there readers!
Recently, I read the book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I thought it would be fun to give a brief run down of the book versus the movie. Now, if you didn't know, the book was written by Ian Fleming. If that name sounds familiar, that's because he also created another classic character. None of than James Bond. Yeah, I know. Weird. The man responsible for one of the most violent, action packed, spy thriller series of all time also created a children's book about a sentient car.
Let's dive into the book vs the movie. There may be spoilers ahead. Although, we're talking about a book published in 1964 and a movie made in 1968. If you haven't checked out either by now, you probably weren't going to. Am I right? Either way, let's jump in.
So, for those of you who have seen the movie, you know it's a musical. Well, guess what? So is the book! Nah, just kidding. That makes no sense. Of course, the book wasn't a musical. But other than the name of the car being Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the family name is Potts, there's really not much the same about these two pieces of media.
In the book, Professor Potts has just invented a new type of candy that whistles while you suck on it. They make a good portion of money and decide to buy a family car. He decides to buy a wrecked junker and fix it up to save money. When they get it home, professor Potts works to restore the car. Only, he doesn't recognize a lot of the gears in gadgets under the hood. Wait, Fleming was British. Maybe I should say bonnet? Whatever. He fixes up the car and she's as good as new. The family decides to take a picnic in the new car but get bogged down by traffic. No worries! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the rescue! She flashes an indicator that calls the professor stupid and tells him to pull a lever, which he does. The car then starts to fly. They land on an island out in the ocean away from everyone else and enjoy their picnic. But when everyone falls asleep and the tide comes in, they fear they will drown. But again, Chitty to the rescue! Another lever and she becomes a boat. So, Professor Potts, being the responsible father and husband that he is, decides they should drive to France!
Once there, they drive up into a cave and realize it might belong to some smugglers as there are booby traps of sorts. But they drive through them and get to the exit, only to realize this cave belongs to a dangerous mob boss. Once again, Potts shows us what a good father he is and asks his children to gather up dynamite from the mob boss' stash and the proceed to blow the whole place up. As you can imagine, the mob boss gets kind of angry over this and ambushes the family. Of course, Chitty helps them escape and they decide to spent the night in a hotel. Note, still hasn't called the police. But hey, who's judging?
In the middle of the night, the children are kidnapped but Chitty once again saves the day. She tracks the children on a sort of radar and wakes up Potts and his wife. They fly over the city until the find the children, who are being forced to help rob a candy store, and confront the bad guys. Eventually, Potts and his wife rescue the children and the bad guys are arrested and everyone is happy. The End.
If you've seen the movie and never read the book, you're probably a little confused. Where's the island where children go missing? Where's the evil child catcher? What about how in the movie, it's all just a story and not even real? Yeah, book isn't like that at all. If you haven't seen the movie, which you should, it's almost nothing like the book. Potts is a widower and meets a woman named Truly Scrumptious, which is a nod to the ridiculous names Fleming would give to female characters in Bond books, and he takes them out for a picnic in his car. When the tide comes in and strands them all on the beach, Potts tells everyone a story about a car that can turn into a boat, fly through the sky, etc. They fly to a kingdom where happiness is illegal and children are imprisoned.
It's an incredibly different story from the book. If you haven't read the book or watched the movie, I recommend you do both. They are both great stories on their own. It was fun reading the book and seeing just how different everything was. I really can't tell which one I liked more. The movie will always hold sentimental value to me. It's one of the first movies I watched with my grandmother and was my favorite movie as a kid. The book is a cute tale and I'm glad I read it.
But what do you think? Have you seen the movie but never read the book? Let me know in the comments below!
This past week, I took a trip with my family to the Great Smoky Mountains. It was a family trip and not any sort of research for an upcoming book. Although, there is much inspiration to be had in Tennessee. Such a beautiful place. But I thought it would be fun to talk about a few of the highlights of the trips. If you know me or have been following me for a while, then you know I love camping and hiking. We did a bit of hiking so I definitely want to talk about some trails. Oh, and if you want to hear a brief story about a paranormal experience I may have had, sign up for my monthly newsletter or Patreon page. Only places you will find that story!
First thing I'll talk about is our brief stay in Senoia, Georgia. We stopped and stayed over night to help break up the drive. And to visit one of our favorite small towns. It doesn't hurt that it was the backdrop for Woodbury in AMC's The Walking Dead. We've visited a few times but there's always something new and exciting to see. And since it's an active filming location still, there's new stuff popping up all the time. Fans of the show would recognize Alexandria which is right across the street. I'll share a few photos at the bottom of the post that you can sift through.
Of course, the real trip started when we got to Tennessee. You could see the Smoky Mountains from our cabin and the view was incredible. In fact, the whole cabin was incredible. I call it a cabin for lack of a better word, really. The first night, we looked up at the stars and I broke out the telescope to view Saturn and Jupiter. The night sky is so much darker up there than Florida so it was amazing.
Let's move on to some trails. The first trail we hiked led to a place called Cataract Falls. Not sure the story behind this naming but I bet it's a funny one. The waterfall was a cool sight to see and we were able to climb a few rocks to get a close look. We also hiked a place in North Carolina called Clingman's Dome which is the highest point in the Smokies. A trail called Gatlinburg Trail. And one of my favorites, Metcalf Bottoms Trail.
Metcalf Bottoms Trail wasn't a long hike. About 1.5 miles round trip. However, it was up a mountain and back down. So it was uphill both ways. That will be funny in a second. At the end of the trail is an old wooden school house and cemetery. The school house was built in 1881. We explored a bit and realized you were allowed inside. Which was great because it started to rain so we took shelter until it stopped. While waiting, we learned that kids used to hike the very trail we had used to get to and from school. Which means, there really are people who can say they used to walk to school uphill, both ways.
If you've ever been to Gatlinburg, you know it's a tourist city with lots of giftshops and touristy things to do. We didn't spend the majority of our time here but we spent a good amount there. It helps that my wife and I have been to Gatlinburg a couple of times already. One thing that was really fun was taking a ski lift up the mountain to a little mountaintop park. We had some drinks and enjoyed the amazing views before heading back down.
There was so much we did on this trip that I couldn't possibly sit here and talk about it all without boring you to tears. Everything from enjoying a camp fire to laying out on the ground to watch a meteor shower. It was a fun trip and a great way to get away from everything that's going on right now. I highly recommend taking a trip up there if you haven't already! And who knows, maybe there will be a book based in the Smokies coming soon!
SONG WAS NOT IN THE BOOK 1/5 STARS
Just kidding. I recently read the first book- or more like the .5 book?- in The Witcher Series. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. After watching the Netflix series and loving it, I wanted to dive in to the world of Geralt and see how things panned out in the books. I must say, I wasn't dissapointed.
If you've seen the show, then you would recognize most of the tales in this book. It's made up of short story collections featuring Geralt and his quests. Much like the show, it shows Geralt going from town to town as he earns coin for killing monsters. Basically, this first book is the first season of the show. Minus the ending which really gets the plot rolling for the next season.
But enough about the show. Lets talk about the book. It's a very fun read. Geralt is a bad ass. He talks a lot more in the books than he does in the show, which is one of the major differences. It's very fun to read these tales after watching the show. I have a conundrum now. Do I read the next books before the second season? Or do I read them after? Tough call. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
Hello there and happy Tuesday.
Today, I thought I would share 3 of my favorite horror related YouTube channels. If you like scary videos, abandoned places, ghost hunting, and horror movies then you'll love these 3 channels. So, let's get started, shall we?
3. Slapped Ham
Alright, so Slapped Ham doesn't exactly sound like it's a YouTube channel for anything spooky. However, this is a channel filled with creepy and unexplained videos from around the internet. It has everything from creepy Cryptid sightings to creepy security cam footage to keep you up at night. If you're a bit skeptical like me, you'll still enjoy the channel as a lot of the videos are creepy even if they are fake. The real chilling videos are always the ones involving real murders that have gone unsolved or the last known footage of people before they were kidnapped. Those are spooky for sure.
2. Crypt TV
If countdown and list videos aren't your thing and you would prefer to watch horror shorts then Crypt TV is the channel for you. They have a lot of shorts that are all horror related. And the budget/production value of these shorts are amazing. With 3.2 million subscribers, it's not hard to see why. I wouldn't be surprised if they become a full fledged movie studio production one day.
1. Amy's Crypt
Normally in these blog posts, I put these things in no particular order. Just because one channel makes it to number 1, doesn't make it my favorite. However, in this case that's not true. Amy's Crypt is absolutely my favorite horror related YouTube channel. Amy's Crypt follows adventurer Amy as she explores haunted and sometimes abandoned places. She shares the history of the location and even performs paranormal investigations. I think the reason she comes in as my favorite channel is her skepticism. I've seen plenty of paranormal investigation channels who hear one little click from a room and scream ghost and run for their lives. While this might entertain some, I find it ridiculous. Amy's Crypt, however, does not do that. Even when she seemingly has solid evidence of something paranormal, she's quick to express it was probably something else. I share the same mentality and attitude when thinking about the paranormal so I love watching. Plus, the history and abandoned places she adventures to at night are creepy in their own right! If you're a history buff, lover of urban exploration, or the paranormal then this channel is right for you!
Those are my top 3 favorite horror related YouTube channels. Do you have one not on this list? Please, let me know in the comments below. I always love discovering new YouTube channels. And if you are looking for more horror YouTube in your life, give the 3 channels above a subscribe and don't forget to check out my YouTube channel Books by Bond which is the home of my new narrated horror story show Terror Tube. You can check out my latest video below.
It's the end of 2019, which means it's time for me to look back on all the books I read this year and pick my 5 top favorites. This year, I managed to exceed my Goodreads goal by 1 book. I read a total of 25 books and I'm happy with that. But picking only 5 out of those will be incredibly hard. I read a lot of great books this year. I also started reading the Harry Potter books for the first time. However, none of them will make this list because I have a post planned for all the books together. So look forward to that. But here are my top 5 favorite books that I read in 2019.
5. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark By Campbell Black
I may be biased here because I love Indiana Jones so much but this book was so much fun to read. And for any fan of the movie, it helped to get inside the character's head and learn a little bit more about the things that happened off screen. It was the first book I read in 2019 and it helped to kick off the new year in a good way.
4. Bang! Vol II By Roxie Prince
Roxie Prince has become one of my favorite authors of all time and a good friend. Yes, that's right, I'm friends with the author! How cool is that? Prince has 3 volumes of flash fiction horror pieces out and Vol II was amazing. One of her flash fiction pieces was featured on the popular No Sleep Podcast, so you know it's creepy and good! If you haven't read a book by Prince, you need to go read one right now! Especially her flash fiction books. They're quick stories you can read on the go. Perfect for anyone who doesn't have a lot of time to read.
3. Hangman by JC Gatlin
I should start off by saying this book was incredible. And yes, the author is also a good friend of mine. And I'm not just trying to promote my friends here. They happen to be friends and amazing authors. Besides, these are my top 5. So I can pick whichever I want! Hangman was such a fun read and I literally couldn't put it down. I had to know who the killer was. I thought I had it all figured out right up until the very end. Turns out I was completely wrong. If you love a good murder mystery, suspense novel then you'll love this book. Definitely should be added to your reading list!
2. Thanos: Titan Consumed by Barry Lyga
I listened to this audiobook while on the road to book events and conventions. It was so cool hearing more of Thanos' back story and learning more about him. While reading the book, you completely forget about the monstrous villain he becomes in Infinity War and you actually grow to like him. If you're a huge Marvel movie fan, like me, then you'll love this book!
Before we get to number 1, I'd like to shout out a couple of honorable mentions. These would be books I really enjoyed but couldn't fit them in my top 5. Nether Isle by Nicoline Evans. A fun story about ghosts and the island they try to control! Awakened by James Murray from Impractical Jokers. An exciting sci-fi read that makes you want more. Last we have, Supernatural Nevermore by Keith R.A. DeCandido. If you love Sam and Dean Winchester, you'll love this book.
1. Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker
I wasn't a huge fan of Dacre Stoker's Dracula sequel so I was a little apprehensive to read his prequel novel. However, I was not disappointed. This was such a great book that really kept the style from the original alive with a new twist. I loved the characters and learning more about Bram Stoker's life, even if it was between fictional story telling of his mixing with vampires and Dracula. If you're a Dracula fan, you're going to like this book.
So, those were my top picks of the books I read in 2019. I'm looking to reading even more books in 2020. Did you read any of the same books as me this year? If so, let me know in the comments below. And if you plan to pick any of these titles up because of my reviews, let me know that too! I'd love to talk with you about any of these amazing books!
First and foremost, welcome to the new and improved Bond's Blog! What's different, you ask? Well, the banner for starters. I hope you like it. I do. That's me as a Funko Pop on the right hand side. I'm also changing up what this blog will be about. It's going to cover book reviews, info about my writing and my books, and, occasionally, my outdoor adventures. There might be some other things here and there but this should be the format going forward. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Moving on, let's get into the review. I finished reading the first Supernatural book in the series at the beginning of February. I'm definitely a Supernatural fan. Which means, when I found out there were books as well, I had to start reading them. I'll keep this review spoiler free for those who haven't read it.
The book takes the Winchester brothers to New York. While there, they handle two cases. A haunting in the house they're staying in and murders modeled after the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The haunting was a lot of fun to read because the author puts the reader in the mind of the ghost. It's an interesting perspective and good for a couple of laughs. The Poe murders are a bit odd, even for Supernatural. It might not be the best case the boys have ever come across but it was still a fun read.
As for the characters, Sam and Dean Winchester, they were great. I really felt like the author captured their personalities well. I could hear their voices clear as day while I read and could even picture them. The author did a good job bringing the two characters to life on the page, which can't be an easy task considering the Winchesters are complex characters.
If you're a Supernatural fan and can't get enough of the Winchesters, you won't be disappointed by this book. Pick it up and give it a read. If you're watching the show live, it's a great way to hold yourself over between season breaks. And it's pre-Castiel and Crowley days. So, it's interesting to go back and see how different the boys were back then.
I'll continue to read the Supernatural books this year and I'll be sure to post my review for each as I go. Hopefully you enjoyed this review and maybe you'll pick up the book for yourself. Have you read any of the Supernatural books? Or maybe you plan to. Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and remember to keep wandering, just not alone.
Recently, I finished reading the novelization of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. The book is based on the original screenplay so it's relatively close to the movie. I should start out by saying I friggin loved this book. But, Indiana Jones has always been my all time favorite on screen hero, so I could be biased. However, I read through this book in only a week. I didn't want to put it down. Here's my review of the book. Note, there will be spoilers. But you should have seen this movie by now!
Let me start with the differences. There are a few and whenever they happened it always made my heart sink for just a moment. For example, after Marion and Indy decide to join forces, after her bar burns down, she tells Indy she's going with him. In the movie, it's one of my favorite lines. "I'm your god damned partner!" She yells, holding up the medallion. This line doesn't exist in the book. I know, trivial but I still miss it. Of course, Indy's famous line "It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage." Also doesn't exist in the book. Again, not that big of a deal. Just very iconic lines. The scene in which Indy takes the RPG and threatens to blow up the Ark is slightly different as well. In the movie, he's up on a cliff pointing down, threatening to blow it back to God. In the book, however, he gets right up in Belloc's face with the thing and threatens to kill them all. As you should already know, in the movie Belloc calls his bluff. It's a pivotal scene where we learn a lot about our favorite whip wielding hero. In the movie, he's jumped by German soldiers and forced to give up.
There's also some answers given in the book that aren't in the movie. For example, Indy knows not to open his eyes after they open the Ark. In the movie, he just shouts at Marion. Telling her to not look. But we're left wondering why and how he knows that. Before you say anything, I'm aware there's a deleted scene which explains this but since it's not actually in the movie, hush! The book includes the scene in which Indy has the medallion translated which warns to not look upon the contents of the Ark or die. Later on, Indy remembers this and tells Marion to shut her eyes. However, this next scene does not have a deleted scene and it's always been a question of mine. How did Indy get to the island in the first place? I'm aware he hitched a ride on the German submarine but how, exactly? Did he sneak around inside? Did he stand on top while they drove it above water to the destination? Well, it turns out, he ties himself to the periscope with his whip. The sub descends but leaves the periscope just out of the water, allowing Indy to ride to the island in peace. He even takes a nap!
Getting inside Indy's head is great. It brings a lot of the character to life in a different way from the movie. We learn a little bit more about him and he feels even more real. If you're a huge fan of Indiana Jones, like me, you will not be disappointed by this book. Definitely give it a read! Later this year I will be reading Temple of Doom and Last Crusade as well. So look out for my reviews for them as well.
Also, I have some exciting news to share with you. I'm now an affiliate of Amazon.com. Which means, if you sign up for Audible by clicking the banner below, you will be supporting me directly and allowing me to continue writing, reading, and leaving reviews. And audible is great. You get two free books when you sign up and every month they give you a credit for a free book. There's so much to listen to on Audible! You won't regret signing up. Click on the ad below and use booksbybond-20 at checkout! Thanks for reading and remember to keep wandering. Just not alone.
Let me start by saying, I didn't read as many books as I would have liked this year. My Goodreads goal was 24 and I came in at 20. Pretty close, though. But of those 20, I do have a few favorites that stood out to me so I thought I would share them with you today. So, let's get into it, in no particular order and spoiler free, of course.
5. Origins by Dan Brown
I guess we'll start with the mainstream title. Ever since The DaVinci Code, the Robert Langdon books have been hit or miss with me. I didn't care too much for The Lost Symbol. Inferno was pretty entertaining but I felt as if these books were missing something the first two had. Angels & Demons and The DaVinci code made bold statements about religion and science. I felt that statement was lost on the others. Then enters Origin. I won't spoil anything about the ending but I will say Dan Brown explains religion and science in such a beautiful way which happens to mirror my own thoughts. Nothing might ever be as good as the first two but Origin sure as hell came close!
4. Brimstone Hustle by Robert McKinney
I discovered this book while browsing a self-publishing Sub-Reddit page. I'm glad I did. This book was a lot of fun to read. I won't sit here and tell you it was my favorite book of the year but it was a lot of fun. The plot centers around a woman who is able to "teleport" anywhere in the world she wants by taking shortcuts through Hell. The idea was original enough to catch my attention. Of course, she uses this power to get payback on an individual and I won't say much more than that. It's the first part in a series and I really should get down to reading the rest. My only complaint, which could be squashed with the sequels, is the power could be used for so much more than your regular thriller story. But still a fun read.
3. Glass Girl by Jessyca Thibault
Poetry is not something I normally read, however, I discovered Jessyca on Instagram a while back while she was doing a free promotion for her first book Doll Eyes. I found myself unable to stop reading and finished it in one sitting. Same with her follow up book Glass Girl. If you like poetry, you must give her series a try. I enjoyed them so much because it wasn't just a collection of poems but a window into the soul of another human being. It allowed me to take stock of things in my own life and try a new perspective. And with so many horrible things in this world and all the hate, opening your eyes to another person's experiences is something we need more of. And Jessyca does this well. She's a talented author with a bright future ahead of her!
2. The Ruins by Scott Smith
Although I didn't find this book as scary as many others have, I still enjoyed every second of it. A group of backpackers on a vacation in Mexico find themselves trapped on top of an ancient ruins site where the vines literally come to life and the locals won't let them leave. The book is dirty and visceral at times but for all the right reasons. I never looked at any character as heroic nor villainous. You could feel the desperation in every choice they made and you could almost feel the utter exhaustion they felt as well. A well crafted tale of horror.
1. The Resort by Bryce Gibson
It was a tough choice between this and Gibson's other thriller, The Reading Buddy. Both were excellent reads full of suspense and death. In the end, I had to give it to The Resort. There's not much I can say about this book without giving anything away. But I can tell you the main character Mackenzie Walker works on an island with his parents running a resort. When college students come for spring break and one of them winds up dead, Mackenzie gets pulled into a whirlwind of happenings and learns there's something terrible inhabiting the island. You'll have to read it for yourself to find out what it is. I promise, it's worth it.
Well, there you have it. My top 5 picks of the year. I definitely will be attempting to read more books next year than I did this time around. What were some of your favorite books? Have you read any on my list? Or do you plan to read any of these? Let me know in the comments below.
Recently, I finished reading the book The Ruins by Scott Smith. There was a movie made about ten years ago based on the novel but I had never watched it. So, I thought this would be one of those rare moments when I would get to read the book first and watch the movie second. I'm always finding out movies are based on books after I've already watched it. I figured I could drop my opinion on the book, the movie, and how they compare. Cause the internet doesn't have enough opinions about things already. And don't forget, there may be spoilers here. You've been warned.
First, let's start with the book. I actually loved it. It wasn't as scary as some have made it out to be. Don't get me wrong, if I was on a hill in Mexico with a sentient killer vine that could imitate noises, voices, and eat human flesh, I would pee my pants and let the Mayans guarding the place kill me. But reading about it wasn't as scary an experience as I thought it would be. I loved how dark and gritty the book was. No one came off as the hero. No one came off as better than anyone. They were all scared, they were all unsure of their actions. And yes, the book is graphic but not for the sake of shock. Instead, it's primal. You get the real sense that these people are trapped on the hill and you feel dirty yourself. It puts you in their shoes. You can feel the dirt and grime sticking to your skin. You can almost choke on the fumes from human waste. It's graphic but necessary to the story. And the ending was great. No one gets out alive. I couldn't imagine a better ending.
Alright, let's move on to the movie. It starts out with a woman all alone in a dark place. She's crying out for help when something drags her into the darkness. Then, cut to our main characters enjoying life in a Mexican beach resort. Everything moves pretty quickly. They decide to take a trip out to some Mayan ruins with a man they met about an hour ago. The quick pace is actually a good thing, though. We don't need a lot of build up. The movie is supposed to be about the ruins and the killer vines. Not college kids in a beach resort. Naturally, they get warned not to go there but they go anyway. The moment they see the ruins, everything happens fast. The Mayans guarding the place come out of the trees and yell at them. Once they touch the vines, they realize they aren't allowed to leave, thanks to the Mayans killing one of the group. The pacing of the movie is pretty fast without a lot of down time. Again, not complaining here. My one complaint is of the characters. They don't feel fleshed out or realistic. Just expendable kids on a summer vacation. In the end, one of them escapes. Not a fan of that ending for this particular story.
Last, let's examine how I feel about the movie when compared to the book. At first, it starts out almost exactly like the book. The Mexican resort, the meeting of Mathias, the Greeks and everything. Though, the movie version doesn't introduce the Greeks at all. They are nameless figures in the background. I understand books have more time to introduce characters but the movie doesn't even make an attempt at this. You would hardly even know they were Greek if not for a quick one line by another character as they walk up on the group at the beach. The group arriving at the ruins is relatively the same just much quicker. Again, this makes sense as the pacing of the movie was much faster than the book. Considering the book had over three hundred pages to tell the story and the movie only has about an hour and a half, it makes sense. So I understand the pacing. What's weird, though, is all the changes made to character's fates. For example, Dimitri (called Pablo for most of the book because they don't know his real name until later) gets killed by the Mayans in the movie and Mathias falls down the well and breaks his back. In the book, it's Dimitri(Pablo) who breaks his back and they care for him for most of the book before he dies. Of course, this change may have had to do with pacing so I understand. In the book, Eric gets infected with the vine and goes crazy, cutting himself to ribbons before stabbing Mathias in the heart by mistake. In the movie, they give that part to Stacy and let her kill her boyfriend Eric. Jeff dies in relatively the same way in the movie and the book. The Mayans take him our for trying to escape in the book whereas in the movie he's merely a distraction to allow Amy to make a run for it. And this is the change I hated the most. Amy gets away. She runs to the Jeep and drives off safely. In the book, Amy is choked to death by the vine in front of Jeff but it's too dark for him to see. He simply thinks she's puking. I prefer the books ending where no one makes it out alive. Of course, in both the book and the movie, the Greeks show up to the ruins in the end. This ending makes sense in the books because we just witnessed our entire group die with no hope of escape. Now, we know what's going to happen to the Greeks. They have no chance. But following the movie's ending, we see there is a chance. The Mayans can be outsmarted. In the book, stepping into the vines meant certain death one way or another. The movie misses that mark and gives us a hopeful ending. Personally, I like the darker ending but that's just me.
Have you read the book or seen the movie? How about both? Which did your prefer and why? Let me know in the comments below. And if you haven't seen the movie or read the book, you really should. I quite enjoyed them both.