18. The Ruins, by Scott Smith (2006)

Give director Carter Smith some kudos: When he adapted Scott Smith’s (no relation) novel The Ruins in 2008, the guy did a commendable and impressive job—working with a Scott-written script, no less. Yet we’re sure even Carter himself would acknowledge that the 2006 paperback version is the superior of the two editions.

Right down to its downright grim ending (which was foolishly altered for the movie), The Ruins does a masterful job of blending the uncertainties of being vacationers in a foreign, hostile land with the ecological terror brought about by unstoppable and lethal plant life.