The film is one of the finest pieces of foreign film making I have ever seen because it does what I personally love in a great horror film and doesn't rely solely on bloodshed and body counts. It has a plot - and a very good one at that.
The basic plot is that a law is passed in
The class are all drugged on a school trip and when they wake they are in a room on an island with a collar strapped round their neck that can blow up at any point. If there is more than one person alive at the end of three days on the abandoned island they now reside on, their collars will all be set off. To add to the drama, there is an extra child who is there "for fun" so watch out for him kids!
The film has a cast of unknown teenagers (yes they actually were teenagers not 20-somethings pretending to be teenagers) and each of them are phenomenal. Some characters choose to kill themselves, some run and hide, some group together to think up a plan of escape and others just wander round killing who they can and accumulating more weapons as they go. As the three days draw on, the children get more and more desperate in their attempts to stay alive (and more gruesome as a result).
The film has bizarre moments of humour, largely thanks to the wacky teacher in charge and such a clever script. It also has my all-time favourite insult - "you ugly shrimpy nit" - though that perhaps is just lost in the translation of it all.
The brilliance of the book vs the film is that it has the chance to explore the childrens' back stories more than the film really was able. It explains why they act the way they act and what caused them to form the alliances they did. It has more character and makes you really invested in their struggles. Each chapter ends with a body count "9 girls, 8 boys remain" etc which really drums in just how much of a bloodbath this is turning out to be. Though the film does that too.
So for this one I would say watch it AND read it and it doesn't matter in which order. They are both amazing.
5 out of 5 FOBLES for both!