Review: The Ritual (2017)

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Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton
Directed By: David Bruckner

What’s it about?

Five friends get together to plan a lad’s getaway. Lots of ideas are thrown around, including hiking in Sweden. Lots of ideas are also turned down. They leave the pub without having set on a plan. As they’re walking along, Luke (Spall) decides to go into the liquor store to get some more alcohol. Rob (Paul Reid) goes in with him, still talking about the hiking trip to Sweden. Two “junkies” were in the midst of robbing the store. Rob ends up dead while Luke hides in the back.

Fast forward to four friends hiking in Sweden. They pour one out for Rob at their destination, then start to head back. Dom (Troughton) falls and tears his meniscus. After looking at the map, the friends decide to cut through the forest and make a bee-line to the lodge to cut a day off their hike.

Once in the forest, they notice runes carved into the trees. They come across several other horrific scenes before it becomes obvious that there’s something living in that forest that doesn’t like them one bit.

What did I think?

This movie was… interesting. In a good way, I promise!

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I didn’t really know what to expect when I pressed play. It’s a UK movie, so I had high expectations. I tend to like foreign horror a bit more than US horror. It’s less predictable to me since different cultures tend to have different ways of telling a story.

I loved the setting. The forest is always a great choice for horror movies. The ambiance was perfect: dark, uneven and oppressive. Director David Bruckner did an amazing job capturing this story.

The characters were relatable. You had the loser (Luke), the complainer (Dom), the leader (Hutch (James-Collier)), and the nobody (Phil (Ali)). Each actor did a great job portraying their archetype, especially Rafe Spall as Luke.

The story itself did happen to be a bit predictable, but it was done in such a way that I don’t find fault in it. I was somewhat disappointed by the ending. I expected there to be a little bit more to it. It felt unfinished.

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Do I recommend it?

Yeah, it’s a great B-horror movie to watch when you want something to keep you on edge, but not scare you. You can find it on Netflix, so go see for yourself and let me know if you agree or not in the comments below!

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