“The Ritual” – A Film Review

Name: The Ritual (2017)
Genre:  Horror
Rating: 8/10

Tagline: “They should have gone to Ibiza” originally “They should have gone to Vegas”

A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them.

MY TAKE  (Spoilers possible): 

First, can we just take a minute and reflect on how much Netflix is killing it?! OK, so I was laying in bed and thought I’d give Netflix a scan for something to fall asleep with. The app loads and the trailer for The Ritual starts playing. I’m instantly hooked, so I click play.

The Ritual is a fantastically dark and gritty film. Part of what makes it so good is the mixture of real life relatable situations meeting up with the bizarre world of what goes on in the deep woods at night. Shot on location in Romania the cinematography of Andrew Shulkind sucks you into the darkness where the sound and visual teams play with your senses. The location is gorgeous. 

The film starts with a group of friends planning a hiking trip, and then shit goes sideways when two of the guys are held up at a liquor store by some junkies. One guy cowers in the corner while his friend is killed. Cut to 6 months later the remaining guys are completing the hike in memory of Robert played by Paul Reid (Raw, Vikings). After making a rock memorial for Robert the remaining cast played by Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The BFG), Arsher Ali (Line of Duty, The Missing), Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey) and Sam Troughton (AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Robin Hood) decide to take a “short cut” through the woods to try to finish their hike faster.

Now this may sound like something that’s been played out a million times in horror, and the premise has. Group of people lost in the woods, hearing sounds, and so on. It does have a little “Blair Witch” vibe to it. And honestly with some tweaking it could have been a better sequel/reboot/whatever you want to call it, then the one that came out 2 years ago. With that said it doesn’t play out like the “same old, same old”. It feels fresh and sucks you in. The tension with the guys is fantastic and the banter feels genuine, like chatting with your buds. 

From the time they reach the house in the woods, about 25 mins (not even quarter in) this movie is off to the races. I don’t want to give any more away, but personally this was a major win. I was entertained the entire way through the film. I can’t say enough good things. It’s incredibly well acted, great effects, sound, I dug everything about this film. I’m not saying if you don’t like it we can’t be friends… but…

Check it out!

Have you seen the film? What did you think? Leave a comment below I want to hear from you!

… Run along kiddies …





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