The Ritual (2017)

I`ve waited and waited (and waited a bit more) for this movie to finally arrive and after reading the novel written by Adam Nevill my anticipation levels simply soared to high expectations.

Thankfully the movie was bloody fantastic and any lingering worries I may have had that it may not be as good as the book have been firmly erased.

It stars Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, and Sam Troughton - four friends who embark on a camping / walking trip through the Swedish mountains in honour of another friend (Robert) who sadly lost his life during a botched robbery that saw one of the assailants attack him with a machete leaving him for dead a few months prior.

Rafe Spall plays Luke who was in the shop when Robert was attacked and killed but he hid away without even trying to save his friend - to which he now lives with the guilt and its Luke who will play a bigger role in The Ritual than perhaps any of his three companions Hutch, Phil and Dom.

As the four friends hike across the wilderness, Dom twists his knee and struggles to maintain the same speed as the other guys so when Hutch says there is a quicker way to get to their destination and that its by going through the dense forest, all four agree to the detour and off they go.

The Ritual is a very good movie that fuels the suspense by not knowing what exactly is going on in the forest. The writer (Adam Nevill) and directer David Bruckner use the locations perfectly well to highten the viewers senses.

We get to see the proverbial 'cabin in the woods' where all manner of strange and creepy things happen.
And then we get a monster that lurks in the forest biding its time before unleashing itself on the unsuspecting friends.

But to top it all off we have some strange village folk who maintain peace and order with the evil within the forest as they offer up sacrifices - in this case, Luke and Dom!

All in all there is enough going on in this movie to suit most horror fans.

Some may say its a little slow in places as the pace doesn't pick up until the last half-hour or so but its the slow build up of tension that makes this movie.

Sometimes its nice to not be forced fed gore and torture just for a quick fix. Its great when a movie takes its time to tell a backstory and then build upon that as the movie progresses. In this case we see a tale about coping with grief and ultimately the guilt that weighs heavily on one of the friends shoulders - namely Luke.

So whilst The Ritual may lack in gore, torture, sex or any nudity - it more than makes up with a genuine horror story about something evil lurking within the woods and its fair to say that this movie will be compared with the likes of The Blair Witch Project in years to come.


The Ritual (2017)

Synopsis (IMDB) : A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that's stalking them.

Directed by : David Bruckner

Written by : Adam Nevill

Cast :   Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton, Paul Reid

My Rating :

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