The Ritual

The Ritual

(2017)

Your darkest dreams await you.

Rafe Spall (Life of Pi) and Robert James-Collier (TV's Downton Abbey) are among a group of friends who find themselves being stalked in the woods in this British horror.... More

College friends Luke (Spall), Hutch (James-Collier), Phil (Arsher Ali) and Dom (Sam Troughton) decide to take a hiking trip in the Swedish wilderness to reminisce about old times. But the inexperienced hikers soon find themselves hopelessly lost and as night closes in, tempers start to fray and they take shelter in an abandoned shack. Inside they discover the macabre artefacts of some unknown ritual and, during the night, each of the group suffers vivid, terrifying nightmares. As their friendships begin to crack and old resentments surface they become increasingly desperate to escape the woods. But they are not alone. Someone, or something, malevolent is watching them, intent on making them face their deepest fears and ensuring they never leave.Hide

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The Peoples' Reviews

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The Ritual, with some recognisable faces, takes Adam Neville's excellent horror novel and conceptualises it for a broader audience, and in a rare moment of cinematographic history actually improves the ending of the book (which I feel becomes somewhat contrived towards the end).

The film sets a quick-march pace early on, and manages to maintain this pace up until the end. It doesn't play with the genre too much, true, but it proves that sometimes tried and tested ideas with a slight twist can... More be effective without having to reinvent the wheel. The characters are believable (as they were in the book) and the audience is thrown into their world, wondering "what would I do in that situation?".

Mild spoiler alert: This is a creature feature film, and despite the mixture of CGI and practical effects, I never felt like I was pulled out of this world unlike with some more mainstream horror films. In fact, the effects were excellent and the creature design was a stunning adaptation of a folklore that many people will not be familiar with.

This is a must watch for horror fans, and despite it's early release in the year, it is likely to end up on my top 10 horror list of 2018.Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • It may not rise above skilfully delivering horror tropes, but connoisseurs will eat up its refusal to wink at them. Full Review

  • The Ritual is an efficient, well-made if programmatic Brit horror, with good effects and a big monstrous reveal intelligently withheld. Full Review

  • If it lacks the originality and sheer muscle of the best horror fare, this does offer an astute take on fragile thirty-something machismo. Full Review

  • Entertaining, engrossing and at times genuinely unnerving, Bruckner's bad trip is one for horror fans to relish. Full Review

  • Surely the best Yank-directed horror movie about English blokes terrorized by monsters in Romania-posing-as-Sweden that you'll see this year. Full Review

  • Starting off in Blair Witch country before detouring into The Wicker Man, the film impresses with the way it deftly weaves together different horror tropes to excellent effect. Full Review

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