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The Ritual: A Fantastic Horror Film That Delivers on Every Level

March 30, 2018

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The Ritual is a very good horror film that delivers on almost every level. Director David Bruckner (The Signal, V/H/S) and writer Joe Barton have delivered a neat lost-in-the-woods thriller that features solid performances, creative cinematography and a badass monster that I want to see more of. The Blair Witch-esque plot and obligatory “people get lost” twist may feel familiar but I liked how The Ritual quickly moved away from familiar tropes and proved itself to be more than the sums of its parts. Don’t let the familiar territory jade the experience because The Ritual builds to something totally original and memorable.

The Ritual revolves around four long-time friends getting lost while hiking in Sweden and having to deal with a murderous creature. Luke (Rafe Spall), Phil (Arsher Ali), Hutch (Robert James-Collier) and Dom (Sam Troughton) are on the trip to honor their friend Robert (Paul Reid) who was killed during their last “guys outing.” The death of Robert causes the groups already fraying friendship to further unravel and as they hike through the beautiful Swedish wilderness you can tell that they would all rather be somewhere else.

Their hiking is anything but smooth, and they are forced to take a shortcut when Dom hurts his ankle when he gets too carried away while bitching about the hiking, From there, they find a spooky cabin, see some terrible things and are harassed by a large creature that looks like a human, giraffe, and elk joined together and formed something terrifying.

They are looking at something really gross.

There has been a legit amount of press about the monster (here, here, here, here, and here) and I like that critics and audiences appreciate it and respect the work that was put into creating it. Very rarely do I see something and think “I’ve never seen that before,” and I’d rank the beast alongside the monsters in The Host, The Descent and Attack the Block. I just watched the movie again and was more impressed by the monster because I appreciated how much creativity and thought went into making it look awesome. It is an elegant creation and if you listened to our recent two-hour podcast about The Ritual (it’s excessive but awesome) you will hear all about how Bruckner and crew made it happen.

If you are into horror films that make familiar tropes fresh via interesting monsters, solid performances and A+ cinemtography you will love The Ritual.

Make sure to read John’s review as well. He really loved the movie.

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