The Ritual (2017) Movie Review
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: David Bruckner
Producers: Jonathan Cavendish, Richard Holmes
Writers: Joe Barton, Adam Nevill
Date Released: September 8, 2017 (Film Festival Date)
Rafe Spall as Luke
Arsher Ali as Phil
Robert James-Collier as Hutch
Sam Troughton as Dom
Paul Reid as Robert
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Following the tragic death of their friend Rob (Paul Reid), university friends Luke (Rafe Spall), Phil (Arsher Ali), Hutch (Robert James-Collier), and Dom (Sam Troughton) embark on a journey to the Swedish wilderness to honor Rob. The group soon loses track of the correct trail and ends up having eerie experiences – seemingly being caused by a creature in the forest.
The creature in the movie seems to be satisfied whenever it disembowels and impales its victims on tree branches. Given this, viewers of the movie should brace themselves with such sight. The way Rob dies can also make one flinch in surprise. Despite the possible shock these scenes may cause, the general gore factor is tolerable.
The Grave Review
The Ritual (2017) does a great job in depicting eerie sound effects. The scenes where the characters would be attacked easily exhibit remarkable sounds and visuals. One thing I did not like about the movie, though, was its cliché presentation of a group of friends on a trip. The whole formula of having your friends travel with you to unfamiliar territory is a little too familiar – there was almost no excitement in the film.
The movie is a little slow-paced. While this is not a problem for a movie with this plot, the writers and director could have done a little more to lift us from dullness during the slow pace. I wish we got a little more background about the group’s friendship when they were younger, their personalities, their personal lives, and their friendship with Rob. This is especially crucial since there are four characters in the journey. While that may seem like a small number, it is difficult to remember them all while paying attention to the events of the movie. It would have been easier and more tolerable if we got a little background about each of their lives.
Despite the lack of background we got from the characters, it is worth noting that their relationships with one another are convincing and realistic. One would really think that these men, including Rob, once shared the same four corners of a school.
While the flashbacks play an essential role in the story, I wish the writers added a new flavor to the plot. A character having flashbacks for feeling guilty about a friend’s demise is nothing new to us at all.
The actors’ acting is commendable. Their fights and arguments seem to be realistic as well. However, it is clear how the story follows a familiar format: Friends getting together, getting lost, and discovering an antagonist along the way. The writers and director could have done better. The story has potential – it just needs a load of polishing and better execution.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Ritual (2017) two graves out of five graves.
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