I didn’t even know this film existed until the trailer before a film about a month ago, and the trailer sold me. You could tell it isn’t a big budget horror film, like IT, but we have had some hits with smaller horror films, like Get Out and Don’t Breathe, and the trailer doesn’t give too much about what is going on and what is behind the attacks.
The Ritual follows a group of guys who go hiking in Swedish mountains, in honour of their friend who was murdered. Instead of going round a forest to get to their lodge, they decide to go through it to save time. When they enter they discover, that it’s no ordinary forest and they shouldn’t have entered.
As far as horror films go, this one brings nothing particularly new to the table. The events that happen in the film are very generic and reminded me a lot of older horror films, because of the use of a forest and a cabin in the woods, and a something mysterious monster, something we don’t see too much of nowadays where we get films set in the 70’s or 80’s and a demon.
The despite the performances from the small, not really known cast not being particularly outstanding, what the actors do well is bring a believable dynamic between the friends. Credit does go to the actors for this, but they struggle when they start to do deal with the actual problems, as if the actors can’t even pretend to believe what is going on. To be fair to them, the script is very hit or miss. It has good moments, like the friendship but the horror moments are very cliché and you can see coming.
As I have said in previous reviews of horror films, I don’t get scared too easily because I can see things coming a mile and always prepared for the scare. However, The Ritual manages to do jump scares in an effective way by doing things you wouldn’t expect in a scary way or suddenly so you don’t expect it and makes the audience jump.
My biggest problem with the film is the reveal of the creature behind the events going on, because it looks ridiculous. I won’t spoil it, but they tease it really, really well, making the audience looks for it in the many shots of trees but then when it is revealed towards the end of the film I was left disappointed and confused as to what it is and how stupid it looks. The film also leaves a lot unexplained and has an ending which annoys me more and more when I think about it.
Overall, if you are looking for a generic horror film and love horror then you might enjoy it but if you are looking for something as good as Get Out then this is nowhere near that level.
What did you think of The Ritual?
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