I have been a big fan of some of the Netflix Original films, and the latest one I watched is David Bruckner-directed The Ritual. The plotline of the film, in which four friends go for a hiking trip and encounter an ancient monster, is not unique to the core – but certainly has its moments.
These days, horror movies come with loads of clichés, and The Ritual is no different. But what works for the film is its great cast, elements of suspense till the climax, and the director’s ability to execute a very average storyline with enough substance to keep us engaged.
The story follows four close friends who decided to go on for a hiking trip in the thick wilderness of Sweden. While the adventurous trip was to bring them closer to each other, it was also something to remember their recently deceased friend, who was killed during a liquor store robbery.
The Ritual is not all about an adventurous trip that went wrong, but also about their relationship with each other. The film also focuses on the emotions, the guilt of the lead character Luke, who saw his friend killed by the robbers but could not do enough to save him.
Watch the Movie Trailer – The Ritual
As they venture into the unknown territory through the Scandinavian wilderness, the group encounters their first snag when one of them twisted his ankle that made them leave the safe trail and cut off through the woods. From this point onwards, the movie becomes thrilling as they soon start seeing dead animals, strange marks on the trees, and hearing weird noises.
As some of them start blaming each other for what they have drawn into, they soon realized there is a beast in the forest that is after them. As they battle to hide and survive, they started spotting the signs of humans in the forest – also realized the fact that they have their sinister motives with rituals and sacrifices.
Well, one of the things The Ritual scores really well is the horror element, where there is no jump scares – rather the use of atmosphere or settings, while hiding the monster from full view. Besides, the story is written as such to present the imaginary monster as some ancient demon god. The design of the creature, when it finally reveals itself, will not disappoint you.
At the end of the film, you might have many confusing questions, but if we only look at the plot, and the basic things it eventually focused on, then it’s a decent horror movie.
The climax of The Ritual might not be what you have expected, but it certainly justified, as the film also had to elevate the character, Luke, from his earlier self – he certainly had to be brave not just to save his friend from the robbers, but also to face an ancient beast.
If you’re a horror movie buff and looking for something interesting, then give it a try.
Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier
Genres: International Films, British Films, Thrillers, Supernatural Thrillers, Horror Films, Supernatural Horror Films
Director: David Bruckner
Release Date/Year: 8 September 2017 (TIFF), 13 October 2017 (UK)
Streaming on Netflix