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  • annaily12 February 2018
    I really liked this movie. Yes, the ending could've been better, a lot better, but it was really psychologically thrilling and spooky, especially for a Netflix movie. I'm really impressed with Netflix's content lately.

    I see trends in the low star reviews that I want to address.

    1) "the ending was bad" I agree, but the rest of it wasn't. A movie with a bad ending isn't going to be the best movie of all time, but if I enjoy watching 90% of the movie, then I would say I got my time's worth. It's just a shame that it didn't take the opportunity to use the "monsters who scare your mind, not just rip up your body" thing that it could have had going for it.

    2) "not scary enough" it was suspenseful and creepy. It's more psychologically thrilling than outright terrifying, and I genuinely wonder which movies these people deem scary enough for them to enjoy because most horror movies really suck, especially in the past 20 years. Where are they finding all these "genuinely scary" movies? Or are they just consistently always disappointed with all of the horror movies they watch but keep watching them anyways? I have a lot of questions.

    3) "didn't capture the essence of the book" why does everyone who reads a book that gets made into a movie feel the need to say this? I'm not sure if they just like being pretentious or if they genuinely believe a 90 minute movie must entirely capture the essence of a full length novel. There's no reason to judge them as if they need to be identical. They're standalone works. When I choose to watch the movie, I would hope that they don't drag it out as long as turning a book into a literal script would require.

    4) "Blair witch rip off" very few movies, songs, books, etc. are truly original. You can make a movie with the same basic story tone as another one. Add your own twist, or don't, whatever, I'm not the purity police - just make an entertaining work without breaking copyright laws. If I'm entertained, I don't care if it resembles something else that also entertained me.

    Anyways, if you read this entire review to learn if this movie is worth a watch, you clearly don't have anything better to do so just watch it. It's not bad.
  • No spoilers in this review but having come away from watching this film, on my own at the local Empire Cinema on Friday 13th I would say this is a good horror film for those who are bored senseless by the endless tide of "jump scare but not scary really" horror films we have to endure these days.

    This is a proper story with a proper start, middle and end.

    At times unsettling, at times creepy, at times a bit distressing whilst always being restrained (its not an utter gore fest and the violence is all the more affecting for that) this is a decent film elevated by good characterisation and very good acting.

    Whilst nothing utterly original is on offer here, it is a film that does what it says on the tin and it is all done well. Special mention to Rafe Spall who, just like his dad, Timothy, continues to be brilliant in everything he's in.

    Solid 7/10 and one for fans of proper horror. It deserves to be seen at the cinema as well so I'd urge people to get to watch this.
  • I don't remember ever reviewing a movie here, but I decided to come at the rescue of this movie... I really enjoyed this movie and I go against the reviews which once more put it in the "average around 6.0 score" where so many other scary movies are standing. I consider myself a horror/scary amateur and I have seen many movies of this kind, and since the last 10 years, its getting harder to find some that makes you say "ok, this was a bit different".... (of course there are some, but in my opinion over the large quantity, only over 20% are passing the "not too bad" test"). For once, we don't have to bear some stupid teenagers partying for spring break in the forest, some people behaving so stupidly that you think "seriously ??", a haunted house, a possession, or a redneck hillbilly family... Here the movie has a lot of a "realistic" touch to it, the characters are normal and they could be us, normal people behaving normally in the face of danger and fear and that reinforce the attachment for the characters. Many times I wondered, "damn, i dont know what I would have done in this situation". The mood is nicely growing more and more stressing and not much of the "monster" is shown for a long time, letting the viewer finding out slowly about the real horror happening in those woods. The change of scenery (Swedish forest) and the isolation of the characters reinforce the idea that nature in itself can be scary and that even a friendly country like Sweden can appear in another light... The last quarter of the movie is a bit more conventional to the genre but still not falling in all the clichés. I especially raise a thumb up for the creature design and the explanation on what it is. Probably not all will approve, but I liked the way this was going and when learning what the creature really was, I wondered "would I try to fight against that or give up ?"

    So yeah, this movie is not THE movie of the year for me, but for sure, it is totally over many of the "i watch and I forget" movie that I've been seing in horror recently. I recommend.
  • The key to any good horror film has always been having characters that are realistic and that the audience can relate to and care for. Yet so many horror films completely overlook this element in their film. 'The Ritual' does not make this mistake. These characters are highly flawed, but they're also relatable and we as an audience can understand (if not fully agree with) choices and decisions they've made. I suspect a lot of this stems from the fact that 'The Ritual' was based on a novel as the source material. Movies based on novels almost always contain more depth to their characters for obvious reasons.

    So you've got yourself a set of great characters, but that still isn't enough to guarantee a successful film. You now have the obligation to utilise those characters you've created. 'The Ritual' ticks that box as well. Firstly, it's a great looking film. They did a fantastic job picking the setting for the film. Creepy and atmospheric, whilst beautiful and endearing at the same time. Secondly, this film ticks possibly the rarest box a horror movie is ever able to achieve these days, which is to be scary. I almost never get any rise in my heart-rate during a horror film any more, but that was certainly not the case here. I was invested in the story and the suspense had me on edge.

    The first 3/4 of the film are some of the best mystery, suspense, horror film watching I've done in years. This film was almost destined for greatness, but unfortunately the final 1/4 does let things a slip a bit. Once any mystery is gone from the story things lose steam a little and everything becomes a little stock-standard. The ending is quite abrupt too, and I had hoped for a little more. Altogether though I certainly recommend giving this film a watch. It's about as good as modern horror films come.
  • Making effective use of its isolated setting to ratchet up the tension & amp up its claustrophobic aura, The Ritual begins on a promising note, gets even better with a sturdy middle act that reeks of mystery & dread but all the potential it had of finishing as a chilling example of its genre is ultimately squandered by its underwhelming final act.
  • I don't understand the 2 star ratings here. This is a solid horror movie. I was truly creeped out the whole time, which is what I look for in a horror.

    Yeah it's not perfect, but it is WAY better than the Blair Witch project. As a horror fan I give this a 9/10. Not because it is a perfect movie, but because I found it so unsettling, weird, and well, scary.

    Don't look for logic, just surrender yourself and be afraid!
  • The film is about a group of friends who go trekking in the Swedish forests to honour their dead friend's wish. I got enticed due to the trailer n the director's name was sufficient for me. Have enjoyed David Bruckners films. (The Signal 2007, Siren, Southbound). Saw this on a rented dvd. The film captured the eerie nature of the forest so well, it becomes the most important character in the film. The creepiness n sense of dread in the broad daylight n the surrealistic nightmare sequences in the nighttime added solid tensions. The dream sequences in the cabin was truly nightmarish. The suspense is maintained throughout. This film makes getting lost in the woods scary all over again. The woodlands are a sight to see and have a very alienating feel that tells you that you are never safe, no matter if its daylight or night.
  • I really loved this movie. The simple fact,that the characters act like people elevated this movie for me.The charcaters are very believable and have good chemistry. That's what made me get into it.I don't consider most horror films good movies hugely because of the plot contrivance over personality approach. But that's not all,that i liked. The cinematography is beautiful at times and captures some truly astonishing landscapes.It can also be very tense,creative and effective.I was really impressed with it over the course of the film. There is also some terrific creature design at work. The monster is very creative,scary and impressive.I was positively surprised.I hadn't seen a good monster design in ages.

    My only gripe on the first viewing was a change of pace towards the end.However i got ued to it and i accepted where the film was headed.

    It's not perfect.But unless you're trying to dissect it,it won't hinder your experience.

    Definatley recommended. Good characters,good cinematography,good atmosphere,great creature design,very tense.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just came out of an early screening of this film during Odeon's monthly 'ScreamUnseen'.

    The film surrounds 4 friends who embark on a hike across a remote part of Sweden for a recently deceased friend. Things start to turn bad after they decide to take a shortcut through the forest.

    I split this film into 2 parts: The first part surrounds the group getting lost in the woods trying to find their way back to their cabin and encountering strange things and sounds in the woods. The woods give you a very strange and eerie vibe which I think the film excels at.The cinematography was great and really captured the sense of unease and isolation in the woods.The films also explores the subject of grief, especially in one of the main characters in the film and this has consequences heading into the latter parts of the film.

    Unfortunately the second part of this film falls short for reasons I can't go into without spoiling the film. If you are a fan of horror films set in the woods you'll have seen this kind of ending many times before.

    'The Ritual' has some great strengths but unfortunately falls short towards the end of the movie. Definitely a film for fans of films such as 'Blair Witch' & 'Backcounty'.
  • Netflix has been pumping out movies left and right and this movie hit the mark.

    Honestly did not expect a horror movie from Netflix to be this entertaining and scary psychologically. Starts out alright, but as soon as we dig deeper in the woods, things start to get out of hand. Throughout the movie you only get a few glimpses of the "monster", but the last 25 minutes is everything I've wanted from a movie like this in over 10 years. No dull ending of everybody dying. We actually get a showdown! Entertaining flick!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I love these "scary woods" stories and if you haven't seen YELLOW BRICK ROAD, check it out.

    The first hour of THE RITUAL is excellent--great acting, dialogue, music and an unsettling mood is quickly established. But once we only have two remaining men...the climax slows to a crawl when it should speed up. What happened to all that scary tension we had built up?

    While wisely holding back showing too much or telling too much for the first hour, the final 30 minutes reveal it's all THE HILLS HAVE EYES visit THE WICKER MAN and the film collapses. And, the biggest (?) mistake, they show the creature that the people worship. Not sure why--it's odd looking but not that terrifying and the final scene where the man is yelling at it, thrilled that he's escaped, doesn't work. And then? The screen goes black, credits roll. A real disappointment but the first hour is GREAT!
  • This movie is based on a best seller and features fine actors. Still it doesn't seem to have gained the buzz I expected.

    Perhaps that's because people are expecting a horror film more than a thriller. Yes, it's a bit of both.

    I would recommend the film and hope that it finds success.
  • As a film, I really enjoyed it. Kinda creepy, and it was well executed from cast to photo to everything.

    Only thing i oppose, as a Swede, is the image of the Swedish woods as something scary. It really isn't, I'm sorry to say. I have spent a good many nights there in tents and cabins, and I am pretty well educated about the folklore. This one turns into something that is reall none-Scandinavian in terms of that. None of the "rituals" or creatures have nothing to do with actual lore. Sure, they speak about norse figures like the children of Loki, but that is just silly.

    As a fright-flick, though, it is good.

    And for you to know: We do have scary creatures in the woods. But we who live here know them, and they look like nothing as projected here. Come and see.
  • Truly an impressive horror movie stand-alone let alone for Netflix release. This was the best horror movie I've seen in quite some time for the following reasons: full of suspense, rich character development and psychologically thrilling- the sprinkles of gore are that much scarier because of the build up. Did not see the ending coming and as many will say the ending was poor, I would disagree- how else would it of ended? Throughly enjoyed this film and will now look for more from this director I liked it that much! Watch it!
  • keruirenlei19 September 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    2017 has been a very mixed year for horror (so far, anyway) We've had some fairly terrible movies like Rings, The Bye Bye Man and Annabelle: Creation but we've also had some unique, memorable films such as Get Out, It Comes at Night and IT. I'm still holding out for films such as Happy Death Day, Jigsaw and Creep 2 to be great but one film I didn't expect to enjoy was The Ritual. I saw the trailer before my screening of IT and it looked to be just another throwaway horror movie trying to be the next The Blair Witch Project. Thankfully, the film's trailer was just a poor attempt at showing what the film actually is like and shouldn't be used to assess the quality of the movie. The film's premise isn't entirely original, a bunch of friends decide to go hiking and to save time decide to cut through an eerie forest. This premise has been done to death in movies and even though director David Bruckner (V/H/S/) tries to set his film apart from the rest, the final product ends up feeling very cliché. Where the film does shine is with its cast of characters, the four friends on their hiking adventure which takes a sour turn for the worst. Our protagonist Luke (Rafe Spall) is the most interesting, fleshed-out character of the bunch and I was surprised to find out that the first act of the movie is centred around character development which really gave us a chance to learn about and care for these characters.

    After witnessing the murder of his friend, Robert (Paul Reid), Luke suffers incredible guilt and feels as if he's responsible for Robert's death as he chose to hide instead of step in and try to protect his friend. Spall does a good job portraying Luke by going the quiet and reserved route for the first half of the movie and while I wouldn't say there were any stand-out performances, everybody involved did well with the material they had and the banter between the friends kept things interesting and was good fun to watch.

    One of the things I absolutely loved about this movie was how it looked visually. Director of photography Andrew Shulkind (Southbound) does an incredible job of making the audience feel like they're in the woods with these friends. The incredible overhead shots of the area truly makes the forest feel like its own character which I adored. However, some of the scenes shot at night are hard to make out due to how dark it is at times but during the daytime sequences, the film looks visually stunning.

    One of the weaker aspects of the movie is the horror. I'd actually hesitate to even call this movie a horror flick and feel like if it was marketed as a thriller, people would have enjoyed this movie a little more (judging from some of the mixed reception it's received after it's premiere at TIFF and ODEON's Scream Unseen program, which I saw the film at).

    Although there's a few unsettling images and scenes scoured throughout, I wouldn't say any of it was that scary. For the majority of the second act, the horror comes from the friends discovering horrific things such as a bear pinned up to a tree with its guts ripped out. Like I said before, not entirely original but still unsettling. When the friends realize they're going to have to find shelter on the first night of their venture into the woods, they stay the night in an abandoned cabin which has strange markings inside, similar to ones they've seen on some of the trees outside. After searching the house for items to start a fire, they discover a strange pagan headless creature in the basement which looks like something ripped directly out of The Wicker Man. After discovering this strange figure, the friends all try to get some sleep but are each haunted by nightmares. Although we get to hear about most of them, the only ones we get to experience are Luke's. All of them reside in the shop where Robert was murdered and each one of these gets progressively more and more disturbing throughout the course of the film.

    Without going into spoiler territory, the third act of the movie caught me off guard and really surprised me. As I said before, the trailer made it seem as if this film was just trying to be the next Blair Witch but once the true nature of the film is revealed, I was on the edge of my seat until the credits rolled.

    The film has a lot of charm and humour which also surprised me. There's a few moments in the movie during the third act which had myself and the audience in hysterics. Also, it might contain my favourite visual gag of the entire year involving Luke and an old lady. The film takes itself very seriously but knows when to have fun and lighten up the tone a little. This isn't a comedy though so if you're expecting something along the lines of Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead in terms of humour, you're going to be disappointed. The humour is definitely a welcome addition though.

    Overall, The Ritual was a very fun time. Although, I wouldn't say it's my favourite horror-thriller movie of the year, it does a great job making you feel lost in the woods with these characters and with a surprise shift in tone during the third act, the movie never feels boring or uninteresting. Good performances, stunning visuals and an entertaining, albeit cliché premise make for a solid directorial feature debut. I'm looking forward to see more from Bruckner in the future and if his previous work is any indication of how versatile he is as a horror filmmaker (he previously worked on the first short in the horror anthology V/H/S/) then we're in for a treat.
  • parry_na18 October 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    Based on the excellent book by Adam Nevill and adapted by Joe Barton (and co-produced by Andy Serkis), this story focuses on four associates who go on a hiking expedition in Sweden. Apart from anything else, they come to honour the memory of deceased pal Robert (Paul Reid). Luke (Rafe Spall) holds himself responsible for his friend's death (there's a constant melancholy behind his eyes) and there is an underlying animosity from the others because of the incident.

    This fuels some friction between the group, who otherwise swap some genuinely funny banter and are a believably close-knit gang of long-term friends. We have sensible Hutch (Robert James Collier), whinging Dom (Sam Troughton) and pessimist Phil (Arsher Ali) – finely drawn out characters played to perfection.

    The first two thirds of the film concentrate on a slow-burning realisation that they are far from alone in this vast, oppressive, beautiful wilderness. They suffer, do these lads, with some pretty gruesome and hallucinogenic set-pieces. This is Blair Witch 'turned up to 11' in many ways, and is genuinely creepy.

    The final third concentrates on Luke and the weird community of locals he meets. This is a comparatively rushed second act – we never really know the locals (only Sara, played by Maria Erwolter, has any decipherable lines). The creature responsible for the varied graphic happenings isn't revealed until late on, but is highly impressive.

    I think that apart from the location, the sound design is the star here. There are some truly gut-wrenching noises and jump scares that don't rely on the over-used screeching violin/Psycho-scare noises that soundtracks often saturate scary moments with. The whole production sounds incredible. And it looks overwhelming too - David Bruckner directs beautifully throughout.

    For anyone who has read the book, there may be disappointment at the moments that have been excised. I won't expand on that – both book and film are more than worth your time, with neither simply a re-tread of the other – but it is interesting to compare and contrast.

    Ultimately, I really enjoyed this. The build-up, in both character and horror, is exceptional. Only the film's ending comes as a let-down, and by that time, it is far too late to turn back.
  • Alanjackd18 October 2017
    Never read up on this so went in blind.

    What I found was tense and well done affair that gave as much as it promised.Kept up the tension all the way and some of the cinematography and audio really brought the theatre to life.

    Able acting all the way through and had just enough jumps to stop it getting predictable. Well directed and great script...some of the banter was really well done and made us all giggle.

    The set pieces containing flashbacks and hallucinations were very very well done. I've read some reviews about a so called silly ending, bur for me I thought the ending was in the vain of the movie.

    It brought back to me last years Blair Witch with the camera- work..did i see that? ..what was that ?? Very well done indeed. Well worth a trip with your partner as they will be clung to you from the off set. Will keep an eye on the director for more. I gave it a 6 and not a 7 because of the wasn't silly but maybe could have explained a bit more.
  • This was probably the most surprising creatively original horror I've seen in years. I thought the trailer looked promising enough but never expected this story to absolutely enthrall me like it did. From the beginning your attention is captured with a very brutally somber intro that plays a deep role into the overall tale. You're then immersed into a magnificently scenic, yet eerie mountain forest setting where the atmosphere is incredibly effective. I cannot say enough about the beautiful imagery and camerawork throughout. As everything unravels it becomes an outstandingly creepy and suspenseful turn of events unlike anything you've seen before. They executed the big reveals towards the final frightening half hour brilliantly and thats where this horror film rises above so many with its extremely unnervingly bizarre conclusion that you will never see coming. Rafe Spell's performance was utterly intense, and you really feel for his character after certain events. Overall I'd rate this an 8.7/10 and would HIGHLY recommend it to any watcher. I really wish this received a theatrical release around the world but you can now add it to the many great netflix original films that keep surprising everyone. Collapse
  • The Ritual is an atmospheric folk lore horror akin to 2015's "The VVitch," or Bruckner's debut film set in Terminus, 2007's "The Signal."

    A superb viewing that mounts tension without long, dragged out environmental shots or minutes of expository; instead, Ritual relies on the innate human fears of getting lost in a foreign place to craft a sense of dread that is all too palpable.

    There is a wonderful backdrop crafted in Ritual, wrought from ancient Elder Futhark and a devastatingly delicious dose of Proto-Norse mythos.

    Genre buffs looking for a cerebral treat that doesn't need to be spoonfed will enjoy every minute of the Ritual, with an ending that provides answers but still leaves a sense of ambiguity large enough that the viewer can draw their own conclusions.

    This is a masterclass in psychological terror; Bruckner has outdone himself with The Ritual and I expect this title to cement his worthiness as a visual story teller in stone. Ignore the "Blair Witch" copycat comments -- The Ritual is a superior movie in every conceivable way.
  • I love me a good lost-in-the-woods horror movie, the creepier the better, and The Ritual is very creeptastic, indeed!

    Lots of mystery about what exactly is out there in the woods creates some great tension and maintains it till the end . The acting is excellent and the story never quite follows the usual patterns for this type of film, keeping you on edge throughout. The score stands out as one of the more sinister of recent years.
  • claudio_carvalho10 February 2018
    The best friend Luke (Rafe Spall), Phil (Luke Arsher Ali), Hutch (Robert James-Collier), Dom (Sam Troughton) and Robert (Paul Reid) are planning their next vacation in Europe. However, Robert is murdered in a convenience store robbery and his friend decide to hike in Sweden to honor him. But when Dom twists his knee, they decide to take a shortcut through the woods. Along their journey, they learn that they are hunted down by something. What would be the menace?

    "The Ritual" is a horror film with an intriguing premise but also a poor conclusion. The screenplay keeps the tension while the viewer does not know what is happening. But the conclusion disappoints. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): Not Available
  • altererto15 February 2018
    This movie is AWESOME. It's "mononoke hime" horrified with credible characters and a dark storyline. I don't know what the other reviewers consider a good horror movie these days, but for someone who was excited about "the void", this is a masterpiece with AMAZING CHARACTER DESIGN.

    I dare say, it's one of the best monster movies I've seen. Ever. I mean, top 10. Not joking. I liked it that much. I probably like it more than the director.

    Worth it! WATCH IT!
  • ommbomb6 February 2018
    If you enjoyed films like Trollhunter, Thale etc you should get a kick from this. Four British lads on a hiking trek through Sweden to pay tribute to a departed mate who has been murdered at the start of the film in an off licence robbery. The story has a slight Blair Witch feel to the discovery of the carved runes in the trees as the group soon get lost in a forest. With most of my reviews I do not want to spoil the movie so I try to keep my comments brief and spoiler free. This film plays heavily on how damned creepy forests can be..even in daylight..and combines this with the concept of ancient nature elemental's/demons or gods...The acting is very natural which makes the group of friends feel your own mates. I recommend this..but insist you view films the way that I do for full affect..view alone, in the dark..on a 42" screen..sitting between stereo speakers or surround sound if you have it. That is the ONLY way to view any movie to be able to fully appreciate it. Make your viewing a ritual and you should enjoy 'The Ritual'.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Warning: complete and total spoilers ahead.

    This movie starts off well with four guys who decide to go on a hiking trip. After one of them gets killed at the beginning of the movie in a liquor store, it supposedly adds weight to their trip, giving it more meaning.

    In the end, the only thing this movie winds up being about is a group of people in the forest (not the four hikers) who offer humans as sacrifices to a creature that keeps them alive forever, so long as they worship it. The presence of this creature causes psychological effects / visions / dreams on the part of the four hikers throughout the movie.

    Through frequent flashbacks blurred with forest reality, the movie attempts to tie the violence in the liquor store with a monster that stalks them through the woods (and kills 3 out of 4 by the end.) But ultimately the creature has no meaning -- not related to anything that happened with the first guy's death -- not to anything at all, really.

    Do you think this review is pointless? Then you get a taste for exactly how generic and pointless this movie's plot was.
  • First up...and Im probably too late...i suggest watching this movie with as little spoilers as possible. Its a tense, suspenseful, entertaining horror movie that had me on board from the opening scene through the final shot. Stop here..go watch it!

    ok...for those still reading...i'll dig deeper but avoid too much spoilers. Alot of people are connecting this with Blair Witch, which i suppose is ok from a setting standpoint, but dont fully agree with. This movie centers around a group of men who have been friends for a long time and do a fun "guys" vacation each year. The film opens with them experiencing a horrible event and then moves quickly to their vacation choice...a 3 day mountain hike in Switzerland.

    From there it goes bad.

    I suggest watching this film in a darkened room and just go along with the group as they experience some scary stuff. The horror is two fold as in addition to what they come up against, there is also the "man vs nature" element of them (at one point) being very lost within a wooded expanse. Another great aspect of the flick is it blends several horror genre's. i wont list them here as it would spoil 3rd act reveals but there's some doosys! Check it out!!!
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