Horrorfest 2022 Presents: The Ritual (2017, David Bruckner)

The Ritual opens with a moment of startling tragedy, then cuts to a group of men out hiking in the woods of Sweden. They decided to camp and hike in the woods, and it’s out there that they discover this ancient evil lurking out there, amongst the trees. The first half of the movie is a slow burn, the second half a steep drop into insanity and death. With normal movies a camping trip is a nice excursion into the wilderness, in horror movies it’s a poor idea which the characters end up regretting only when it’s too late.

Rafe Spall is very good as Luke, the main character of the movie who remains haunted by a terrible decision he made. Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, and Sam Troughton all fill out the roles of his friends, as this movie is one of those small cast tightly paced movies. Despite being slow in certain parts I rather enjoyed this movie, and the final act is rather haunting. I actually want to see this one again and my rating may go up later on.

Plus the creature effects were fantastic, and some parts were very freaky and well done. I guess I’m a big fan of folk style horror at this point, and when it’s done right it is very effective.

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