• Guy Jeffries

The Ritual


Director: David Bruckner.

Starring: Rafe Spall, Robert James-Collier, Arsher Ali, Sam Troughton.

Bruckner, horror writer/director that gave us films like V/H/S, SiREN and Southbound has a go at directing a fairly basic and unoriginal story based on the titular, award winning novel written by Adam Nevill and first published in 2011 that’s about a small group of reuniting college friends who venture off into the Swedish woodlands and do the inevitable of taking a wrong path by means of a short cut.

What they find is a remix of Blair Witch, Dog Soldiers and the Wicker Man which unfortunately makes the film greatly feel unoriginal. Horror fans, especially of the recent above mentioned, will feel like they have walked this path before, however, it’s not wholly predictable and is captivating enough to hold your attention throughout.

This is even with an additional plot line added that doesn’t deviate from the main story, but runs parallel and seems to be attempt to add depth to the characters, especially our main protagonist, Dom, played by Spall. Not having read Nevill’s award winning novel, it’s impossibly for me to say if this was a necessary improvement and it’s likely that Bruckner and screenwriters depicted the story influenced by the above mentioned horror flicks.

The characters are both well written and acted giving quite a diverse yet believable assembly of friends; and though Spall headlines, the rest of the cast do great in providing their parts whilst they all bounce off each other in often aggressive disagreements as their situation gets rapidly worse.

It’s suspenseful for a period, it’s well shot and captured, looking both grotesque and glorious at the same time, however there’s no lasting effect which will disappoint many hardcore horror fans. It’s not a terrible movie, but sadly it is a run-of-the-mill and forgettable horror that lacks any real scares.

Running Time: 7

The Cast: 7

Performance: 7

Direction: 7

Story: 5

Script: 6

Creativity: 6

Soundtrack: 5

Job Description: 3

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

53% 5/10

#DavidBruckner #RafeSpall #RobertJamesCollier #ArsherAli #SamTroughton #PaulReid #MariaErwolter #KerriMcLean #BenLovett