Monday, February 12, 2018

The Ritual (2018) - Through the Eyes of Cat

By Cat

Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/Year: The Ritual (2018)
Tagline: They should have gone to Ibiza. 
Genre: Horror
Length:  94 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production CompaniesEntertainment One, Imaginarium Productions, Netflix
ProducersRon Ames, Jonathan Cavendish, Richard Holmes, Xavier Marchand, Patricia Poienaru, Phil Robertson, Andy Serkis, Chloe Sizer, Will Tennant
DirectorDavid Bruckner
WritersJoe Barton, Adam Nevill
Actors:  Rafe Spall, Rob James-Collier, Arsher Ali, Sam Troughton, Paul Reid, Maria Erwolter, Kerri McLean, Jacob James Beswick
StuntsCiprian Dumitrascu, Marius Florian, Razvan Gheorghiu, Mihai Ionita

Blurb from IMDbA group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that's stalking them.

Cat's Point of View: 

I remember seeing the trailer for this movie when I was narrowing down the Top 20 list for October 2017 movies. It didn't quite make the cut, but that month was full of difficult decisions. The film was originally released on Friday, October 13th in the UK and only just now received a US release via Netflix. 

This suspenseful Scandinavian tale of terror is a novel adaptation, though I can't say that I've heard of it before. I'm rather intrigued, however. I am left wondering how much more detail of the events might be found within the pages. Elements of the story pull from Norse mythology - at least in inspiration. It's a culture I enjoy learning more about. 

That being said, it was not something that became a focal point of the movie. Generally, there were only subtle bits here and there until further along in the tale. It's also worth noting that the main characters are from the UK, while the setting is located somewhere between Norway and Sweden. You won't find any subtitles in this one. If the main characters don't know what's being said, you won't either.

The focus of the film was firmly planted upon the reunited college buddies off on an adventure to honor yesteryear. While getting in over their heads and the monkey-wrenches that are thrown into their plans aren't exactly groundbreaking ideas in plot or cinema; it didn't feel like the regurgitated mess that quite a few movies within the horror genre tend to be. I give it a round of applause immediately out of the gate for refraining from the found-footage angle. I am happy to report that zero shaky-cam went into the making of this feature. 

As a fan of creature features, I also appreciate how they handled those elements. The design of the critter, itself, was certainly the stuff of nightmares. It was terrifying and avoided looking cheesy in any way. I really enjoyed the build-up to the monster reveal. I would recommend watching this movie in surround sound or with headphones if at all possible so you can get the full impact of the sound-effects. Something that you can't see but can hear moving all around you was enough to give me the willies.  The production team did an excellent job building the suspense through the hide-and-seek with the supernatural elements and the skillfully applied soundtrack.

All told, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I'd have no problem recommending it to fans of the genre, 

Speech Available: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English [CC], Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 68%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 57%
Metascore - 58/100
Metacritic User Score – 7.8/10
IMDB Score – 6.3/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5

Movie Trailer: 

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