A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them.
Netflix have been putting their money where their mouth is quite a lot lately by taking big risks and putting out original material, whether you like it or not you have to respect them for it.
With this being a Netflix feature the marketing was well done and it did what marketing should do, it got people talking. As I’m sure you’re well aware, word of mouth soon spread and the internet blew up hyping the film up, as we know this is always a double edged sword, whilst the film will get more viewers it also raises expectations.
I seriously tried my best to avoid all this promotion as much as possible, which as we know is extremely hard in this modern age, but I managed to evade it enough to not get trapped into a certain track of thought. I’m seriously glad I managed this because I found that with no expectations to meet I was able to sit back and enjoy the film.
The feature plays out like an old school Horror, with some great characterization and a nicely building yet highly unsettling story that, whilst not maybe to everyone’s liking, I found to be refreshing viewing. David Bruckner has created a name for himself as a Director of psychological Horror and this enforces that reputation.
I hope Netflix keeps their faith in these original Horrors, they’ve put out some real gems and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us. Now, this review might seem more like a non review, like I’m dancing around the subject of the film but I must say that the less you know about this feature the more you’ll enjoy it, trust me on that.
“The Ritual” is a great throwback to simple storytelling, like I said the less you know the more you’ll enjoy it.
If you want to see “The Ritual” trailer then just click on the video below:
Miscellaneous facts about the film:
The original tagline that was used when advertising the film was ‘They should have gone to Vegas’. But due to the massacre in Vegas that took place on 1st of October 2017, the tagline has now been changed to ‘They should have gone to Ibiza’.
Film based on the novel by Adam Nevill and produced by Andy Serkis.
Actors Rafe Spall (Luke) and Sam Troughton (Dom) are both part of the Alien franchise. Spall in Prometheus and Troughton in AVP: Alien vs Predator.
The way the monster hangs its victims in the cultists’ village mirrors part of asatruar mythology about Odin, who originally gained wisdom and knowledge of rune magic by hanging himself from the world tree Yggdrasil by impaling himself on his spear, Gungnir. In the asatruar mythology, the spear was given to Odin by Loki, though it is unclear if this is an intended reference to asatruar mythology.
The stone image a cultist is briefly seen praying before is a reproduction of the Kirkby Stephen Stone, which is believed to be a representation of Loki.
Despite being based on a novel written a few years before the films release, some scenes of the film are based on the 70’s horror “rituals”
The rune seen on the trees is the Othala/Odal rune from the Elder Futhark. It is the rune for “o” in the ancient written language of the Vikings, and is typically though of as Odin’s rune, though it also stands for “heritage’s or “estate”. The rune has also been co-opted by Nazis and white supremacists as a symbol, though its usage by them is abhorred by people who adhere to Asatruar.