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Focus on the Frightful: The Ritual

A couple of weeks ago the Kali Krew watched Open House and were…unimpressed. It was hilarious, unintentionally maybe, but hilarious nonetheless. The weekend last we watched The Ritual, another Netflix original, directed by David Bruckner who also directed Southbound.

I don’t mind a slow-burner of a movie but The Ritual was sloooow. The actors seemed like good actors but they never felt cohesive together as friends. There was no chemistry and the story moved very slowly. The ‘backwoods’ pagans are also a very overused trope in ritual-themed movies.

It also had a weirdly misplaced Wilhelm scream that was just really oddly timed.

I would definitely give it one star but there were three things that I did like. Their first night in the cabin was a very interesting scene. The creature itself (were-moose was guessed early on and in that respect the movie actually delivered) was also very cool. The movie really could have used more of it. I also did like that there wasn’t a random Sexy Girl in the commune that Our Hero could fall in love with and rescue.

I also asked the rest of the Kali Krew what they thought of The Ritual so for your enjoyment, take a look below!

The Kali Krew Review

The Ritual was an utterly boring movie almost from start to finish. Full of yawn-worthy moments that were done much better in the 1836260372 horror movies that used them before it. But the were-moose was fucking cool.

This feels like someone watched The Descent, got angry that there was a female cast, and sought to remake it in the most pointless, garbage way possible. Idiot bros in a place they have no business being, doing idiot bro things until they all die (may need to revise depending on Luke). Only good part was the hope created by the possibility of were-moose. Literally, within the first two minutes of the movie, I hated the entire cast. I didn’t care at all whether they lived or died, which kind of defeats the purpose of a horror movie. But…points for the were-moose/Thanksgiving turkey hybrid creature.

The Ritual managed to miss the point in pretty much every way possible. They even misapplied a Wilhelm scream, which I didn’t know was possible. I don’t understand how you can actually have a cool monster design in a subgenre where that’s literally all you need, and manage to still ruin your movie.

The Ritual was a 1 hr 34-minute movie that was 1 hr and 20 minutes too long. The male characters were written poorly, there was no real sense of camaraderie or tension between them and their trip didn’t make much sense. The things that happen to them in the first 2 acts of the movie don’t make much sense, either. When we finally get to the monster we get some good scenes, but even the resolution feels hollow. All in all, it failed to create the atmosphere and intrigue needed to sustain the first 2 scenes or give viewers a reason to care about these characters and I was rooting for the monster in the end. 1 star.

There are three really good creature filled minutes here. The question is whether you want to deal with the 90 tedious minutes before those. The answer is you don’t.

A mixed bag with some beautiful location shots. The attempts at atmosphere didn’t quite work. The trauma flashbacks were drawn out. The story proper starts in the 3rd act. The monster was great. On paper, it was a great idea but the execution wasn’t all there.

As you can see, The Ritual was not exactly a hit. If you’ve seen it let us know what you thought of it!

Published inFocus on the Frightful

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┬ęSci-Fi & Scary 2019
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