TIFF 2017 Movie Review: THE RITUAL (UK 2017) ***

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

The Ritual Poster


A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them.


David Bruckner


Joe BartonAdam Nevill (novel)


Rafe SpallRobert James-CollierArsher Ali |

THE RITUAL is supposed to be a psychological thriller. Brucker who directed the film from a script co-written by him and by Joe Barton based on the novel by Adam Nevill knows how to bring on the scares and audience anticipation.

It all begins with a group of friends planning a holiday as a reunion get-together. Hence no wives or girlfriend and no romantic distractions. Lots of male talk, and fortunately no sexist jokes are included. Vegas? They eventually settle on hiking in the North of Sweden. Why? It is hard to rationalize what men do.

THE RITUAL actually works quite well during the first half. Director Bruckner puts good use of the forest to invoke the biggest scares. It is the fear of the unknown that terrifies. And there are a lot of unknowns in the film. It is only when the film starts explaining why each incident has occurred that the film begins getting into trouble.

Lots of gore, coming when least expected, good genuine scares (what THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT could have been), good monster special effects and excellent use of location (the Swede woods). Forget about the logic of the plot and Midnight madness fans should be satisfied!

But I would doubt if the fairer sex would like this film.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G3N0-6-YpA


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