The Ritual: Movie Review

Beautifully shot and working with its environment and audio well, "The Riutal" was scary on all the right bits. Unfortunately, weak characterization and lore means that the haunting nature of "The Ritual" is mostly skin-deep.
After six months from the tragic death of their friend, a group of college friends (Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton) reunite for a hiking trip in Sweden. When one of them suggests to go on a shortcut through the woods, the group finds themselves encountering a menacing creature in the woods that's haunting and stalking them one by one.
"The Ritual" hits all the right notes when it wants to be scary. The mixture of the wonderful visuals capturing the creepy woods vibe well and outstanding audio combines to make "The Ritual" a harrowing experience once things started to ramp up. What really holds back the film was the lack of deep narrative and character development. Outside the character of Luke (played by Rafe Spall), we rarely get to know anything about the others within the group - which is a total shame. Without spoiling much, a much within the group will die but them dying was more out of convenience and moving the plot but rarely do we care that someone dies. There's literally no back story for the other characters with Luke. The great acting was appreciated but was disappointing how limited the script and characterizations were. Another thing that was quite lacking was the lore behind the creature/s the group encounter. Whatever was revealed was interesting but it needed more meat to be really memorable. Overall, "The Ritual" is a great horror experience that could have worked more with better writing.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the visuals and audio combine to a harrowing experience

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- weak characters outside the character of Rafe Spall
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