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The Ritual Horror Movie (2017) - A Halloween Must Watch

The Ritual Horror Movie 2017

Don't you hate it when your friends leave you behind? The Ritual horror movie is one whose plot revolves around four friends who are trying to heal from the tragic demise of a mutual friend. The movie is set in a creepy Swedish forest where the friends get lost while paying homage to their fallen comrade through a hike.

The four friends in the Ritual Horror movie

What follows is the camping trip from hell that keeps you guessing till the end - is it serial killers? is it a supernatural force or is it all in their heads?

The Plot of The Ritual Horror Movie

The story begins with Luke and Robert getting caught in the middle of a convenience store robbery. While Luke manages to hide from the robbers, Robert gets caught and is asked to give up all his belongings. When Robert refuses to give up his wedding ring, the robbers beat him to death while Luke watches from his hiding place helplessly.

Cut to several months later, the remaining friends Luke, Dom, Hutch, and Phil go on a hiking trip to the Swedish wilderness to pay respects to their deceased friend. The trip goes swimmingly until the four pals decide to take a shortcut through the woods. They find something that is highly disturbing - an animal impaled vertically onto tree branches.

A slaughtered animal in The Ritual Horror Movie
Gore-ific Movie

The resulting panic leads to the four friends hurrying through the woods to get to the other side and to safety and civilization. On their way, it starts raining, and to their luck, the buddies come across a creepy hut in which they spend the night - against their better decision.

After an uncomfortable night's nap, Luke wakes up with a strange injury on his person, Phil wakes up worshipping a wooden effigy of a deity and Dom wakes up with a scream. All of them experience terrible nightmares that tap into fears deep in their subconscious.

Things go off the rails from this point, with dream sequences, apparitions, Norse deities, and more fueled by insomnia, paranoia, and sheer exhaustion. The movie itself is a controlled burn of abrupt chaos, with the lead characters dipping in and out of reality, and gives the audience of feel of lucid dreaming.

Character Development and Cinematography in The Ritual

The horror element in this movie arises from the tension and what is unsaid between the friends as the plot progresses. Also, the cinematographer does a good job showing the beauty of the Swedish forest while also highlighting how terrifying it can get.

Swedish Natural Beauty

The lack of safety and security of civilization coupled with hunger, fatigue, and fear of the unknown play upon the minds of the hikers. Dom, Hutch, and Phil all secretly blame Luke for not doing enough to save their friend Robert and there is seething resentment throughout.

Creepy Norse writing on Trees in the Ritual
Norse writing in the woods - high creep quotient

The scenes in The Ritual horror movie are written, sequenced, and filmed in such a way that keeps you guessing who is the villain and what are their motivations.

Another unique thing I've observed in this movie is that the characters display photophobia or the fear of light for a short time at least. This would be the true definition of terror, wherein the subject is not only scared of the dark or darkness but also of bright light shining suddenly into their face. What does that leave you with?

I think they should have expanded on the concept of oscillating between photophobia nyctophobia and how it could induce madness. But the plot is structured in a way to mirror the exhaustion of the hikers same as the audience that is kept guessing whether it's all in their head or it's a serial killer.

While Rafe Spall is a versatile character, he is better suited as the Big Bad in a movie (Fallen Kingdom) or as a character in duress. If you observe his acting in The Life of Pi and MiB: International 4, he blends into the background without adding much to the dynamics of the scene.

The cinematography is great in this movie showing the pristine beauty of the Swedish mountain ranges and forest cover. The camera work does a great job of making the audience feel unsettled, especially in the scenes where the four friends are being hunted by something or someone unseen.

Should You Watch It? Hell Yes!

You get to see some great acting from the English actor Rafe Spall whom you would have seen in The Life of Pi, MiB: International 4, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and more. Watch this movie for great acting, suspense, and special effects and to finally find out who or what is terrorizing them.

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