Four buddies go on a hike to memorialize a fallen friend when they get lost and bumble into some Blair Witch territory out in the dark and the trees. Now, they must scramble to outwit the beastly thing that stalks them and the growing dissent in their own ranks.
It’s like The Decent, only it’s above ground and a total sausage party.
Yes, my friends, my buddies, my pals… it’s The Ritual, another original horror movie from Netflix. This import from across the pond and it’s certainly a respectable horror movie. It’s not very original, but it does the concept proud. It’s not pants-poopingly terrifying, but it’s scary enough and the cast sells it well. It’s not the most intense scary movie you’ve seen, but The Ritual doesn’t let that slow it down.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that The Ritual is better than your average horror movie, but it’s not a classic by any means which is a huge shame because the creature design in this movie is outstanding. Usually, when there’s a monster-unseen type of movie that leaves the monster in the shadows until the final act, the reveal is always disappointing, but with The Ritual, the more of the creature that is revealed, the more wicked it looks until you have what I can only describe as a movie monster masterpiece crashing through the woods chasing small screaming Englishmen.
If there is anything about this movie that is tragically disappointing, it’s the tired story beats that it follows between scares. The guys have this simmering animosity under the surface and it surfaces just when you expect it to and just how you expect it to. The guy bearing the most guilt is the guy that will get to prove himself.
Like I said, even the survivor’s guilt aspects of this movie seem lifted from The Decent… except now it’s guys and not women.
I am by no means saying that The Ritual is a bad movie because it is by every measure, not a bad movie… but aside from the amazing creature design and some heavy atmosphere, we’ve seen it all before. Granted, The Ritual does it well, but it does well what we’ve already seen.