Four friends with a long-standing -- but strained -- connection take a hiking trip into the Swedish wilderness, from which they may never return.
Spoiler Free for those who have not had a chance to watch it yet.
I have always been leery when a movie comes out that is based on a book that I really enjoyed. Yes sometimes they are surprisingly well done, and other times you just sit there scratching your head and saying to yourself, "how could they have messed it up that bad". (Yes I'm talking about you Dark Tower)
Luckily this movie has been done right
Based on the 2011 novel by Adam Nevill. The screenplay was written by Joe Barton (iBoy/Humans tv series) and Directed by David Bruckner (The Signal/VHS/Southbound).
Bruckner has delivered a strikingly visual movie that captures all the tension of the original book. Yes some ideas have been streamlined to fit into a movie setting, but the important stuff is here. The forest settings are beautiful, even in the dark. It gives that feeling of being in such a huge place, yet still giving the feeling of claustrophobic closeness amongst the trees. Though character setup is not as complete as in the text, we still learn enough about the character to connect, especially the main character Luke played by Rafe Spall.
The true main character of this movie though is the forest itself. Bruckner uses the surrounding brilliantly. This forest is alive, in more ways than you think. I found myself trying to study every tree when there would be a long shot on screen. You could never know what was just around the bend. Our characters enter this setting freely and soon learn the error of their ways. The pacing is perfect. You are kept on the edge of your seat waiting for something else to happen. There is a slight change in the final act of the film, as we are finally treated to a little more back story and the emergence of the creature that has chased the men from the beginning. The special effects are handled well. The use of practical effects paired with CGI make the creature feel real and at place in the forest.
Since the movie came out last year. (more on that later). There have been many comparisons made between it and The Blair Witch Project. Yes we can see some bits and pieces here and there in the movie. The use of symbols and the "stickmen" have been done before, but this is a far superior movie. The tension is higher, the story is more fleshed out and the characters you actually care about.
The Ritual is listed as a NETFLIX Film. The film was first released at Toronto International Film Festival in Sept. 2017 and saw some limited release overseas in October. NETFLIX picked u the US distribution rites for its release here.
There is so much that can be talked about after watching this movie, but to say more could spoil the viewing experience for those who have not watched it yet. So let me know what you think after your viewing.
This is one you do not want to miss. Fans of the book will not be disappointed.