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REVIEW: The Ritual

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Netflix’s ‘The Ritual’ is one of a series of horror flicks over the past year that have made a buzz and I took Saturday night to dive into the 2017 film.

According to the film’s synopsis: “Reuniting after the tragic death of their friend, four college pals set out to hike through the Scandinavian wilderness. A wrong turn leads them into the mysterious forests of Norse legend, where an ancient evil exists and stalks them at every turn.”

First off, I love that Netflix is ahead of the curve of sorts in presenting movies in 4K. As an owner of a 4K television I find my options limited with cable and find myself turning to Netflix more and more to unlock the full power of my tv.

So, if you’re like me, The Ritual will be visually appealing. The landscapes are simply beautiful.

The movie is shot in such a way that it makes you truly feel like the group of friends are all along in the forest and that something ominous is lurking.

It’s a bit slow moving at times, mainly after the opening scene that shows their friend dying, but once things pick up, the momentum hardly slows down.

It reminds you of “The Blair Witch Project”, but shows just how far the industry has come since that epic movie with the odd ending. The Ritual gives you a similar feeling that what the characters are experiencing is eerie and unsettling.

The main character, Luke, remains in a battle of the guilt he feels over the death of the group’s friend Robert, who died in a story robbery that Luke survived, but did nothing to help his friend in his final moments, instead opting to stay in hiding to ensure his own safety.

Luke battles this guilt throughout the movie and the dark entity latches on to it, using it as a weapon to torment Luke.

Sadly the depth of the story is fairly shallow. There is no real effort to develop a friendship between the 4 main characters, who seem thrown together in the forest.

If not for the setting and the way the film was shot, the story would complete anchor this film to depths of mediocrity that would potentially bore viewers.

When the dark force, which is kept under wraps for most of the movie (kudos), finally appears the film fails to setup a backstory for it, nor does it set up a backstory for the people who worship this diety.

That failure really sets the film back as it leaves a lot of meat on the bone and leaves the viewer feeling unsatisfied with the presentation.

Is the film bad? No. But it’s hard calling it ‘good’ when the story, which starts off solid and has it’s moments, seems thrown together at times, lazy in a lot of ways.

Had this been a traditional ghost story, the film probably could have gotten away with being so simplistic in it’s approach to story telling.

But when you add in a “God”, mystic powers, worship ceremonies, special powers, ritual markings and a cult-like society of forest dwellers, the you owe it to the audience to delve deeper, even if it means adding an additional 30 minutes onto the film.

The Ritual is worth a watch but leaves you feeling it could have been so much more.

Fright Nerd Score
60 frights
Summary
The Ritual is worth a watch but leaves you feeling it could have been so much more.
Fright Nerd Score60

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‘Dreadout: Tower of Hell’ Proves There is Nothing Good About Exploring Cult Murders

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Leave it to a bunch of students to think it’s a good idea to visit the site of cult murders, because social media would totally love it.

That always works out well, doesn’t it?

Based on a popular Indonesian indie video game, ‘Dreadout: Tower of Hell’ tells the story of;

“Dreadout is about a group of students who head to the site of a mysterious cult murder in a bid to become popular on social media.”

Check out the trailer below:

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‘BrightBurn’ Is a Horror-Fueled Twist on Super Hero Story

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With all the popularity of Marvel and DC Comics films over the past several years, particularly as they venture into much darker territories, it’s about time that horror put it’s own twist on the traditional super hero story.

James Gunn, the man behind the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, is excited to unveil ‘BrightBurn’ which is like turning the Superman story upside down in a way that’s never been done until now.

Gunn had this to say about the upcoming film, which stars Elizabeth Banks and drops May 24th, 2019.

“About a year ago my brother Brian, my cousin Mark, director David Yarovesky, producer Simon Hatt and I started coming up with an idea for a horror film that excited me in a way nothing outside of Guardians has in years – it was personal, and different, and perfectly suited for our times. And, yes, terrifying.”

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‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ Trailer Is Everything You Want, and More

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Monster movies are awesome, when done right, and they certainly have rebooted the Godzilla franchise the right way in the United States.

A brand new trailer has been dropped for 2019’s summer blockbuster ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ and it looks amazing in every way imaginable.

Zhang Ziyi, Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Bradley Whitford, Ken Watanabe, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance and Aisha Hinds star in the film that takes place 5 years after the last film.

“When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.”

It officially arrives on May 31st, 2019.

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