Complete A-Z list

Ritual, The


Stars: Rafe Spall, Sam Troughton, Robert James-Coillier, Arsher Ali

Director: David Bruckner

We haven't been back to that cabin in the woods in a while, perhaps not since the last Blair Witch film. Actually, there are several cabins here, all suitably demonised, as four British trekkers, still devastated by the death of their friend in a store robbery, hike to the top of a Swedish hill (actually filmed in Romania) to commemorate his passing.

Chief among them is Luke (Spall), still mentally accusing himself of cowardice after hiding in the store while his friend was being beaten to death by the robbers.

Forces to take a 'short cut' through thick woods after Dom (Troughton) twists his knee, the quartet is soon in trouble. Spending the night at the first cabin, they awake to screaming nightmares, finding Phil (Ali) naked and kneeling before a horned straw effigy upstairs.

And Spall has unexplainable wounds on his chest.

'We're going to be absolutely OK,' opines sensible Mitch (James-Collier from Downton Abbey). But of course he's wrong. Lots more scares, human sacrifice and a giant horned monster lie in wait within the forest of huge conifers.

Although I came to this prepared to scoff, this is actually pretty good of its kind. Although the boys predictably do silly things and inevitably get picked off one by one, the acting is all good, and the director keeps things moving along at a thumping rate.

David Quinlan

UK/Romania 2017. UK Distributor: entertainmentOne . Colour by ACES.
93 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 09 Oct 2017