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The Ritual

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom

2017

Rated R • 1h 34m

Director David Bruckner

Starring Rafe Spall, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton, Arsher Ali

Genre Horror

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A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that's stalking them.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

60

Variety by Dennis Harvey

Though well-cast and competently written, The Ritual owes its primary effectiveness not so much to story or character per se as to the unsettling atmosphere Bruckner and company have eked out of the forest itself.
80

Total Film by Matt Glasby

Entertaining, engrossing and at times genuinely unnerving, Bruckner’s bad trip is one for horror fans to relish.
50

The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

Horror fans who’ve wondered what Bruckner might do with an entire movie of his own will be disappointed by his solo feature-length debut, The Ritual, which attempts to put a twist on the Blair Witch formula but demonstrates surprisingly little imagination.
60

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Spall is good casting in the lead: miserable, hangdog, humorous and scared, like a handsomer version of Josh Widdicombe. James-Collier is a fierce screen presence: some film-maker needs to find something more for him to do.
60

The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Dalton

Somewhere in the murky depths of this modestly gripping thriller lurks a more interesting film about real-life monsters, the kind that prey on human minds not human flesh.
60

The Telegraph by Tim Robey

It’s the character dynamics here, more than the dark and stormy set-pieces, that get things off the ground.
60

Time Out by Trevor Johnston

If it lacks the originality and sheer muscle of the best horror fare, this does offer an astute take on fragile thirtysomething machismo, and Spall treads a convincingly anguished path towards potential redemption.

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