Movie Review: The Ritual (2017)

Synopsis: When their friend, Rob, walks in on a liquor store robbery and is murdered, Phil, Dom, Luke and Hutch honor his memory by taking the hiking trip in Sweden he wash talking about before he died. After setting up a memorial for him, they decide to leave the trail and, instead, take a short cut through the forest. This puts their lives in jeopardy as they face the supernatural creature that lives there.

Who's in it? The movie stars Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton and Paul Reid.

Review: My wife and I started watching the film Mimic: Sentinel earlier this week. But, we were so bored with it, we wound off shutting it off at the halfway point. Rather than attempt to finish it last night, I decided to look for something else. And, while I did have some doubts about a film that seemed a little too much like some others I've seen, I decided to give this movie a chance. As it turns out, it was better than I expected.

As is usually the case with films like this one, this movie is mostly a series of bad choices. This stars with Rob (Reid) getting killed because he refused to give up his wedding ring. Then, his friends, rather than taking the well-known hiking trail, decided to attempt a short cut and, ultimately, started following another trail that seemed to be leading away from the direction they were trying to go. All of these choices would put their lives at risk in a normal situation. The fact there was a murderous god-like creature stalking them only added to this.

While the movie was, at times, a little predictable, I did like the fact the filmmakers chose not to reveal the creature's identity until toward the end. This made the film a little more entertaining than it might otherwise be because it left a lot of possibilities open. For example, while it looked like they were being hunted down by something that was supernatural, there were buildings and other man-made objects throughout the forest, making it very possible they were dealing with a human threat.

My only real complaint about the movie, other than the actors' accents making it hard to understand what they were saying at times, was the ending. I don't want to give away too many details, but it was one of those endings that only provides partial closure and leaves the aftermath to the viewer's imagination. I would have liked to see the writers have a "one-year-later" summary or something to help with that.

Final Opinion: I don't know if it is a film I would describe as being particularly memorable. But, it did prove to be better than I was expecting it to be and I would recommend it if you're looking for something to watch on a rainy day.

My Grade: B


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