Few horror movies are unforgettable when it comes to their terrifying traits. Creepy monsters and scary mansions are common denizens of the (not so) horror space, but it’s relatively easy to get around. Not with “The Ritual”.
Haven’t seen Netflix’s The Ritual yet? You’ll be terrified, for sure. It’s unlike any horror movie you have seen before, you’ve been warned!
The Ritual of Guilt, Courage & Redemption
The Ritual is the story of guilt. Luke (Rafe Spall) is unable to save his friend Rob when the latter is murdered by robbers in a liquor store. A poignant scene, where Rob repeatedly calls out to a petrified Luke, who is frozen in fear.
As the movie unfolds, Luke repeatedly lives these moments as the past haunts his present, dictating his future, until he finally confronts his fear, albeit in front of an ancient God from the Norse mythology.
The Ritual: A Spine-Chilling Tale of the Woods
Luke, with his three other friends, is hiking through the mountains of the Sarek National Park in Sweden in the honour of his deceased friend when the group decides to cut the route short and trek through the woods instead. The woods are dark and deep though; strange noises and events are proof enough something sinister is underway.
There’s no stopping for the friends who continue to march until that dark stormy night, which changes everything. Directed by David Bruckner, the film is available for online viewing on Netflix and is gaining widespread acclaim.
Of Legends and Stories
Drawing from Nordic legends and mythology, the film sets a perfect backdrop to terrify even the most suspecting souls: dark woods, eerie houses, and strange cults.
The Ritual has deep philosophical and metaphysical connotations – the concept of guilt, of anxiety, of friendship, and of course, redemption. The cyclic nature of guilt, which haunts the bearer swinging back and forth between the past and the present, is an essential component of the film. This continues unabated until the protagonist decides to confront his guilt, accepts it, and decides to fight back.
The Ritual is Not Just Another Horror Film
If you thought the horror genre is done to death, think again. Joe Barton’s screenplay blurs the lines between dreams and reality so often that you travel amidst two different universes in the film. Though they might appear different at first, the moment you scratch the surface, you will begin to see the parallels.
Luke is the chosen one owing to his inner pain and suffering. He is trapped. In a time loop. But is there a way out? What must he do? Witness? Or Fight? The ancient monster can smell fear. And there’s no escape. Until, of course, Luke rises despite all odds.
The film works on many different levels, employing beautiful metaphors to weave a complex narrative that will set you thinking. From the dreadful creature slurping an ancient language to the inner demons in control of our lives, The Ritual is as engrossing as it gets.
The movie is based on Adam Nevill’s novel of the same name and is a definite must-watch.