Review: Brit horror The Ritual cranks up the unnerving tension
- Credit: Entertainment One/Vlad Cioplea
The Hangover downs shots with Deliverance and The Blair Witch Project, in this British horror thriller resists the temptation for cheap, jump-out-of-your-seat scares to focus on a sustained build-up of tension.
This British horror movie didn't make me jump once – rather it busied itself keeping me in a state of unnerving tension.
The film glides audiences across the full horror spectrum, from casual random inner city brutality to remote supernatural threat. It works so well because it gets invest completely in its four protagonist, and fully rewards your faith.
You may also want to watch:
Four not-quite-ready-to-be-called-middle-aged men (Rafe Spall, Robert James-Collier, Arsher Ali and Sam Troughton) choose to ignore the golden rule of city life: never go out into the countryside.
Instead they find themselves on a hiking tour of Norway in memory of the fifth member of the group, Robert, who had been killed on a night out sixth months earlier.
- 1 Rare Airbus Beluga XL spotted over Norfolk
- 2 Spectacle of light with 'Norfolk's biggest ever firework display' announced
- 3 Man dies after 'medical incident' on Yarmouth seafront
- 4 Popular GP bids farewell to patients with emotional letter after 33 years in Beccles
- 5 Star-studded cast announced for Norwich Theatre Royal 2021 panto
- 6 Birds of prey found shot and poisoned during raid in Norfolk
- 7 Plastic fork firm redundancies blamed on supermarket ‘greenwashing’
- 8 Closures near A11 roundabout after crash involving motorcycle and van
- 9 Man struck repeatedly on head with motorcylcle helmet in Norfolk attack
- 10 Home baker opens first shop after business 'snowballed' in lockdown
Luke (Spall) is wrestling with his guilt about failing to intervene when Robert was murdered. When one of them treads awkwardly and sprains his ankle, they decide to take a short cut through the woods. What follows is the Blair Witch Project with grown ups and proper cameramen.
I wouldn't call it terrifying but it is consistently gripping and is so because of the quality of the cast and the closeness with which you identify with them.
The best part of the film is following them as they gradually come to realise and accept that there is something going on beyond their understanding. Even as the events on screen move into the realms of the fantastical, they still make it seem real.
If you want me to nitpick, there are a couple of time when it seems to go from day to night really quickly. And though it is played up quite strongly, Luke's guilt over Robert's death doesn't really have any thematic pay off.
But overall, I'd say this was the best British horror movie since The Descent, though I'd say with the nagging feeling that I've overlooked one.