"The Ritual" Movie Review
A mediocre conclusion is all it takes to foil a great film. The Ritual is a prime example of that.
It follows four guys on a backpacking trip as they cope with the recent gruesome murder of their friend. On the return route, they attempt to traverse an improvised shortcut through the woods where they happen upon a cult-like practice that they eventually become inadvertently subject to.
The Ritual really feels like a Blair Witch (2016) remake, with much of the imagery and a significant number of plot points resembling the critically panned monster flick. However, in addition to executing these aspects much more effectively than Blair Witch, The Ritual adds character depth through an internal conflict that weaves itself into the overall resolution of the film.
My disappointment comes strictly from the third act. After the reveal of what is haunting the woods, action suddenly takes precedence over thoughtfulness, and valuable themes of strength, courage, and redemption lose their potency to a lack-luster standoff.
84 minutes of The Ritual is absolutely terrifying. But it's a 94 minute long film, and it seems that those final 10 minutes seem to become the production's own sacrificial offering to appease mainstream appeal.
Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 2 | Story and Message - 0 | Entertainment Value - 2 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 1 | Reviewer's Preference - 1