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something is very peculiar with ‘The Ritual’: is special but there is nothing that makes you really special. That is to say, is that in a perfect world should be an average film horror: effective, disturbing, direct, and uncompromising. Everything that he proposes
it Is easy, therefore, to cite two references are obvious in this first feature film of David Bruckner: ‘The project of the Blair witch’ and ‘Possession infernal’. Multiple elements of these two films (and their many sequels and imitators) are planning to meet in this terrifying epic forest: the cottage sinister, the forest threatening, signs esoteric warn the protagonists that are getting into dangerous ground, the encounter with locals little or no hospital…
however, all these conventions are treated with knowledge of cause. For example, the protagonists are scared to see warning signs that they do not understand or a carcass hanging from a tree, as we would to anyone. Do not take the danger to joke, it is imprudent to suicide or teenagers mindless. Basically, that is what makes it credible and terrifying to ‘The ritual’: you know how, despite how trite the material and the concepts of fourth-hand, give you credibility and that we can take seriously.
The starting point of ‘The ritual’ it is extremely synthetic: a group of men who are doing a hiking trip through the forests of the nordic in memory of a deceased friend is forced, when one of them dislocated an ankle, to take a shortcut and enter a forest. To shelter from the rain will a night in a cabin abandoned, from which they will begin to have visions related to a strange pagan cult.
I Hear the drums sounding in the neighboring village
Without a doubt, ‘The ritual’ is better the more things you leave in the air. is The meaning of the ritual, the signs that the hikers are found, the origin or intention of the gods, monsters, or creatures or whatever to be encountered, the destination of those who came before them… everything is handled with the perfect balance of explicitness and enigma that leaves the viewer a suitable way of “I’m not going to try to understand this… because in any case either I would get it all“. And it is a natural feeling, ominous and unsettling.
This success to the time of telling the story should be to the taste of the director David Bruckner, who although his debut here in the film, has a couple of contributions to films episodes very interesting. In ‘V/H/S’ led the is perhaps the best fragment of the whole, that of the female deity, just with a group of macho in a kind of reverse key female in the history of ‘The ritual’. And in the great ‘Southbound’ was the responsible of the section more disturbing, the spectacular accident of traffic. In both cases demonstrated a mastery of the atmosphere and the rhythm that repeats here.
Long shots of the forest with levísimos zooms in which is evident a presence who observes the group, beautiful and very disturbing compositions in which the intricate trees form a kind of cell that will hauling them more and more… Bruckner does not invent anything, but neither believes otherwise, and available to all without cheating or efectismos, be aware that the material handled is sufficiently disturbing without the need of hincharlo more of the account.
Even in the second half, when ‘The ritual’ becomes almost a monster movie makes pagan, that is to say, when all are shouting, racing and people bleeding a lot, Bruckner, solves the ballot with a note proposing one of the creatures most perplexing, enigmatic and memorable that we have seen in recent times, which is perfectly consistent with the atmosphere unhealthy and cultish as the argument, but that also blends with a certain sub-style of survival horrors in the Nature of a few years ago.
it Is true that Bruckner takes few risks in the description of the characters: except for the protagonist (super Rafe Shoulder), directly implicated in the death of a common friend, no one seems to bring too much emotional baggage to the nightmare.
The absence of women means that some of the conflicts are taken for granted, with how easy it would have been to give the group a layer of complexity with a female member.
however, until that becomes the Bruckner in your favor: the lack of personality of the protagonists gives it a certain quality abstract and essential to the film, and they become dolls without a background and without the possibility of escape to a threat that you can guess almost mystical. And as everything in the rest of this modest but powerful películilla of fear, which in another production, more ambitious would be problems, here plays to the atmosphere and the ideas simple and pure.
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The news ‘The ritual’ is a simple but very effective horror film that plays with fears universal was originally published in Espinof by John Tones .
February 15, 2018
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