The Ritual (UK, 2017)

‘They should have gone to Vegas’

The Ritual is a 2017 British horror film directed by David Bruckner (Southbound; V/H/SThe Signal) from a screenplay by Joe Barton (Humans), based on Adam Nevill’s 2012 novel of the same title. It stars Rafe Spall, Rob James-Collier and Arsher Ali.

Four college friends reunite for a hiking trip but encounter a menacing presence in the forest that’s stalking them…

In the UK, The Ritual is released in cinemas on Friday 13th of October, 2017. Netflix will distribute in the USA.


“The monster design is creative. The locations are viscerally remote. The flick hits enough off the right beats and prove that David Bruckner knows how to handle this genre in a variety of ways. The trouble is that this hodgepodge homage to horror tropes never really develops much of it’s own identity.” Phil Brown, Collider

“Whether the film is truly terrifying or simply scary, that all depends on how you handle creature features […] Nevertheless, The Ritual is a suspenseful horror flick that, although not entirely breaking new ground, deals with its subject matter in a fun, foreboding and stylish way.” Matthew Ritchie, Exclaim!

“Though well-cast and competently written, The Ritual owes its primary effectiveness not so much to story or character per se as to the unsettling atmosphere Bruckner and company have eked out of the forest itself. DP Andrew Shulkind’s impressive lensing often frames the actors dwarfed and dominated by oddly hostile-looking trees whose tops or bottoms we can’t see.” Dennis Harvey, Variety

“Unfortunately, Barton’s script favors repetition rather than innovation, which means seemingly endless scenes of the group trudging through ominous woods, griping at each other and getting increasingly paranoid. The moody atmosphere remains, but the lack of new developments weighs the middle section of the film down.” Joe Lipsett, Bloody Disgusting

“Bruckner, aided by Joe Barton’s brilliantly realistic dialogue, does a fantastic job in highlighting all the right themes, without ever resorting to the facile in order to drive the idea home. Playing with the whole “cabin in the woods” horror genre, mixed with what is generally referred to as “pagan folk horror” a la The Wicker Man, the film manages to install a real sense of unease and genuine terror…” Linda Marric, HeyUGuys

“I’ve had 3 hours of sleep because I can’t stop thinking about how damn haunting it was. My heart was racing, my eyes were wide open, my emotions wilding. And that’s something different about this film, it really delved into the emotional connections between the main characters which just added that much more to their terrifying stories.” Leo, Letterboxd

The Imaginarium Productions/eOne Films movie was produced by Jonathan Cavendish, Richard Holmes (Eden Lake) and Andy Serkis (actor in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and sequels; Burke and HareKing Kong; The Cottage).

Main cast:

Rafe Spall (Jurassic World 2; Shaun of the Dead), Rob James-Collier, Arsher Ali, Sam Troughton (Slumber; Spirit TrapAlien vs. Predator), Paul Reid, Kerri McLean, Jacob James Beswick.

Filming locations:


Buy novel:



Categories: 2017, adaptation of a novel, British, rural horror

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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