What happens when four friends go hiking through the remote mountains of Sweden, as they honor one of their dead mates? The Ritual is a heart-pounding adventure — especially in its first three-quarters or so — which explores that very subject matter. And while the last portion of the movie doesn’t always hit home, it does little to detract from the brilliant horror that precedes it.

Rife with chilling imagery and beautiful cinematography, The Ritual is a treat to behold. The movie’s first half deals with the very real problems the four friends have while trying to make their way home after one of them twists an ankle. They decide the fastest route is through a particularly dark and nasty stretch of foreboding woods, and from there things go awry.

The Good:

  • Someone kiss the cinematographer(s), please!
  • Dripping with dread and atmosphere.
  • Emotional bits between the four friends/Survivor’s guilt.
  • The monster is very interesting.

The Bad:

  • Loses some steam once a more human element is introduced in the last stretch.
  • Perhaps it reveals too much of the monster in the back half.

If you’re in need of a new horror movie, The Ritual should certainly be your next stop. The first 75% of its running time is brilliant and it’s a shame this didn’t release during Halloween, as it’s perfect for the season. Let’s hope there’s more good horror of this caliber (and above) on the way.


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