Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'The Ritual' (2017)
Adventures in Toxic Masculinity
Alright. I'm going to tell you right now that you should watch this. IF FOR NOTHING ELSE, for the neat beastie with a well-developed mythos. But honestly, it was actually quite good, if even a little simple and formulaic. But remember, simple and formulaic is sometimes a good thing.
HOWEVER! You will be bitching at the screen like an armchair quarterback, going nearly out of your mind wondering when something nasty is gonna happen to the main character. You'll see, as I'll go into better details about this later, this movie really sets you up to hate him.
But yeah, the acting was actually good—even for Hollywood. Like I said, the plot was simple and formulaic, but it was well done. Guys wander into woods, something starts picking them off, they start to panic. It's classic.
The atmosphere was gritty as hell. These guys were practically tearing themselves apart in the woods. Everything is dirty dark and grim. It's like something out of Brian Froud's mind. You expect the fucking goblin king to jump out and slice someones throat open, the whole time singing, "Remind me of the babe."
I don't know where they filmed this, I'm just saying it was beautiful.
So in the beginning of this movie, the main character hides like a bitch while thugs brutally murder his buddy. And it's not one of those, "They had guns, what was I supposed to do." One guy has a pipe and the other guy is unarmed. They set up the whole situation so he could easily sneak up on the one and knock them the fuck out. Even if he only manages to get one, him and his buddy could handle the other. I don't fucking know, maybe it's just toxic masculinity, but you really can't even stand to look at the guy afterwards.
And throughout the whole fucking movie they're trying to be like, "Was it his fault?" and I'm just like... YEAH, YEAH IT FUCKING WAS! FUCK! Look, even if it just wound up being a double homicide, you stood there and did nothing while they beat your friend to death. The very LEAST you could have done was take your licks with him.
Anyway, they go on a hike to commemorate the tragic loss of their friend, they end up taking a detour through the woods, and then the real movie starts. This thing starts hunting the main character and his friends. And the best part is, it marks the main character, so I got all excited. What kind of special fucked up hell did this thing have in store for him? There's this one scene where he finds a room of rotting, mummy-like corpses praying to an idle. And I'm all like, yeah, he's gonna fucking end up like one of those things. And this thing can really get in his head, so it knows about him being a little bitch while his friend got murdered. It's constantly rubbing his face in it.
So you think he's gonna end up with an eternity of that misery. But no. He fucking gets away. Against all explicable odds. This thing has him dead to rights, but then basically gives him a running head start, so he gets away. What the fuck is that shit?
Anyway, the movie is still totally worth it. It's just a little dig.