4 items from 2017
The Ritual, 2017.
Directed by David Bruckner.
A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them.
After their friend is tragically killed during a robbery, 4 of his friends Luke (Spall), Hutch (James-Collier), Phil (Ali) and Dom (Troughton) embark on a hike in the Swedish wilderness to honour their friend. Along the way they encounter something strange in the woods that begins to hunt them.
The Ritual is a typical British horror film and by that I mean that there are a ton of laughs to start with, characters who you genuinely empathise with and some legitimate scares. Our main character is Luke (Spall) who is dealing with his guilt over his friend’s demise, something that haunts him all the way through the film. »
- Helen Murdoch
The Ritual review: This wood-based horror is one of the most powerful and most terrifying films of the year.
Another autumn is upon us and that means horror films are rolling out as fast as leaves are falling from the trees. So amongst so many scares and jumps about to hit the cinema, why would anybody want to check out The Ritual, a British film that shoves some men into the Swedish woods? It takes from The Wicker-Man, The Descent, The Blair Witch Project, and Deliverance, with a bit of monster movie thrown in – meaning it’s far from original. So why go and see it? Because it’s bloody brilliant and genuinely terrifying.
- Luke Ryan Baldock
There’s more than one way to die in the woods, although so far as horror-film narratives in that vein go, “The Blair Witch Project” has cast a bit too pervasive a shadow for nearly two decades now. Give “The Ritual” credit for feeling distinctly different from that model, even if this, too, is a story involving lost campers and some witchy doings. Beyond avoiding the whole found-footage device, David Bruckner’s first solo directorial feature (he was one of three helmers on 2017’s excellent “The Signal”) benefits from solid atmospherics that elevate a not-particularly-original conceit about four men encountering possibly supernatural menace while hiking in Northern Sweden.
In the end, the result may simply be a creditable cut above genre average. But it’s surely the best Yank-directed horror movie about English blokes terrorized by monsters in Romania-posing-as-Sweden that you’ll see this year. Joe Barton’s screenplay — adapted from Adam Nevill’s novel, and »
- Dennis Harvey
The pride of a father. The love of a wife. The soul of a rebel. The heart of a champion. Roadside Attractions has debuted a trailer for a film titled Tommy's Honour, about the founders of the modern sport of golf. The film focuses on Tommy Morris, played by Jack Lowden, and his father Tom Morris, played by Peter Mullan, two golfing legends who helped make the sport into what it is today. Set in the 1800s, these two Toms helped redefine the sport at a time when Scottish golfers were considered low-class players. The cast includes Sam Neill, Ophelia Lovibond, Peter Ferdinando, Max Deacon and Paul Reid. This looks like a fine drama about a desire to rewrite the expectations of society, proving that anyone can be successful. Here's the official trailer (+ poster) for Jason Connery's Tommy's Honour, in high def from Apple: In every generation, a torch passes from father to son. »
- Alex Billington
4 items from 2017
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