The Ritual (2017)

Director: David Bruckner

Writer: Joe Barton (Screenplay) Adam Nevill (Novel)

Starring: Rafe Spall, Robert James-Collier, Arsher Ali, Sam Troughton, Paul Reid, Maria Erwolter


Plot: A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them.


Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Rollercoaster Ride of a Horror


Story: The Ritual starts as four friends Luke (Spall), Hutch (James-Collier), Phil (Ali) and Dominic (Troughton) head off to Sweden for a hiking holiday in memory of the fifth member of the group who was murdered in a robbery gone wrong. Along the Swedish hill range Dominic gets hurt leading to the group needing to look for a shortcut.

The shortcut takes them through the woods where strange things start to occur and before long the four friends find themselves suffering nightmares. The friends must remain calm to make it out alive but with a shimmering tension between them, it will be a true test of their friendship against an unknown evil force hunting them down.


Thoughts on The Ritual


Characters – Luke is or main character, he lives everyday with regret because he didn’t help their other friend during the robbery, he is on this trip because it was their wish and celebrate his life. Hutch would be considered the leader of the group when it comes to holidays, he takes control of the hike making sure everyone has supplies, rest and even finds the shortcut to help make Dominic’s pain less. Phil does feel like the state the obvious guy in the group, he likes to make a laugh out of everything but when things get serious he is the quickest to get paranoid. Dominic is the butt of most jokes, he gets nearly all the funniest lines in the movie but is the one that would say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Between these four character we do get excellent banter which helps us want to care about the guys on their trip.

PerformancesRafe Spall is the biggest name of the four guys and he shows with the most difficult role to play that he can shine through once again. Rob, Arsher and Sam are all good through the film showing they can make the most out of their own characters.

StoryThe story does feel cut and dry easy to follow, four guys on a holiday try to take a shortcut and walk into an evil they can’t explain. Simple, right, well that is all you need in horror, we get the lost in the woods idea once again but, what is wrong with that, it works, the evil or creature after them, does become original by the end. There is one small issue is had with the story and that would be that the banter is that good it sometimes feels like the film wants to be a horror comedy, but it also is way too dark to be a comedy.

HorrorThe horror builds up nicely here, we have the nightmares, hints of the creature before the final act gives us all the answers which is great for horror. The creatures look also must go down as one of the most unique new looks in any horror this year.

SettingsThe Swedish hill and woods make for the setting, the reality is it could be any woodland area but the camerawork makes each and every tree feel frightening at times. But this does all create the isolation needed for this style of horror film.

Special EffectsThe effects in this movie are very impressive, the create does look like it could have been practical at times, but the nightmare sequences work well mixing the shop with the woodland area too. We do have moments of CGI though but they don’t look bad at all.

Scene of the Movie –
The Escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The banter between the characters works but does make it feel like a comedy at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the surprises for me this year, I saw the trailer and only had bad thoughts about this movie, the film builds up to an excellent conclusion, brings us a new horror monster and most importantly entertains.


Overall: Horror fans will be enjoying this one.





Four Lions (2010)

four-lionsDirector: Christopher Morris

Writer: Christopher Morris, Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong (Screenplay)

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar, Julia Davis, Craig Parkinson


Plot: Four incompetent British jihadists set out to train for and commit an act of terror.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Funny Comedy


Story: Four Lions starts as we meet four British Muslims working simple jobs in England, Omar (Ahmed), Barry (Lindsay), Waj (Novak) and Faisal (Akhtar) who want to going be Jihadists. Omar and Waj get the call to travel to Pakistan to go through the training with Barry keeping up the fight back in the UK recruiting Hassan (Ali).

When the group reunite, they plan their own terrorist attack in the UK but as things continue to go wrong with Barry’s extreme behaviour, while Omar wanting to be more calculated with his attack. When they finally put their difference behind them the group look to plan their attack with of course comical consequences.


Thoughts on Four Lions


Characters/PerformanceOmar is the calm leader who has the plan down perfectly and tries to do the right thing for his friend, Waj is the simple-minded character who is easily led astray by Barry and Omar. Barry is the true British extremist who enjoys the terrorist idea and wants to hurt as many people as he can, he is the true bad example of this whole film. we get to see the comic side of these hopeless characters who want to be terrorists.

Performance wise Riz Ahmed is brilliant in this role with Nigel Lindasy and Kayvan Novak being equally as entertaining through the whole film. I think the whole cast do a great job at how we can see the nativity behind the jihadists extremists.stars

StoryThe story shows us how naïve jihadists believe they can follow others into the terrorist’s idea when they are clearly just clueless about the whole situation. This is an advert about how people can be led astray by these extremist’s beliefs but never understand the true meaning of everything they are doing. The story is mostly parody which works all so well for the film.

Comedy/CrimeWe have laughs from start to finish in this film while the crime terrorist attack is being planned.

SettingsThe settings show how these men can come from everyday background to be the terrorists, we see whole London can be a target with the links to escape or find trapped.

Special EffectsThe special effects are only used in small places but they all work well for the film.genre

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to comedy this is by far one of the best you will see and I think everyone could enjoy even with a sensitive subject.


Overall: A must watch for all the comedy fans out there.