The Rit­ual

Daily Star Sunday - - NEWS -

ANDY’S RAT­ING: ★★★ In cin­e­mas on Fri­day

DARK at­tics, wood­land cab­ins and Vic­to­rian toys are the top three things to avoid if you ever find your­self in a hor­ror movie.

So what does Rafe Spall’s gang of hik­ers do when they get lost in some very spooky Swedish woods? They seek shel­ter in a cabin cov­ered with pa­gan sym­bols be­fore climb­ing gin­gerly into the at­tic…

Okay, they don’t come across a pos­sessed doll, but I think it’s safe to say David Bruck­ner isn’t seek­ing to rein­vent the hor­ror film with The Rit­ual. What he does of­fer is witty di­a­logue, de­cent act­ing, creepy at­mos­phere and an un­usual set-up. The film be­gins with a tragic night out for five, 30-some­thing for­mer univer­sity pals.

To hon­our their dead friend, the sur­viv­ing four (Spall, Sam Troughton, Robert James-Col­lier and Ar­sher Ali), go walk­ing in Sweden where a de­monic pres­ence dredges up re­pressed guilt and opens a rift be­tween the old friends.

Bruck­ner sum­mons up some night­mar­ish im­ages and un­bear­able ten­sion be­fore let­ting loose with his glee­fully over-the-top fi­nale.

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