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.