The Ritual (2017)

The Ritual
Director: David Bruckner
Writer: Joe Barton
Based on: Adam Nevill‘s novel
Cast: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton, Paul Reid
Seen on: 3.9.2022

Plot:
After their friend Rob (Paul Reid) is killed during a robbery, Hutch (Robert James-Collier), Luke (Rafe Spall), Phil (Arsher Ali) and Dom (Sam Troughton) go to Sweden together to go on the hiking trip that Rob suggested just before he died. Despite not being very experienced hikers, everything goes well until Dom falls and twists his ankle. They decide to deviate from the original plan and go through the forest instead of around it. But there is something in the forest. Something that is hunting them.

The Ritual starts off well enough when establishing its characters and their situation. But once it would have been time to really dig in to that, it turns to scariness instead and loses its grip on the story and the audience watching.

The film poster showing the central four walking towards a forest, a car wreck next to them.
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Southbound (2015)

Southbound
Segment 1: The Way Out
Director: Radio Silence
Writer: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Cast: Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Segment 2: Siren
Director: Roxanne Benjamin
Writer: Roxanne Benjamin, Susan Burke
Cast: Fabianne ThereseNathalie LoveHannah Marks, Susan Burke, Davey Johnson
Segment 3: The Accident
Director: David Bruckner
Writer: David Bruckner
Cast: Mather Zickel
Segment 4: Jailbreak
Director: Patrick Horvath
Writer: Patrick Horvath, Dallas Richard Hallam
Cast: David YowTipper NewtonMatt Peters
Segment 5: The Way In
Director: Radio Silence
Writer: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Cast: Hassie HarrisonGerald DowneyKate Beahan 
The segments are connected by a radio DJ played by Larry Fessenden.
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.4.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
On the seemingly endless highways of the USAmerican South, several fates cross each other, each set on their own dark path.

There was obviously a lot of thought put into the transition between the segments in Southbound, creating an interesting structure. I certainly appreciated that, though it doesn’t change the usual anthology film problem: some segments are simply better than others. For me, Southbound reached its climax in the middle with The Accident. Overall I wasn’t absolutely enthusiastic about it, but I did enjoy it.

southbound

After the jump I talk about each of the segments individually.

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V/H/S (2012)

V/H/S (it’s a horror anthology with the following segments)
Segment Tape 56
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Kentucker Audley, Adam Wingard
Segment Amateur Night
Director: David Bruckner
Writer: David Bruckner, Nicholas Tecosky
Cast: Mike Donlan, Joe Sykes, Drew Sawyer, Hannah Fierman
Segment Second Honeymoon
Director: Ti West
Writer: Ti West
Cast: Joe Swanberg, Sophia Takal, Kate Lyn Sheil
Segment Tuesday The 17th
Director: Glenn McQuaid
Writer: Glenn McQuaid
Cast: Norma C. Quinones, Drew Moerlein, Jeannine Elizabeth Yoder, Jason Yachanin
Segment The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger
Director: Joe Swanberg
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Helen Rogers, Daniel Kaufman
Segment 10/31/98
Director: Radio Silence (aka Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Chad Villella)
Writer: Radio Silence (aka Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Chad Villella)
Cast: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Chad Villella, Paul Natonek
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

[Trigger Warning]

Plot:
A group of young men (Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Kentucker Audley, Adam Wingard) who make their money with sexually assaulting women are hired to retrieve a mysterious video tape from an apparently empty house that is filled with video tapes. As they don’t know which tape to take, they start packing them all up. While they do that, one by one they start watching the tapes that are filled with horrifying found footage.

The quality of the segments varies wildly, but the general framing is pretty weak. Generally I’m afraid that my expectations were just way too high – even though I’m not a fan of found footage in general, I had heard only good things and how scary it was, but the movie just doesn’t live up to that.

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