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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Spirit Trap (2005)

Spirit Trap
Director: David Smith
Writer: Phil O’Shea, Rohan Candappa, Paul Finch
Cast: Billie Piper, Luke Mably, Sam Troughton, Emma Catherwood, Alsou, Chiké Okonkwo
Seen on: 23.12.2020

Content Note: racism, lynching

Plot:
Jenny (Billie Piper) is excited to start university. Through student housing she was allocated a flat share in what turns out to be quite a mansion. Sharing with her are fellow first semester students Tom (Luke Mably), Tina (Alsou) and the couple Nick (Sam Troughton) and Adele (Emma Catherwood). The mansion is rather unusual and it also houses a spirit clock. When Tom gets it to work again, strange things start happening in the house and to the students.

Well. Spirit Trap is certainly a film. It has Billie Piper in it and it exists. And other than that, I really don’t have much to say about it, but I will anyway because that’s what I’m doing on here.

The film poster showing a skull superimposed over clockwork and the five main characters.
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King Lear

King Lear
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: William Shakespeare
Cast: Simon Russell Beale, Adrian Scarborough, Anna Maxwell Martin, Olivia Vinall, Kate Fleetwood, Sam Troughton, Tom Brooke, Stanley Townsend

Plot:
King Lear (Simon Russell Beale) is growing old and maybe even feels dementia approaching, so he decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters and their husbands. But he expects a certain amount of flattery for it, which his youngest (and up to this point favorite) daughter Cordelia (Olivia Vinall) is unwilling to give him. Lear takes this as a sign that she doesn’t love him and banishes her. But a feeble king is the opportunity for all kinds of power struggles and soon there is trouble stirring all over.

This production of King Lear practically lives off the monumental performance by Simon Russell Beale. Though the rest isn’t bad either, he just takes center stage and completely dominates it. And maybe he should do that more often because the result is awesome.

kinglear

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