Sweden is a fascinating country, and I don't say that simply because my daughter lives there. It's a beautiful place, with an intriguing and mysterious landscape that film-makers have used effectively in numerous films and TV series. Midsommar is perhaps the most famous modern horror film set there, but the rather less ambitious, pretentious, and derivative 2017 British movie The Ritual is arguably as good if not better.
Five young men discuss their plans for a holiday, which are rudely interrupted when one of them is cruelly murdered during a burglary that goes wrong. He'd favoured a hike in north Sweden, and the remaining quartet decide to do just that, as a tribute to his memory. It turns out, surprise, surprise, to be a poor decision...
Shortly after they set out, one of them suffers an injury. To save time, they decide to take a short cut away from the marked trail and through a dense forest. Big mistake. Spooky things start to happen, and when they take refuge from a storm in an abandoned cabin, things go from bad to worse. Something is going on in the woods, and it's no teddy bears' picnic...
Rafe Spall, a first-rate actor, leads a small, high-calibre cast which also includes Sam Troughton (grandson of Patrick). Joe Barton's screenplay, based on Adam Nevill's novel, is tightly written, with more sophisticated delineation of character than one finds in many horror films. Consistently watchable and definitely above average in its genre.
Do you have a time machine? This is dated 10th June, but appears today.
I think this is one review that got away from you, Martin....check the date :)
Ah, the miracles of technology!!
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