Thursday, October 30, 2008


Rituals is an unsettling, gritty, and very Canadian thriller. It combines elements from Deliverance, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Edge and Blair Witch Project. Oh - but it was released in 1977!

A group of middle-aged men hire a plane to go on their ritual camping trip in a remote northern location. Things start going badly when they realize they are the targets of a predator with strange... rituals.

With much better than expected performances and dialogue, this movie really surprised me. It builds tension in three classic ways - the men against the monster, nature and themselves. It handles each with a lot of attention to detail and there is excellent acting throughout. The reveals are slow and increasingly creepy. The landscapes are both bleak and beautiful.

I'll confess to only seeing this once on TV a few nights ago, so I'm writing from memory. And from the looks of things, I was lucky. From what I can find on Amazon, there is just a poor-quality DVD release available with negative reviews, all due to video quality.

Here's a trailer on YouTube. That horrible music isn't in the film, thankfully.

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