Friday, 13 October 2017

The Ritual (The film, not OCD complaint)

Went to see The Ritual. What's a matter with 46% of you? I loved the end. Affirmative, right? Despite the eviscerations.

I'd give the film a higher score than Audience Average on Rotten Tomatoes. 70% seems fair, which puts me on the side of the Tomatoes critics.

The film has a now-standard ensemble character set, but they each become part of a greater conceit, don't they? As in, the woods are a place of creepy unknowns, so they must be also a place where your character is formed (or not), in how you relate to all the crap stuff thrown up by living. Such as grief and fear. But mostly, that dread of all, shame: that horrible, bleak and brutal consequence of a confrontation with the self.

Then the characters fit easily into that conceit. Each of them shows a different response to the terror of the woods, or the confrontation with self, or the tussle with the psyche or the soul, or the what-you-will. Yes, each character gives a typical generic human-type response, but hey, it's a film lasting 90 mins and has a myth-human monster frolicking about, so back off the complaining.

Facing grief, loss, dread, fear, shame, what do we human-types do? Submit to it, make it your master and go on and on about it (Phil). Ignore it, pretend it doesn't happen (Hutch). Blame everyone else (Dom).

Or (and get the name Luke - My English teacher was right - know the Bible as a route to literature) you can face the full demonic horror with a stomach-churning scrutiny, know how shit and shame changes us, and get on with roaring back. We're all on a route. We're all fearful, facing loss, and shamed. We only deserve to be eviscerated in a wood if we refuse to let ourselves find a way to heal.

So what's wrong with a story like that?

Also, I thought the monster was terrific. Very Nordic.

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