Netflix offers up a trailer and release date for the feature film adaptation of Adam Nevill’s The Ritual, and the results are as good a reminder as any for hapless hikers to steer clear of the woods when they look this creepy. Netflix is certainly no stranger to the horror game (especially when it comes to raising subscription prices), as the streaming giant has recently brought Gerald’s Game, 1922, Death Note, and The Open House to its line-up, and the newest addition looks like it’s going to bring quite the gory nightmare to that list.
From director, David Bruckner (The Signal), The Ritual sees several friends from college reunite to mourn a friend by taking a cost-cutting tip to Sweden for a days-long hike through the forests where, unsurprisingly, something evil is lying in wait. Thankfully, the trailer doesn’t quite give that away, but it does offer up a few examples of what happens when things start to go wrong. The result is a nightmarish walk through the woods that seems destined to leave the group in need of some fresh blood by the time it’s all said and done.
The film features a pair of recognizable stars in Prometheus’ Rafe Spall and Downton Abbey’s Robert James-Collier, as Luke and Hutch, respectively. The two join two other doomed hikers in what looks like a solid supernatural thriller that is reminiscent of The Blair Witch, as well as the 2008 horror film The Ruins, another book-to-film adaptation with a vacation-gone-horribly-awry scenario at its center. Where The Ritual differs, however, is in the nature of the supernatural element tormenting the hikers, which appears to have some connection to Norse mythology.
For its part, the trailer isn’t shy about playing up the jump scares and moments of disorienting horror awaiting viewers. A terrifying nighttime sequence that appears to depict on man’s decent into madness and, of all things, a tent being whisked away into the darkness, is later chalked up to a collective nightmare (which is pretty weird in and of itself). As is usually the case in these kinds of scenarios, turning a blind eye to what is clearly a supernatural phenomenon only makes a bad situation worse, as the trailer proceeds to demonstrate.
The result looks like a scary 94 minutes for those looking to stream a little international horror into their living room come February 9. The film has apparently already premiered in the U.K., so this will make it easy for U.S. audiences to check it out.
The Ritual premieres Friday, February 9 on Netflix.
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