With Halloween arriving on Sunday, this is the week that many families are gathering in front of the television and watching scary movies to get into the spirit. I recently watched a film I'd never even heard of on Netflix, and was blown away by how good it was.

October 1 is usually the day my family compiles a list of movies we intend to watch leading up to Halloween. Favorites of mine that make the list every year include (not in any particular order of most beloved) The Shining, The Conjuring, Insidious, Beetlejuice, 1408, The Raven, 30 Days of Night, Midsommar, and of course Halloween. After discovering this most recent film on Netflix, I'm going to start adding it to the annual list.

I was scrolling through Netflix last weekend and came across a film released in 2018 called The Ritual. By Sunday, I had already rewatched the movie three times. I had to play it for my daughter who shares my taste in cinema before she left for Seattle through the end of the month. Aside from a couple of images of gore, the film is one of those types that offers more jump scares than anything, and the cinematography is brilliantly shot.

The Ritual is about four friends who travel the King's Trail in Sweden, but decide to alter their route through the forest after one of the men injures his knee. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 74%, but I'm giving it a good solid 97%. The great thing about this film are the subtle frights the director adds, many of which are hard to pick up on unless you are paying close attention. Anytime the camera pans into a wooded scenery shot, you just might see some brilliant placement of the protagonist lurking in the background.

The four men end up encountering a mythical creature that takes to stalking them.It looks very much like a film that comes out this Friday in theaters called Antlers. I really enjoyed the writing in The Ritual as well. There is a healthy amount of humorous dialogue in the first 30-minutes of the movie, just before all hell breaks loose.

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