The Ritual Trailer: Netflix Horror Movie Adapts Acclaimed Novel

Netflix horror movie The Ritual is based on Adam Nevill’s nightmarish creeping out in the woods novel.

Still from The Ritual
Photo: Netflix

Netflix horror movie The Ritual showcases reason number 2309580367 not to venture into the woods after dark. 

Just in case you never read that E.M. Forster story about the girl who morphed into a tree (or just don’t watch late-night crime documentaries), Adam Nevill’s chilling bestseller The Ritual has been adapted by Andy Serkis’ The Imaginarium and is ready for a nightmarish premiere on Netflix. And you know anything the hands of Gollum touch is going to be dark, unnerving and quite possibly evil.

The Ritual Trailer

The Netflix horror film, which brandishes the tagline, “They should have gone to Vegas,” shows off its nightmarish arboreal ordeal in The Ritual trailer.

A quartet of English mates, Luke (Rafe Spall), Phil (Arsher Ali), Hutch (Robert James-Collier), and Dom (Sam Troughton, grandson of second Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton) embark on a reunion full of reminiscence of their salad days, hiking in the forests of Sweden. However, besides the cruelty of Mother Nature, the guys find themselves at the mercy of a mysterious unseen force, who’s leaving demented clues along the way like mutilated animal corpses and bizarre trinkets.

While one might be quick to invoke its apparent similarities to The Blair Witch Project, The Ritual movie was based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Adam Nevill, which has been widely lauded for its unique ability to convey tension and the horror of isolation.

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The Ritual Release Date

The Ritual will arrive on Netflix on February 9.

The film premiered in September 2017 at the Toronto Film Festival. If you find yourself intrigued, then check out our U.K. site’s review.

The Ritual Details

The Ritual is a U.K. production directed by David Bruckner (VHS, Southbound), working off a script by Joe Barton (Humans), which adapts Adam Nevill’s novel.

While it isn’t exactly the wisest thing hike off into the unexplored wilds of the Scandinavia alone, crawling into a decrepit old house scattered with what looks like all the ancient paraphernalia needed for Human Sacrifice 101—and not bolting into the snow at the first sign of any suspicious bones—is asking for it. It’s even less wise to undertake this morbid adventure with people you’ve just discovered don’t really get along with you anymore. Not to mention being completely ignorant of the turbulent history of the Vikings and the blót rites meant to appease bloodthirsty gods. You don’t just wander off into antediluvian woods without knowing what was done there in the name of Odin. Already on the edge of a (possibly sacrificial) knife with one another, the former college friends of The Ritual take a so-called shortcut that leads them to wake an unspeakable horror more ancient than Cthulhu and just as monstrous. 

Starring Rafe Spall, Robert James-Collier and Sam Troughton, the grisly tale of things that should never be disturbed will be written and directed by David Bruckner (The Signal, Southbound, Intrusion). With Chloe Sizer and eOne’s Laura Wilson overseeing, Jonathan Cavendish, Richard Holmes and Philip Robertson will produce for The Imaginarium. If you think you don’t spook easily, keep in mind that The Ritual won the 2012 August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel.