Ritual (2013)

directed by mickey keating
after dark films/ebf productions

A movie with a well-nigh perfect setup for a drive-in, this throwback-styled picture concerns a woman who kills a guy in a motel room and calls her estranged husband for help, after which they become targets of a murder cult. See? That’s a hard premise to best, and while director Keating’s effort doesn’t quite deliver – there isn’t as much disturbing content as might be expected, nor as much emotional impact; some of the imagery is pretty cheesy and some sequences feel like no more than padding – it’s an impressive enough attempt that I almost immediately sought out a few more films with his stamp. (Those being Darling and Pod, which I’ll get to in due time.) As I’ve hinted before, a sliding scale is employed here, and Ritual is the right kind of endeavor in my book. You can’t fail if you don’t try, people. Trust me on that one.

why did i watch this movie?

See the opening statement above: nearly impeccable concept. I also wanted to check out the director.

should you watch this movie?

It may well disappoint you, lacking as it does the audacity to fulfill expectations.

highlight and low point

Certain sequences in this film either suggest a retro approach or blatantly flaunt the same, and I remain undecided whether this is imitative hackwork, willfully referential, chutzpah, insipidity … you get the idea. Either way, I enjoyed the effect, but I may have been laughing dismissively and not in admiration. The atmosphere throughout is appropriate.

rating from outer space: c−

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