The Ritual Brings a Sinister Old-Gods Twist to Wilderness Horror

Image: Netflix
Image: Netflix
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We’ve seen this set-up a million times: Friends go into the woods with a specific purpose (making a documentary, partying, skiing, spelunking, etc.), and end up encountering darkest evil instead. This trailer for The Ritual, however, suggests a forest-based menace that’s a cut above what we’re used to.


The Ritual, which is based on Adam Nevill’s award-winning horror novel of the same name, is directed by David Bruckner (The Signal), and comes to Netflix on February 9.

There’s an important bit of context that the trailer doesn’t explicitly impart, which is that these guys are hiking in a Swedish forest—meaning the malevolence they encounter leans heavily into the realms of Norse mythology. To me, at least, that adds a lot more interest, even with that obvious plot twist of having the guy in glasses klutz around and throw the journey off course. The cast includes Rafe Spall (Prometheus, the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey).

io9 News Editor, here since 2016. Previously SF Bay Guardian newspaper (RIP), SFSU (MA, Cinema Studies), member of the SF Bay Area Film Critics Circle, big fan of horror, metal, and verrry small dogs.


Eustache Dauger

The Freyr Witch Project