Watched Jun 15, 2012
Adam Cook’s review:
Why is this film not better known (ignoring the obvious fact the quality of the DVD print is shockingly poor)? Billed as the Canadian Deliverance, Rituals certainly shares many similarities in its set-up but arguably goes down darker and more disturbing avenues. Five doctors ill prepared and out of their depth are pursued by a serial killer on a camping trip from hell.
Although obviously low budget the film benefits from a strong cast of character actors led by the ever reliable but underrated, Hal Holbrook. The film progresses in predictable fashion as each doctor is killed off one-by-one in increasingly gruesome ways. Yet, the film gives ample time to develop each of them so you actually care about their fate (something so few slasher films successfully achieve) and the fact they are doctors yet unable to actually save each other is a nice little twist. As their numbers dwindle and the situation worsens the film really ramps up the tension and delivers several moments of truly shocking horror. What Rituals may lack in originality it certainly makes up for in atmosphere.