Rituals ★★★½

This Canadian endurance test about doctors on a hunting trip gone horribly wrong probably wouldn’t exist had Deliverance not been made. Though it lacks the pictorial splendor and fluid editing of Boorman’s work, it might be the more punishingly effective film overall. There’s a certain credibility to it that gets lost among Deliverance’s poetic aspirations. Working in its favor, its cast of actors is believable as a group of long-time friends and the tempo of the film soon comes to resemble the slow trudge to safety that they are undertaking. The impressive physicality of every sequence in the film’s second half definitely helps to sell the somewhat hackneyed revenge plot.