Science Fiction – review | Books | The Guardian
We break down 'The Ritual' ending with director David Bruckner, my first entry into the project, and it inspired me to read Adam Nevill's book. I ended up spending the most uncomfortable night of my life in a The Ritual became the second book in that deal, so the experiment, this test for me as a writer. Nevill has gone on to write several more novels, of which I have read The Ritual . The Ritual is a novel of a very different sort—not merely in its setting, but in the Two thin rear legs, ending in hooves, jutted out from the body then bent at the bony .. the father had had a sexual relationship in the years before his marriage .
- The Ritual
The novel obviously has more time to develop the characters and their backstories. In the book, for instance, Dom is way more unlikeable than he is in the film and it has the added dynamics of the fear of them quickly running out of food and water.
Neither has the film time to hark back to the supposed wealth of the other three and the wives and kids they have left behind. The film adds in the discovery of an old tent equipment and wallet which ups the ante in the realisation of the deep level of crap the friends have found themselves in.
Another noticeable similarity was the fact that in the book the first three characters are killed off-screen, and this is almost the same in the film, with the death of Dom the major difference. As I work in a library, I regularly recommend this author and chat to readers afterwards. More than a few readers found these two guys irritating and felt they killed some of the atmosphere in the final sequences of the novel.
Of course, you are welcome to disagree. So there was no mention of Black Metal or Satanic Metal anywhere, but hey, you cannot have everything, I am sure Adam has softened over the years as the status of the novel has grown, but it is obviously an interest of his and notes his sources in the notes which precede the novel.
The film wisely keeps the creature hidden for the majority of the film, and it is only revealed fully towards the final ten minutes. Portrayed as a giant grotesque variation of a giant moose which can mutate to stand on two legs, this ancient god did not impress me too much.
Probably, most viewers would have felt short-changed otherwise. The novel cleverly reveals the beast exquisitely slowly, and nobody creates horrific creatures supernatural better than this author, so my imagination invoked something much nastier than this CGI monstrosity. What did I do to deserve this book? This wretched, endless, sluggish hell of unexplored archetypes rattling off, on the fly, the sort of interminable speeches no human being has ever spoken?
Is it because I purposefully farted on my dog? I'm sorry for that, too!
Science Fiction – review
I don't particularly care about originality so long as the execution is decent, but there is little decency to this execution. All the usual tropes of two separate horror narratives argumentative once friends lost in the woods and stalked by some unseen thing; man held captive by murderous weirdos are present, and they are exceptionally boring.
The monster is picking them off one by one! If he calls Dom and Phil "fatties" another five hundred times, he might just make it out. But oh, no, now he's being held captive by three drunk teens who listen to oh, God! Oh, cool, more endless fucking speeches from the teens, not the old woman. About that silent old woman: This is where I expect people to start complaining. If a book or a movie, or whatever is sexist, people expect you to be "objective" in your review aka not discuss the sexism; but I don't give a fuck about that.
This book is sexist. It is insidiously, cruelly, dehumanizing-ly sexist. In the first half of the book, women are referenced only as "moody" and as "bitches," as things to be disposed of along with the trash - straight up that is a thing Luke says ; they're gold-diggers and they're psychologically damaged and they're ball-busters and they're completely off the page.
Somewhere Luke has a mother who is described once as "smiling," and that's that and a sister, I guess, but more importantly he has a maybe girlfriend, who's referenced a whopping three times and by the third time all I know about her is she has an overbite and the overbite is sexy. That's the usual horror shit. It's gross and it shouldn't be a thing but whatever. Finally, women exist on the page!
Women like Surtr, who is written as if she were a feral animal, whose fatness is deemed repulsive, who is repeatedly defined by her smell the smell of her cunt, Luke puts itwho cavorts repulsively, stinkily naked. The head is dark but something glints inside the oval of its coverings.
Kerry survives the encounter, as passersby seem to scare off the creature. She comes to see Miller, stating that her nightmares began soon after the suicide of another student, Ben Carson. Rick Leech is discovered by his roommate, his body mutilated and in the process of being eaten by some creature: Meanwhile, Dante meets Beth and is immediately taken with her, not least because she is almost six feet tall.
On a subsequent meeting, Beth not only kisses him but bites his lip and perhaps sucks his blood.
A.’s review of The Ritual
Later, Dante has the sensation of being drugged. On yet another meeting, Beth shows up wearing only a nightgown under a coat. Again she bites him and sucks his blood, and she also shows him a hideous bruise on her back: At this point we are led to believe that Beth is merely some kind of psychotic.
Miller, who is acquainted with her, seems to have provisionally come to the same conclusion. He has read a book on Anne Muir, a woman of the seventeenth century who was convicted of witchcraft; Miller wonders if Beth thinks of herself as a reincarnation of Muir.
It catches him and flings him to the ground. So the general outlines of the supernatural premise of the novel appear to be coming into some kind of clarity. But the gradual transformation of Eliot Coldwell from a balefully imposing figure to one who is himself the victim of supernatural terror is one of the strengths of the book. She had been traumatised, and one of the men also states: A fire breaks out, which consumes Beth.
But the Brown Man attacks Dante, and he later passes out. Instead, the Brown Man seizes Eliot and carries him off. Banquet for the Damned is a rich tapestry of supernatural and psychological horror that is meticulously crafted to lead to a spectacular denouement. Nevill has drawn upon his wide reading of classic supernatural fiction for some phases of his novel. The novel also has a lengthy discussion of Algernon Blackwood and a brief mention of Mary E.
But we are puzzled by a few unexplained features. Nevill is somewhat vague in his description of the Brown Man—perhaps by design, as the creature only manifests itself fully at the end. But why and how Beth turns into a vampire is never clarified. There is a suggestion that her body is possessed by some entity, but this idea is never fully elucidated. But the greatest flaw in Banquet for the Damned is excessive verbosity. The novel could have benefited from being pruned by at least a quarter, perhaps a third.
‘The Ritual': David Bruckner on His Scary New Netflix Movie & Breaking Down That Ending
Every monument to a martyr burned slowly for heresy speaks of injustice, and every skeletal ruin of church and tower hints at death. Nights have shadows deeper than any city and the impenetrable, almost oppressive, grey stone reminds him of a great and ornate mausoleum slab, dropped into place to cover forgotten plagues and unrecorded tortures.
We are here taken to the remote forests of Sweden, where four Englishmen in their mid-thirties—former college buddies—are on a hiking trip. They are referred to as Hutch, Luke, Phil, and Dom. Phil and Dom, now seemingly comfortable with well-paying jobs in London, are physically ill-equipped for such exertion, as Phil has put on a great deal of weight and Dom has injured his knee so that walking is difficult.
But things take a foreboding turn almost immediately as the men find a mutilated animal hanging from a tree. It seems inconceivable that another animal could have done such a thing, and the only other culprit is some crazed human being in the area.
The Ritual Ending Explained by Director David Bruckner | Collider
Matters are not helped by the fact that the men have become lost in the forest; their cellphones are not working, and their supply of food and water is running low. They come upon an empty house; it is filled with the skulls of dozens of animals mounted on the walls, with crosses in between. Phil goes upstairs but rapidly comes back down, claiming that there is some kind of creature up there, on what is either a small coffin or a bed.
Luke goes up to investigate, and the omniscient narrator presents a glimpse of the entity: Two thin rear legs, ending in hooves, jutted out from the body then bent at the bony knee joints. The hooves looked as if they were poised upon the sides of the casket in readiness of the horned thing rising out of the box.
Black lips were pulled back above long yellow teeth; a grimace to last for all time beneath nostrils that still appeared curiously wet.
Up and down the chest, small pink teats parted the fur. This was the most unpleasant thing of all, worse than the ivory mouth which Luke imagined was about to open and then snap shut with a clacking sound. Later they come upon two buildings along a trail. Luke, following the trail further, finds several standing stones covered with runes—runes that Phil had earlier noticed carved on some trees. Beyond a clearing Luke now sees a church.
In the course of leading the others there, Luke gets into a violent argument with Dom and beats him up. There is some suggestion that Luke resents Dom and Phil for having established themselves comfortably in life, each with a wife and a secure income; Luke, by contrast, is alone and barely making ends meet running a record store.
Hutch believes the stones could date as far back as B. Was it built over an earlier site? The men also find animal and human bones including those of children at the site.
Phil now believes that some creature has followed them from the previous building; he states chillingly: Luke, in a tent with Phil, awakens at night to hear a hideous screaming in the other tent, holding Hutch and Dom.
Dom has been attacked by some creature, with a serious injury to his leg; but Hutch is missing. Not long afterward they find Hutch hanging from a tree: No sign of his clothes. Opened down the front of his torso to a groin black with old blood. Pale muscular legs stained brownish. Feet drifting in space at the height of their heads. Eyes open wide, as was his mouth, the latter filled with a swollen tongue.-- The Ritual -- Book vs. Film
His expression was one of mild surprise in an ashen face not without a suggestion of life, as if he were merely looking out and into the middle distance where something had caught his eye and made him stare, distractedly. They reach the summit of a hill. Luke climbs a tree to see if he can find a way out of the forest. Dom urges Luke to go on his own, since his injured leg has made it nearly impossible for him to walk any significant distance. But Luke, now deeply regretting his fight with Dom, refuses to leave Dom alone.
Both of them hear a horrible bellowing nearby, and Luke senses that the creature is trying to lure him out so that it can take Dom. Luke later has a more direct confrontation with the creature, which has gone up a tree. Luke has hit it with a rock, but the creature swipes at Luke and cracks his skull. Somehow both Luke and Dom manage to stumble down the hill, using makeshift crutches; and, not entirely to their surprise, they find Phil hanging from a tree, dead. Later Luke, crawling in desperation, wanders into a thicket—and suddenly realises that Dom is nowhere in sight.