Double Feature: The Ritual (2017) & The Silence (2019)

Its time for the next double feature. This time we are looking at two Netflix Original movies. Both are in the horror/thriller categories as well. As our second R selection, it went to The Ritual, which to be honest was a surprise addition due to movie night choices. Moving right along with the alphabet, we landed on S selection being The Silence. Two movies that looked pretty good but one worked better than the other.

Let’s check it out!

The Ritual (2017)

the ritual

Director: David Bruckner

Cast: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton, Paul Reid

A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them. – IMDB

The Ritual is a mix of supernatural and back country kind of horror thriller. Its one of those situations where the characters all seem to have their own story behind this trip and because of it, its definite that the drama will cause them to break at some point. At the same time, its always these decisions that some characters will make some bad decisions and get into some trouble. I spent a lot of the first bit having a whole discussion of when its time to GTFO but of course, if they did, we wouldn’t have the movie (at least a shorter version).

Thing is, as much as I say that some decisions were illogical, The Ritual is one of the more solid horror flicks coming out of Netflix Originals selection. One of it has to do with the fact that its characters have some contrast. While there are a few too many that some don’t truly have their purpose, they each have their own issues to deal with in the spectrum of the story. In some ways, it feels a bit like everything happens with too much coincidence (ex. some guy twists his ankle right at the start of the trek) and then they still decide to go forward instead of backwards. Various other signs of addressing the dangers around them as well happen. However, deal is once the ominous bits start, its atmosphere builds the tension up and that is the saving grace of the film. It also has to do with a fantastic sense of lore, that I wish was a little deeper especially since the dangers we see are done in a timely fashion, revealed bit by bit to execute a good level of suspense.

The Ritual might have some lack of depth and a bit of it feels like its on rails but it does so well in execution and atmosphere building, using the terrain and the forest that these friends are lost in that its easy to forgive a lot of the other stuff and be immersed in this increasing suspense and horror and wondering what will happen next.

The Silence (2019)

the silence

Director: John R. Leonetti

Cast: Stanley Tucci, Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, Kate Trotter, John Corbett, Kyle Breitkopf, Dempsey Bryk, Billy MacLellan

When the world is under attack from terrifying creatures who hunt their human prey by sound, 16-year old Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka), who lost her hearing at 13, and her family seek refuge in a remote haven. – IMDB

The Silence is one of those films that (I think) landed during a phase of that overly used in a short amount of time idea of being stuck in a post-apocalyptic world where one certain sense is over reliant. In this case, its about being silent and the sense of hearing and survival. This horror film can be best described as a movie that starts off pretty strong but goes has a massive downward spiral as it crashes in the final act and then ends the film in a fairly abrupt way. Its not so much as a bad film as much as its a disappointing one. The main issue had to be with the final act when a new danger element adds into the already existing factors. It just felt unnecessary.

With that said, there was some elements that did work such as the sound design and the creature design. At the same time, Stanley Tucci is such an underrated actor and its great to see him in a lead role. Between him and even young actress Kiernan Shipka who plays his daughter, and I’d say the starting group of family and John Corbett as his best buddy, they all set a good foundation for all the characters involved. It was when some new characters get added in near the end that really gave the story a weird turn of events.

There isn’t much to say about The Silence. In some ways, a lot of its separate elements work and there are some moments that also work fairly well. However, its those moments that felt useless or added very little to the story that make the execution fall apart. For myself, the ending just didn’t quite cut it especially with the lackluster segment before that and the people they encounter before the finale.

That’s it for this double feature!
Have you seen these two films? Thoughts?

What’s Up-Week 22

June is finally among us but the weather here definitely doesn’t feel like its anywhere near the summer. Perhaps its also the reason why we’ve been less in the mood for certain things and more just doing nothing. Whatever it is, this week still went relatively well. There was some time-crunching (particularly in the reading department) and some random spontaneous things (mostly with movie choices) and then some inactive bits as well.

READING

The Space Between Time

  • The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw (Review)

Currently reading: Osgoode as Gold (Toronto Comics #5)

Despite a bit of a time crunch to get the book finished and reviewed for the month-long blog tour for The Space Between Time, it finally was done and the book while unsure at first, turned out to really pull itself together and became one that actually made me think a little about it. The review is already out so you can check it out in the link above. After finishing this second book from Charlie Laidlaw, I have to say that he is a very creative author with some really nice ideas and plot execution. I’m looking forward to what else he has to offer.

Taking a little novel reading break to cut through some of the heavier reading I’ve had, I decided to check out another graphic novel that I’ve had (and I think contributed to on Kickstarter) called Osgoode as Gold which is the fifth instalment of Toronto Comics. I’ve been reading books for Toronto Comics for the last few years and its always delivered. You can check out the review for its 4th instalment HERE.

PLAYING

NOTHING…

We haven’t finished The Witness however also didn’t move forward in it either. I am however playing a bunch of mobile games on the go. Suffice to say that things are a bit behind as May Mobile Games Round-up hasn’t gone up yet but will very soon (if not already when this post has gone up). Its been a bit of a search for games and a lot has gone down to spontaneity and more like a one sitting game than something more long-form hence why not mentioned as currently playing but more suitable for the surprise in the roundup post. I have worked out a list of what to play next so worries. Game Warp took a bit of a hiatus as we sorted out a bunch of other things but we are also resting up to come back in full force with E3 only a few days away.

You should definitely follow our blog to see all the coverage for it including recaps on all the conferences, podcast recaps as well as Top 10 Indie and Top 10 Mainstream Games. It’ll be a busy week or two coming up but we’re gearing up for it.

WATCHING

the ritual

  • Perfect Stranger
  • Red Riding Hood
  • Hoodwinked! (rewatch)
  • The Ritual

Good thing is that movies are back on track. I was running a bit low on the double feature content so had to get to some solo movie watching for the P and R selection. They were pretty average in my opinion but I’ll talk more about it in the upcoming double feature. I ended up doing a rewatch which I realized that I hadn’t reviewed either however, it was for a Friday Film Club HERE. Putting aside the rewatch, the most impressive movie out of what I’ve watched is The Ritual. It had some troupes as does most horror thriller in the woods sort of style has BUT…they do a few things really well and the threat is also put together effectively. Netflix Original movies are a bit iffy sometimes but I’d say this one is a definite win. Review coming up since it seems maybe I’ll have a double R selection also.

BINGING

beautiful youth

  • Beautiful Youth (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: Le Coup de Foudre, Produce Camp 2019, Your Highness “Class Monitor”, Great Escape, Love Timing

I’m trying to lower the TV binging right now. Its getting a bit numbing sometimes. However, I did burn through the entire Beautiful Youth season just in time for the season finale to air. Man, that is one good show that I’d love to see them do a Season 2 but with hopefully the same crew or at least a majority of the same crew. Plus, it had such a nice travel and reality show blend while getting to know some of the new talent in the entertainment business. Its a really nice blend especially to see these bromance develop as well. Everything is coming to near end with Great Escape at episode 10 or 11 (variety shows usually has 12 episodes per season) and Produce Camp 2019 also is at their 9th episode with the final live show coming up as well which will also be the last episode. Le Coup de Foudre also is ending soon with only about 6 to 8 episodes left. The new addition this time is Love Timing which is a little past halfway but I just started it, literally one episode a day to catch up. Its a show similar to Dream Space (which was on MangoTV) but run by iQiyi. Plus, a new TV series, Your Highness “Class Monitor” (which makes me wonder if its a same category as Accidentally In Love because of the similarity in their Chinese titles) which is also quite fun so far but I’m liking the second male lead 6 episodes in, which has been a while that I’ve gone back onto that route.

Thats it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/watching/binging/playing?