David Bruckner‘s next, The Ritual, a cabin-in-the-woods horror film that was scheduled to open internationally (in UK and Irish cinemas) on Friday, October 13th, has a series of new television spots that both carry a heavy Wicker Man vibe.
Acquired by Netflix for $5M out of TIFF, the film follows a group of old college friends who embark on a hiking trip through an unnerving Scandinavian forest after the death of their friend. There’s no word on if this acquisition affected the release, although Bloody Disgusting’s told Netflix now has the UK rights meaning the aforementioned release date could change.
Bruckner is a part of the Bloody Disgusting family having directed the “Amateur Night” segment in V/H/S and the infamous surgical sequence in Southbound. He’s also one of the directors of The Signal (2007) and nearly ended up directing the next installment of Friday the 13th. This looks like an excellent consolation prize.
Joe Lipsett reviewed the film out of its World Premiere, explaining that it “make audiences reconsider any plans they have to go for a hike in the woods anytime soon.”
“When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn’t possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artifacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. As the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees…“
It stars Rafe Spall ( Rafe Spall (The Big Short, Life of Pi), Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey, Spike Island), Arsher Ali (Line of Duty, Four Lions) and Sam Troughton (Robin Hood, Alien vs. Predator).
The Ritual is an adaptation of Adam Nevill’s horror novel, which won the August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel in 2012. Joe Barton wrote the screenplay. Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ Andy Serkis(!) produced via his The Imaginarium outfit.