What do a best friend hiking trip in Sweden and a bad Ouija board experience during a solar eclipse have in common? Well, nothing actually – but they are both the premises of two recent horror movies that hit the wonderful world of Netflix. Let’s start with these poor bastards that did some hiking in Sweden:
The Ritual (2018)
This one took me by surprise. A British horror film (directed by David Bruckner) set in Sweden that follows four friends who keep a pact to go on a hiking expedition after another one of their friends was killed six months prior. Now of course, when you have people hiking in some creepy woods in a horror movie then bad shit’s going to happen. The rub with The Ritual is that it’s pretty unpredictable. A hybrid of The Blair Witch Project and The Wicker Man with a little monster action thrown in, this movie is beautifully shot and packs the emotional punch lacking in a lot of horror movies. It also packs a pretty great literal punch towards the climax. And The Ritual is creepy. Did I mention it’s creepy? Yeah. Go watch it.
(4 Out Of 5)
There have been some decent Ouija board related horror movies throughout the years (Witchboard, Ouija: Origin Of Evil), but none that have really hit me where it hurts like this new offering titled Verónica. A spanish horror film directed by Paco Plaza (who gave us the impressive Rec franchise) that manages to take the somewhat tired ‘possession’ storyline to new creepy and emotional levels. The plot is fairly standard (a girl and her friends attempt to use a Ouija board to speak to her dead father during a solar eclipse), but manages to still be riveting. The acting is superb (especially Sandra Escacena playing Verónica) and Paco Plaza has a knack for utilizing the camera so well, especially during those ‘wait, did I just see something in the background?‘ shots. I felt it could have been trimmed by about 10 minutes or so, but that’s a minor complaint for a movie like Verónica. Go watch it!
(4 Out Of 5)