I’m done napping and back to recapping. I must be rusty if I chose to not delete that line, but what do you do? You see, writing is like a muscle that must be worked out via routine or ritual. Speaking of rituals, I was looking for just the right movie to watch for Ghost Night, and one movie kept popping up in my searches (Google, Rotten Tomatoes, even my Twitter friends) called The Ritual on Netflix. For those of you who are not too keen on Netflix, they’ve been putting out some quality work over the years, and it keeps getting better. Stranger Things anyone? Or for you die hard Universal nerds (like myself) there is Hemlock Grove. So I had to check out this movie that everyone thinks so highly of. It helped that I had a geek moment when I saw Andy Serkis produced it.

THE MOVIE:  The Ritual (2017)

Watch the trailer HERE

The premise of the movie is a classic, as in THE classic: do NOT leave the path. It didn’t work for Little Red Riding Hood, so why should four city slickers from London fare any better in the wilds of norther Sweden? And why would they be there you ask? Guilt. Pure and simple. You see, the movie begins with five friends in a pub discussing what to do for their annual bonding holiday. The leader of the group, Rob, all but begs for the group to go hiking on the King’s Trail in Sweden while everyone else would rather go to Amsterdam to drink. Rob is killed that night in a liquor store robbery. End of debate on where to go. And off they go, complaining the whole way until Dom twists his knee and they decide on a short cut. Enter creepy trees, mutilated animals hanging from the branches, a menacing creature of legend stalking them, and a secluded village of the damned. It’s Blair Witch meets The Village, only with the sort of friendly roasting and jabs you’d see between friends in It.

The Ritual has a lot of things I like as a storyteller. It has suspense, humor, and a creature from myth that is truly inspired. When I saw the… thing, and it was visual eye candy. To paraphrase Obiwan: whoever thought it up was twisted and evil. It was gory, but it didn’t rely on it. Unless you’re a fan of BBC or Simon Pegg films, you probably aren’t going to recognize too many of the actors, but I assure you it’s quality.

This movie is worth a rental, God knows the price is right on Netflix. If you like M. Night Shyamalan movies, this one is for you.

THE WINE: Chateau St. Michelle Gewurztraminer

Washington (2014)

Despite the fancy name, it’s only about $6 a bottle.

This is a complex wine that is half dry. It has a bit of a cut grass flavor along with cedar, and leans toward the sweeter side of things. If you are eating Thai food with lemon grass or even Chinese food, you cannot go wrong.