rituals vhs

Rituals(1977) aka “The Creeper”

Directed by:Peter Carter

Cast: Hal HolbrookLawrence DaneRobin Gammell

Impressive Canadian backwoods survival thriller with Slasher   elements that has preserved its shock value and cult appeal. It perplexes me why I kept on avoiding this film like the plague taking into account that I’ve owned the Greek VHS for no less than fifteen years and only a couple days ago did I get my act together and finally sat conveniently and enjoyed this Behemoth of a movie.

Five doctors go on vacation deep in the Canadian wilderness. After all but one pair of the party’s shoes disappear, the remaining shoed camper decides to hike out and go look for help. Soon after he leaves, however, his four companions realize that something is very wrong when someone leaves a decapitated deer head just outside their camp. Even though they still don’t have their shoes, they decide to follow their friend’s trail out of the woods, but their path is blocked by someone who doesn’t want to see them leave the forest alive.

With its Deliverance inspired theme being the proverbial elephant in the room it would be obvious to wonder if “Rituals” has anything original to offer. After a thorough viewing of both the Greek Cinehollywood VHS and of a much superior HD print of the movie I am obliged to testify that Rituals is Deliverance times ten, if not in terms of original subject matter ,yet  definitely in terms of being a more unsettling , tense and horrifying experience.

A very large part of its effective impact can be attributed to the magnificent performances by Hal Holbrook and co. Furthermore the cinematography and direction do justice to the potent material of this film

The five male protagonists feel as if they are genuinely trapped and in enormous peril. Given their condition their relationship deteriorate and they often times immerse themselves in guilt, despair and consequently break into hysterics .This fact combined with the nasty incidents they have to put up with has a very disturbing effect to the viewer. In the end survival will only be granted to those with the least skeletons in their closet.

However I must stress that the slasher attribute of the film is a bit far fetched as the bodycount is relatively low and could only be justified by the extremely intense climax of the film and by the identity of the actual killer.

Regardless of the fact that this one might not be the most original film in the world, given the most obvious “Deliverance” similarity  ,however  “Rituals” is a very rewarding experience that will compel the viewer. Most recommended.

Μια πραγματική «Οδύσσεια στη χώρα του θανάτου» για τους ήρωες της ταινίας και μια μηχανή παραγωγής έντασης για τους θεατές ,το Rituals είναι στην uncut του μορφή το backwoods horrorslasher survival film με κεφαλαία γράμματα.

Πέντε φίλοι, όλοι γιατροί στο επάγγελμα παγιδεύονται στην καναδική ενδοχώρα και μπαίνουν στο στόχαστρο κάποιου ο οποίος παίζει μαζί τους ένα πολύ επικίνδυνο παιχνίδι Γάτας-ποντικιού . Οι πρωταγωνιστές μπαίνουν σε μια διαδικασία αυτοαμφισβήτησης και μοιραία οι σχέσεις μεταξύ τους φτάνουν στο ναδίρ . Το ταξίδι αναψυχής μετατρέπεται σε εφιάλτη και τέλος φέρει μια εσάνς απόλυτου τρόμου.

Ταινία με αριστουργηματική αίσθηση της πλοκής που καταφέρνει να δημιουργήσει συναισθήματα αυθεντικού τρόμου στο θεατή , συνεπικουρούμενη και από τις καθηλωτικές ερμηνείες του καστ , το οποίο ερμηνεύει τους χαρακτήρες των γιατρών, τόσο όμοιων ,μα και τόσο διαφορετικών μεταξύ τους σαν να μην υπάρχει αύριο.

Το γκραν γκινιόλ και η αμφιβολία του θεατή για το ποια θα είναι η κατάληξη της αφήγησης συντελεί στην παρακολούθηση της ταινίας με κομμένη την ανάσα και το φινάλε τα κάνει όλα (κυριολεκτικά) στάχτη…

Απαραίτητη προσθήκη στην ταινιοθήκη οποιουδήποτε σοβαρού οπαδού του κινηματογράφου τρόμου. Δείτε το ασυζητητί.


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