99 minutes Rated: R
Director: Avi Nesher
Stars: Jennifer Grey, Craig Sheffer, Daniel Lapaine, Kristen Wilson and Tim Curry
IMDb Rotten Tomatoes
Regardless of their reasoning behind the lack of promotion, Ritual still has the camp and gore you would expect from a Tales from the Crypt movie. You'll see buckets of gore very early in the movie along with the token boob close up. But as the movie progresses the gore disappointingly exits stage left, but you will get ample opportunity to see some T&A curtesy of Grey and Wilson.
The other thing that stood out, awkwardly, was the music. There are a few party scenes where a live band is featured and the music was godawful. It gave the movie a 1980's vibe to it regardless of the fact that it was made in 2002. Throughout this entire movie there's something about it in terms of production that just reeks of the 1980's but given the computers used in certain scenes I'm given the impression that it really is set in 2002. Weird. There also is some computer generated animation that'll make you want to bust out your original PlayStation … at least that's what the CGI looks like.
The plot of Ritual is interesting, the mix of voodoo and Jamaican culture with Alice's western medical view on it. However, there are scenes within the movie that just drag the plot down and add nothing to the development of the characters. A story like Ritual should be fast paced and tension filled, and at times it does this. However, the writers/director drop the ball throughout the movie. There's an actual scene where the characters go swimming for fun while all this heavy shit is going on in the plot. Seriously? It felt like something out of an 80's romantic comedy.
As far as the truth behind Wesley's disease and the voodoo priest, I found it all a bit silly. I won't ruin anything but let's just say 'meow'. There's also a brilliantly hilarious scene toward the end where a character is set on fire and runs off screen, only to reappear apparently without any injuries a few minutes later. Seriously? The dude's ass was a bonfire and now he's okay? They must have some serious ganja in Jamaica to make him feel no pain…