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We’ve had multiple movies this season that involved cults. This one is set in the past and has a supernatural twist to it. There is also a bit of ecological message to the movie and some mystery.

They do a great job of hiding things in the background, so this is another movie that does well with a 2nd viewing. It’s also a great netflix movie and maybe one that wouldn’t have been made except on streaming.

The Ritual (2017) – IMDb

The Ritual (2017 film) – Wikipedia

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Stephen: Okay. Cool. All right. We ready for ritual? The ritual. This is season three, episode nine,

nine. Yay. Yeah we’re moving right along. And they keep keep me interested and entertained good horror because as you commented, I’m watching some other horror that’s episode 10 of Hell Rise Razor and Texas Chainsaw Massacre seven.

Rhys: Yeah. One has to be careful with that stuff. Yeah. Yeah.

Stephen: Definite differences in how they’re made and what we look for the podcast as opposed to just general populous movies. . Yeah. All right. So Ritual I got some good comments on this one. Tell me about it. Okay, this

Rhys: is a UK and Canadian Conjoined effort from 2018.

It actually released at the Toronto after Dark Festival in 2017. So it hit that, it, it debuted in 2017 in the fall, and then it was available to the public in 2018.

Stephen: Okay. Which is of interest because I just read, there’s a Children of the Corn remake that actually toured the festivals and stuff in 2020 and it was supposed to come out this fall.

I’m thinking it’s two and a half weeks for Halloween. If it’s gonna come out now would be the time . Yeah. Yeah. You’d think.

Rhys: Yeah. The vast majority of the ritual takes place in Sweden. But it was shot in Romania.

Stephen: Oh, okay. I was gonna ask you where the forest. Yeah.

Rhys: Carpathian Mountains. Sylvania actually, if you want to be more,

Stephen: not the Simpsons where they go to Pennsylvania.


Rhys: Yes. Not quite as scary.

This was based on novel by an author named Adam Neville. And you and I had been having discussions lately of remakes and reboots and reimaginings, and I said, I’m not a big fan. Just typically from a creative standpoint, like somebody’s already got a story out there, just leave it be.

But when you have something that’s in one medium and you want to translate it to another, I typically find that kind of interesting. Okay. So Adam Neville wrote this book and he’s from England. And he had started writing he’s got a lot of novels under his belt actually. And some of them are award-winning and he had worked with a publisher and was got ticked off at the publisher and was in the process of trying to start his own publishing company to publish his own works.

That is the frame of mind he was in while he was writing the Ritual . So he liked the film adaptation and he was impressed with the amount of work that the production team did while they were filming. Like he was really into it. This is good. Yeah. This is the second book translated to a movie that we’ve had so far this season that I’ve gone out and bought the book and I finished reading it and.

Stories are a little bit different between the two. Okay. And not necessarily in a bad way, just different. So in the movie you have this group of guys being hunted by this primordial entity through the forest. Then in the end they end up with a group of this entity’s worshipers and have to find their way out of that.

And if you were to break those two sections down, it would be about three quarters in the forest and about a quarter with the worshipers in the novel, it’s exactly like half.

Stephen: Okay. Oh, I, so the, that’s interesting.

Rhys: Yeah. The first half is all in the woods and it’s very much like survival.

It’s almost like the dissent where you can watch the first part of the dissent before the monsters come out. And it’s terrifying and thrilling all on its own. Cuz it’s this whole spelunking catastrophe thing. This was the first half of this. Really starts out as just a bunch of guys who get lost in the woods.

And then something starts to hunt them down. One of the key things that I find that’s different between the two that is like thematically different, and I find it really interesting, is that in the movie you have a character Luke, who has a personality flaw of cowardice and he has to overcome this and the guilt associated with it in order to survive at the end.

And that’s like an overarching kind of feel to the thing in the novel, Luke’s character flaw is rage and he flies off the handle. Like he kicks the shit outta Dom in the book. Really? When they get into an argument. Yeah. and he has to actually embrace that character flaw to be able to survive at the end.

So I, it’s a really subtle difference, but it’s a very different feel in tone.

Stephen: Yeah. Yeah, I can see that. That’s interesting. Yeah. It’s another book. We’ve had several movies overall based on interesting books that aren’t like a Stephen King in your face. Everyone knows about yeah.

And mates for interesting movies that aren’t the Wow. This is pedantic and boring .

Rhys: He also wrote another book that was turned into a movie that is streaming on Netflix called No One Gets Out Alive. Oh, okay. I know. Yeah, it takes place in Cleveland. Oh, that, which I just know. Yeah. It’s it’s a pretty good movie.

It’s focuses on. Like illegal immigration and like how people can take advantage of that and things. Huh. So one of the other big things in the book that, that he does, they really don’t do in the movie is that you learn a lot about the guys who capture them at the end.

Stephen: Which I thought about that.

I was like, we don’t get a whole lot of explanation from about this group other than if you pay attention, you pick up on it. The God wants worshipers that are in pain worshipers that have a problem. And that’s what gives ’em is power. And they’re stuck. And that’s really all you kind learn in the movie and you have to include, yeah.


Rhys: there’s this kinda weird thing that happens cuz in the book, I mean in the movie it’s described as a yoan it is a son bastard, son of Loki. . And the way visually comes across, it resembles Leschi, which is a male forest spirit, the female forest spirits that correspond with the Meki Mora.

But in the book in the movie it’s all male, but in the book they refer to it as motor, which means mother, and it’s a female entity that’s from the forest, which I thought was an interesting little Yeah. Take on it as well.

Stephen: Now the movie itself, overall enjoyable movie, but honestly there’s a lot of this that felt familiar based on some of the other things we’ve watched.

Some of the other things I’ve it was very almost a template because there’s other movies I’ve seen very similar to this though I thought the ending and the way they did the spirit was very well done.

Rhys: Yeah. The creature creation, the anatomy and everything of it is just mind blowing when you look at it.

You can just sit there and study that thing for hours. Yeah.

Stephen: And they did it great. They didn’t give you a break close up, so it kept enough to your imagination, but it looked very menacing. Yeah. Which actually I was surprised cuz I was thinking, oh man, this movie’s 10 other movies. I could name similar lost in the Woods or some, or something’s hunting us or there’s some reason we’re isolated in this mythical God-like creatures after us.

Oh, there’s a cult group. We’ve had a couple of those but the creature is what really set this movie apart from

Rhys: Yeah. Yeah. And I think it wasn’t all I don’t wanna say laziness on their part because when the director was making this, He not only wanted to pay tribute to the book, he also wanted to pay tribute to a horror movie from the seventies called Rituals.

Okay. And so if there’s bleed over between the two and especially when you go back that far, you’re talking about a movie that was PDO successful, but it certainly would be an influence on future movies. And so if that’s what you’re going back to, then that influence that it’s had over the past 30 years is going to feel like a sameness now because you’re replicating it again.

Stephen: Got it. That makes sense.

Rhys: Yeah. He also said, as the author said horror stories aren’t just about frightening the audience. The enigma is just as important. So the mystery for him is super important.

Stephen: Oh, I like that. And I could feel that in there cuz they didn’t. Really get into what it was. And with the hallucinations going on, it’s like another one of those questioning reality things too.


Rhys: He wanted to write a novel about his generation and how they would deal with stress and danger because typically, and he’s our age, so our generation because typically there’s not much in the way of actual life stress or danger. And he also wanted to show how he wanted to capture this feeling of like wonder and awe and the personal insignificance you can get when you’re out in the wilderness in that kind of setting where you know the feeling Were you just looking up in the night sky and you’re like, I am nothing kind of thing.


Stephen: Exactly. And they’re, yeah. Very isolated and they’re lost. And it feels like they’re being controlled. They don’t know what’s going on. Yeah. And they’re not woodsman. They go hiking a little bit for fun, but they’re definitely not woodsmen.

Rhys: It becomes even more evident in the book because they almost end up dying of thirst.

And I’m like, it’s raining all around you the entire time. , how is this possible? But you’re right a lot of people today don’t have any kind of survival, or if they do, it’s some sort of twisted I’ve got this 1212 implement tool here hanging on my belt kind of thing. know, If you just dropped them in the middle of somewhere, they’d be in bad shape.

Right? The movie was nominated for nine awards at won, four of them, including Best Effects best Creature Effects, best Actor and Best Horror Streaming movie. Nice. It hits that sweet spot. It’s 94 minutes long, which is that hour and a half kind of go. As it’s streaming title, it’s financial financials are not readily available, but they did have a limited festival run where they grossed 1.7 million from that.

Wow. And after it showed in Toronto, Netflix paid 4.75 million for the international distribution rates, setting a record for distribution pricing. Wow.

Stephen: Good. It’s definitely a movie worth getting out there.

Rhys: Yeah. The cast and the crew were actually camping in the mountains in the rain. It was really uncomfortable being wet, dark, cold for, cuz they shot in the dark for a lot of the film.

And when they were shooting it, the Beasts they were shooting, they had a model of its head and a stunt woman on a rig who provided the small little arms. that the creature has, and that’s what the actors got to interact with. It wasn’t just like a tennis ball on a stick. They actually built kind of something for them to work with.

No, that’s good. That’s cool.

The I just listened to the his house review we did, and you talked about how we were learning about like the Croatian Serbian war and by the war in Sudan. Today we’re going to learn about modern paganism. It’s a, it’s actually a religious movement called asat. It is a modern era pagan movement based on Nordic entities.

And it’s organized mainstream religion. It showed up in the US in the late sixties as this kind of small cottage religious. and then Iceland in the early seventies, moving to a more mainstream religion at that time with like publishable newsletters and things like that.

Stephen: You’re official when you have a

Rhys: newsletter.

There were some issues in the eighties where you had the different groups butting heads about who was more Right. And it was who was more pagan?

Stephen: Yeah. Sounds

Rhys: funny. It became a more stable platform in the eighties and nineties. And on one of their sites, they list the resurgence of this starting in 1907 in Germany by Ludvig Ferin Rogue, and Dr.

Ernest ler. But the World Wars put an end to it. People had other things to worry about, but it focuses on worship of the Acer. But there are assets true in groups out there that worship other entities like the Vanier and the Valkyrie Elves and dos. It’s a male dominated religion in the States with an American population ranging between eight to 20,000 members as of 2014.

Okay. Respectable. There’s two different branches. There’s the universalist, which is more accepting of who can join. They base their roots and the religions of Northern Europe. The other common group is the focus of stru. As true. And they kinda gate keep the religion claiming that you have to have racial or genetic ties to the original ancient peoples who worship these gods.

Stephen: Okay. Yeah. There’s a discussion right there. , Uhhuh

Rhys: The common Dees showing up in worship are Thor, Oden, Freya, rig, fre, Loki, and Heimdall. They also acknowledge the existence of other ace here, the van here, and the Jo Tier. Their religion is based on the nine noble virtues that were recorded long ago.

And roons are a big deal. It’s not just an alphabet, but each roone is symbolic for things and you can put them together for stuff. And that comes up into the movie. It does.

And that’s one of the things that, another difference between the movie in the book is in the movie you get the feeling that the people who are there are timeless or endless, and they’re kept alive by this entity just to worship it, in the book, it’s like a death metal band who have done this and they like, have a still where they’re legally making alcohol in the woods. And it like it’s modern era. So it’s a little, I don’t know. It’s a little different. We should meet all of

Stephen: these guys. Yeah. That’s something maybe we should do as a bonus podcast or sometime we both read several of these books of the movies and compare what they changed from the book to make the movie and possible reasons why.

Why? Because there are definite reasons to change things in movies, even though some people cry. Oh, it’s gotta be seen for scene. Just like the book. I don’t necessarily agree with that. And I know as I’ve heard and read and learned, there’s reasons why they changed some of that. So it could be a successful movie.

So I’d be, yeah

Rhys: I came across that with the Sandman cuz I was a big fan. I was excited when the series came out, but I lowered my expectations and I was like, I just hope they don’t fuck it up. That I’ll be happy if they don’t and they didn’t. And so I was watching through it and the, but the only thing that annoyed me was they made John Constantine, Joanna.

Oh, I haven’t seen

Stephen: the show. I didn’t know that. Oh, that’s a

Rhys: no something, the only reason it bothers me is like Constantine’s one of my favorite characters. Of course I’m like, why? And then I watched Gay Men’s Explanation for Why, and I didn’t agree with it, but I can see them making the creative decision to do that.

I just think it was a flawed decision, but again I’m really biased in this situation, so I kinda felt, but

Stephen: it’s a good series. felt the same way with the Quantum Leap show that’s going on now, cuz that’s one of my favorites and I like what they’re doing, even though I said they didn’t make a hundred percent the same choice as I would’ve, but I do what they’re doing, yeah, I understand that.

Rhys: When the movie was about to launch, it had a tagline with it, which a lot of times people aren’t aware of the taglines, but it seems like every movie seems to have some tagline. You need it for the poster . Yeah. Their tagline was, they shouldn’t have gone to Vegas , but the year this was coming out, the massacre in Vegas happened on October seven.

On October of 2017. So they changed it and said they should have gone to Ibiza, which to me makes more sense since they’re European anyways. But I just thought that was an interesting little play. Yeah. This was directed by David Bruckner. He’s an American director out of Atlanta.

He’s directed eight different things including the Signal, which it wasn’t too bad. He did one of the segments on the original vhs. Oh. He did one of the segments in southbound two episodes of the TV show Creep Show. Not the movie, the TV show. Good show. He did the Night House, which I have not seen, and he directed The New Hell Razor movie.

Oh, okay. Which I did see, which you saw what last week or

Stephen: something like that. Yeah, that’s three days ago. Something like that. So is he related to the other big Bruckner that’s out in the movie making world?

Rhys: See, you always ask me about the relations. I have no

Stephen: idea. I was wondering, I didn’t look that up and did I see correctly who one of the producers was Andy

Rhys: Circus?

If you’re talking Andy Circus Imaginarium, which is Andy C’S production company did the production for this film. So yes. Yeah, absolutely correct. That was interesting. Cause I know that man definitely has expanded out and is much more talented than you would think sometimes.

I was thinking about that too, because, A production house for him makes all kinds of sense.

Absolutely. If you consider the characters that he’s played and the time he’s had to spend in motion capture and stuff, . Yeah. All he’s doing is like saying, yeah, I’ve done this for a long time. Let’s do it for other people. Yeah. But yeah, it was really interesting. Bruckner also went on a record as saying he wanted the main character to be likable and relatable, which I think he did with Luke.

The character was likable. Pretty relatable in one of those kind of situations when we get into it where you’re like, if I was in this situation, how would I have reacted

Stephen: exactly. I thought the same thing.

Rhys: Luke is played by an actor named Rafe Spa. He is like the big name on this movie, cuz the rest of ’em are all pretty much unknown.

He’s been in 70 different things, including the Sean of the Dead. Hot Fuzz and the world’s end. He was in every one of those trilogies okay. So he’s got a sign pin connection. Yep.

He was also in an episode or two of Marle. He was in the Life of Pie Prometheus. Oh. Did an episode of Black Mirror.

He was in the B F G Jurassic World, fallen Kingdom and Men in Black

Stephen: International. Oh. So he is been in a lot of big known stuff, but he is got that nice little sweet spot where he can walk to the streets without being Mo.

Rhys: Right. . Yeah. And all four of these guys like Robert James Collier plays Hutch.

He’s been in 27 things. Downton Abbey is the only one you’re gonna know because all four of these guys have been in a lot of television. Ah. But it’s all like b BBC television, so it’s not no shows we would’ve seen.

Stephen: No, I had Acorn for a while aER Ali plays Phil. He’s been in 33 different titles, including an episode of Dr.

Rhys: Who and the Dig. But then we have Dom, if you wanna talk about Dr. Who. Dom is played by Sam Troon, who is the son of David Troon, who was an event Horizon, and the grandson of Patrick Troon, who was the second

Stephen: doctor who was the priest from the Omen that you and I talked about a while back. Correct. Cool.

Special effect. Yes. . Wow.

Rhys: There we go. It’s a cool $7 special

Stephen: effect, which me and Alan talked about on our Relentless geeky podcast. I mentioned that to him. Told him about it. So

Rhys: I, speaking of your other podcast, you have the literary podcast. Yes. And I will point out that Aaron Neville’s website, there’s like contact information right there.

He seems to be very accessible if you wanted to get ahold of him. That’s a great idea. That’d be pretty awesome if

you could interview him. Yeah.

Stephen: Yeah. Good thought. Okay,

Rhys: I’ll do sam Trott’s been in 34 other films including Foils, war, alien versus Predator King Leer, and a host of television. One of the reasons I was interested in getting this, the book was that I wanted to see if it would more clearly define the hallucinatory elements of a movie.

Much to my dismay, none of that happens in the book really. Oh wow. So this whole opening scene, you have five of these guys. You have Luke, Dom, Phil Hutch, and Rob in the pub, and Luke’s bringing another round and they’re talking about where to go on vacation and Rob success hiking in Sweden. And you get a sense of the relationship between these guys, like in the first five minutes, Rob does not exist in the book.

The whole tragedy in the liquor store that we’re about to talk to, Not in the book.

Stephen: Really? Yes, no hallucinations. Which, because I was really thinking about the hallucinations. Is it actual hallucinations? Is it controlled by this God? So it makes it to, I can see how that’s totally different feel then for the book and the motivations behind the

Rhys: scenes and the tension between characters still exists now.

The tensions in characters we’ll go another couple things in my notes and then we’ll get to the tensions between characters. So on the way home, Luke suggests getting a bottle from the British equivalent of a state store. No one else wants to go in cuz they have to work in the morning and Luke talks Rob into going.

Once they’re inside, the place is being robbed. Before the criminals can see him, Luke manages to hide around the corner. Rob is not so lucky. They make demands on him for his wallet and his watch, and he gives them everything, but he won’t give them his wedding ring. And they beat him to death. Yeah. Then he wakes up.

This was a dream sequence, but it’s also a memory. He’s sleeping in a tent on this hike

Stephen: now. And important note for the movie Luke is hiding and he sees this all going down. He’s holding a bottle and he’s trying to decide should I go try and help or not? Because the guy had a big, like machete, but he didn’t have a gun.

So it’s that at what we were talking about, would you help? Would you not, would you stay safe or not? And honestly, and most people may say one thing, but really you get in that situation, right? You act, you don’t always act different. And I’m not saying he was a coward or anything, even though it’s, I understand the guilt and how he.

Because what if he had gone up to help and then they both got killed? What if he couldn’t really help? There’s psychologists probably love when stuff like that happens, oh, yeah.

Rhys: And that’s it. In this movie Luke blames himself, Rob’s death, and you find out that at least Dom, if not the other group members blame him for their death too.

And that sets up the tension between characters, right? In the novel, Luke is the only one who doesn’t have a serious career. He does not have a spouse. He does not have children. And that is the tension between the characters, because the other three, with the exception of Hutch, who just is like, Hey, I’m a nice guy, but like Dom and Phil just feel like they’re constantly under pressure.

They’re under their wife’s thumb and their children, and they really wish they could be Luke, and they resent him for it. . Okay. So that setss up the tension there,

Stephen: which I kinda like that because honestly, these guys are friends. They’ve been friends for a long time, but it really came across almost like they didn’t really like Dom that well, and Dom didn’t like Luke that well.

It’s like I got I was like why are these guys such good friends then? I, it really? Yeah. Why

Rhys: are they still hanging out?

Stephen: Yeah. I got that feeling in the movie yeah.

Rhys: So again as a decision, they, creative decision they did made, was it the right one? Eh, I don’t know. I don’t know why I,

Stephen: the the, I would argue in their favor that they chose a way of portraying each character that’s easier to show and feel on screen at rather, I suppose that’s true.

So that,

Rhys: cause you had 220 pages to develop the characters and their relationships with their wives and their careers and stuff in the book. Which you didn’t have that kind of time

Stephen: in the movie. Yeah. And just for reference in script writing, 220 pages is like three and a half hour movie,

Rhys: so Yeah.

Oh, something else I was gonna mention about the book. It’s not my cup of tea. . Okay. Which is really odd. It’s a 400 page book. I finished it, I enjoyed it. But his writing style is something that I see more and more in modern writing where you have a billion chapters at five

Stephen: pages each. Oh, yeah.

My mother hates that also. She says, pat does it all the time, ,

Rhys: because you get into it and it goes up and you’re like following along and then all of a sudden there’s a break and it drops you to the bottom again. You gotta build again. I prefer my chapters. Instead of being like a 60 chapter book, I wish it’d been.

And he could have clumped some of those together, but that’s just a stylistic thing, it, part of the reason for that is, is trying to combat people’s attention spans. Yeah. And you end each chapter on a slight cliffhanger, makes him want to turn the page of the next one.

Stephen: Whereas then you got Stephen King who does chapter one and it’s 300 pages with sub chapters in it, But yeah, that was just a stylistic point as I was reading it, I thought I should bring this up. Interesting. Okay. So Luke wakes up, he’s in a tent, they’re camping in tents on the side of a mountain in Sweden.

Rhys: He’s the first one up. He’s sitting there having a cigarette and everyone wakes up. They pack all their stuff up and they start to hike off. Hutch seems to be leading. , he picks a good spot and says, this is a good spot. And they do this kind of ritual to honor poor deceased Robert.

Stephen: Yeah. Which uh, I, I recognized the Karen with the stones and pouring the alcohol out.

Rhys: Yeah. And you can see on their way up there, you can see Dom and Phil really aren’t in the kind of shape they should be to be making this hike. . Yeah. And that was the big source of attention in the book too, was that like Luke has temperature issues and he’s they’ve known this has been coming up for three months.

They did nothing but sit it on their butts and eat Cheetos. And now we’re having to put up with these guys having to stop every five feet to take a break.

Stephen: Yeah. Cause you know when you go hiking on a big, long thing, you’re doing 12 miles a day in mountains with packs on you. You gotta get in shape a little bit before it, it’s like any marathon or anything.


Rhys: Yeah. All the guys are making these little speeches about how great Rob was, and this should have never happened except Luke who just stands there and looks guilty, . So they pass around a flask and then Hutch pours the rest out. And the first time I saw this movie, I thought, whatever they did, this ritual deface something, ah, some holy spot in the mountains because people are always doing that.

They’re never taking into account the people who live there or what might have happened before, especially when they’re going on hikes and stuff they leave their crap lie about and stuff like that. So that’s what I thought this was gonna be. I was wrong.

Stephen: Yeah. But. I, the only reason I didn’t think that was because they had made the decision to go through the woods instead of around it.

So I, I didn’t see any connection between all that. Cuz even if they would’ve went around, if they defaced something, they still would’ve hit, had a problem. Oh yeah.

Rhys: So absolutely. As we find out, actually a lot of the opening shots, Luke is on his own. He’s separated from the group. You can tell he blames himself for Rob’s death.

They’re all sitting around that night and he’s off smoking by himself. Hutch comes over like the super nice guy he is. And he’s checking in and seeing how he’s doing. And at this moment, Luke notes that if you look across the valley, like the long distance across the valley, there’s this massive forest.

And you can actually see the lights from the lodge on the other side of the valley the next day. It’s just pouring outside. They pack all their stuff up and they take off. Dom and Phil are in the back and Dom is bitching the whole time about how miserable he is. Yeah. Then he falls in a hole and jacks his knee up.

Stephen: Now for the rain, did they go during the rainy season hoping it would be raining? Did they wait for it to be raining to film some of this? Because

Rhys: Oh, when they in the mountains? Yeah. So I imagine they went, wow. They knew it was gonna be raining because in the book, the rain is almost a character. Okay.

It rains nonstop through the entire first

Stephen: half of the book. Because I was wondering about that thinking, wow, what if they had to sit around for 10 days waiting for a rainy day and it’s alright,

Rhys: let’s go . I guess I spent a lot of time out there. In fact, the guy who plays Hutch in interviews they were, the interviewer would be talking to Hutch and Luke and he’d be like it must have been cold out there and hutches like I was only there for two days cuz he’s the first one to die because as soon as I was done, I was out.

So you need to talk to these guys about how miserable it might

Stephen: have been. Wow. All right, so Dom hurts his knee which this is where you see that tension in what everybody thinks of each other. Cuz they’re like, yeah he didn’t hurt it as bad as he says. Yeah, he’s a whiny baby,

Rhys: right? They’re all saying he’s just a drama queen.

Hutch points out it’s gonna be 14 hours by trail to get to the lodge. He’s Tom’s just gonna bitch the whole time. So what if we just go straight through the valley instead of going around cuz they saw the lodge on the other side. Luke suggests that he goes alone and gets help, but everybody’s against that so they head off into the counter for forest.

Stephen: Now I made a comment hearing, I was thinking about this after I made the comment. I says, so with the decisions they make, they really should have been a bunch of teenagers, that in a horror movie, the teenagers always make horrible decisions, right? But then I was like, wow, I just realized that hardly any of our movies are horror movies with teenagers.

They’re almost all middle age-ish adults for the most part. I was like, huh, that’s an interesting sociological choice and our mindset or whatever in the horror movies. I think you’re right,

Rhys: and I, it raises the question of Neville’s whole point of writing this to have a story about people, our generation, cuz he doesn’t find many.

Almost all the movies we review are about people our age. So yeah, obviously someone’s writing stuff like that.

Stephen: I our, you could make an easy argument of the movies that have the kids, the teens are the blockbuster ones that are just to be jump scares or slashes or something. Whereas these are stories and something more deep in them arguably.

You put teenagers in cuz they look good. When they’re running away being killed .

Rhys: That’s true. But I also think it hearkens back to that whole hammer philosophy where you want boobs, right? And you want gore and so you have this checklist of things you want to include. And this story becomes secondary. And

Stephen: we don’t get any boobs in this movie.

Rhys: So no boobs at all. . Thank God you get a hallucination of Dom’s wife and she keeps her shirt on the whole time. On the way in, they find a shell of a VW minibus hidden in the trees. Someone notes that like everything around here, it’s a relic.

Which is ironic cuz they’re about to actually come upon real relics, right? Once they enter the trees, Hutch taps his compass like it’s not working properly. But I don’t, I, there was never any indication in either the movie or the book that the compass wasn’t working. It’s just a really odd thing for him to do.

Stephen: I think again, that’s a movie choice. I think it’s to show us things are happening. It’s to add that one more little element. Yeah. I believe could

Rhys: be. And once they’re in Hutch gives this socioeconomic lecture on the forestry industry in Sweden. So obviously he knows a lot about or things

Yeah. They pause for a second and take a group selfie and then the music starts to pick up a little bit as they proceed. . There are times in this movie where you can note that the creature is there cuz they’ll put it behind the trees and you’ll see it move just a little bit. Yeah. Apparently the entire movie is laced with little glimpses of the creature and knowing that going into it, I could only spot it maybe five times.


Stephen: Cause I saw two or three. So now I wanna go watch again only to watch the background .

Rhys: Supposedly you can see its eyes in the dark through the trees and stuff like that. So yeah. A little game for you guys, you decide to watch this.

Stephen: I see. I like that. To me, that’s the type of thing that says they really add some heart into this and we’re trying to do something, good cause yeah if you start noticing all those little things in the background that adds tension. Heck, it might even be subconscious. You don’t notice that it’s there, but you do. And it adds that little bit of tension. I think that’s pretty cool. Love that. .

Rhys: Yeah. Dom’s complaining about how hungry he is and they all go through with their favorite menu’s gonna be Dom brings up Rob’s favorite dinner, and then all of a sudden the body, the party comes across the body of a deer that is hung up in a tree.

Disempowered. Yep. And they’re like, oh my gosh, you know what caused it? Blah,

Stephen: blah, blah. Like 20 feet in the air. Yeah.

Rhys: It’s up there and of all the guys standing there gawking at it, Luke is the only one who’s it’s still bleeding. So whatever Did this is still around. We should leave

Stephen: and Right.

There’s the teenagers, right? This is like the teenager decision. We’ll just keep going the way we were going. No. Have you not watched other movies? We’ve talked about . This is where you turn around and say, yeah, I think go back out. Yeah. That 14 mile trail looks pretty good about now. Dom, shut up.

Rhys: Yeah, shut your mouth. Especially if you’re just complaining. In the book, the forest is so overgrown that it’s a constant fight to just make any headway at all. Oh that’s right. And then they get turned around so that to go back out would be just as much effort.

Stephen: See, they in the movie, they didn’t specify that they knew they were turned around.

So I took it as they kinda entered a whole nother world in the forest. And even no matter how far they kept going, they would’ve never reached the end. They would’ve always been there. That’s what I took it as. Almost an Alice Wonderland type thing. Yeah. The sun is starting to set on them. We can hear thunder and then it just starts pouring rain again.

Rhys: They’re about to pitch their tents for the night, and Luke comes across a room that’s carved on a tree and just beyond, they see a house in the woods. The roon that’s carved on the tree is othal in Fu Ark, which is the letter O, and on its own it means property .

Stephen: And yet they don’t turn around. What do they do?

They go in the gingerbread house in the woods. Good choice. . Not only do

Rhys: they go in the gingerbread house, they busted, they smashed the door in to get in. Yeah. And then Hutch starts Hutch and Dom starts breaking up chairs to burn in the wood burner. . Typic the typical Americans,

right? ? Yeah. Except they’re English.

Just before Luke heads in though, he stays out in the woods and he hears the beast out in the woods. And this is where I started peeling my eyes looking for. But the cuts are quick. I didn’t see anything. If I’d have had time, maybe paused. Someone has definitely been in there. It wasn’t just like a construction, but it, no one’s been in there a long time.

So Hutch is we gotta find stuff to burn in the wood stove. And he sends Phil upstairs to see if there’s anything up there. There’s this little jump scare as Dom upstairs. As Dom breaks a chair downstairs and the jump scare is for the audience as much as it is for Phil because he’s upstairs. The breaking chair makes him

Stephen: freak out.

And one of ’em, I forget who says my favorite line, he says, oh, this is clearly the house we get murdered in. Don’t say stuff like, this is like the rules from scream. There’s certain things you just shouldn’t do. . Yeah, that’s one of them right there.

Rhys: They can’t get any worse.

Stephen: Yeah. . Oh yes.

Rhys: He opens up a door up there and discovers this man beast sculpture and calls everyone to come up and it’s made outta straw.

It has antlers for hands. It’s missing ahead. Phil says it’s witchcraft and he’s really upset by it. Luke lingers for a second and leaves, and then it pans down to where its feet are and you can see that they’re cloven hoods.

That actually is a nod to the book and we’ll get to it later, but bear in mind that the thing had cloven hoods. How That’s almost a stereotype. Oh, it’s some ancient God, or it’s some demonn, or it’s always clothing hooks. We don’t get little furry bunny feet or anything

The scene cuts to them all sitting in front of the wood burner talking about how it must be a shrine to Odin or some other Nordic God, Luke proposed as they leave in the morning and head back to the trail. But Hutch insists they keep going, so they all lay back and go to. , they kept that the same in the book as the movie Hutch in the book is 110% on We gotta keep moving forward.

There’s no going back. There is some really nice Foley work that happens in the cabin scene. Everything just feels really present. Yeah. The crippling of the fire and stuff. The camera’s panning around the cabin. And we see that Luke’s sleeping and he wakes cuz there’s a light streaming in through the window.

He walks over and tries to look out, but he can’t see anything except the glare. I imagine. They never show you what he’s saying. When he looks out the window, he tries to wake his friends up. They don’t wake up. So it opens the door and he sees the liquor aisle from that state store in. See

Stephen: now here’s one of those other rules from scream.

Once you start hallucinating in the gingerbread murder house, you should leave and go back. But they don’t do that. hallucinations are a bad thing in mythical woods. Just say it .

Rhys: It’s funny cuz he does leave the house true. He walks outside, he is walking down the aisle, picks up a bottle of vodka, and he looks, and a drop of blood hits the bottle and he gasps as he wakes up standing in the wood, he has these five cla holes in his chest.

Stephen: There is another sign, . They just ignore every sign that they are

Rhys: given. Yeah. He hears Hutch screaming in the cabin. He runs in and Hutch has had a nightmare. He’s pissed all over himself. Dom is in the corner calling for his wife. He’s still dreaming. And then they note that Phil is missing. They hear creaking upstairs.

Luke heads upstairs to find Phil naked. Kneeling and praying in front of the deer shrine, and he wakes up all confused about where he is and what he’s doing.

Stephen: And I think some of this was unnerving because these are grown men and you don’t think of them as screaming with nightmares. Yeah. Not typical, not a, not usually the stereotype.

So that made it unnerving right there with that.

Rhys: It did. And it’s one of those kind of situations where we can all remember as children what that’s like. And then you can put that in your own head. What if I was in a cabin with Steven, brian and Scott, and we woke up like in disarray like this, so it’s a it’s a good way to In ingratiate, the whole thing onto

Stephen: the liquor. I feel much better in that situation with you guys than with the kids with Dylan and Nick and all that . I don’t know. That would be

Rhys: well before as inept as these characters are surviving in the woods, a generation further, I think it would be even worse.

Yeah, I

Stephen: agree.

Rhys: Absolutely. , feel free to light up the comments all you get, all you would survivalist. But in general there’s always accept

in general, correct? Yes. Everybody’s silently getting ready to leave in the morning. No one has anything to say to anybody else. Phil seems to notice the blood on Luke Shirk just before he closes his jacket up, but he doesn’t say anything.

Once they get outside, they can see the trees all around the cabin are just covered in rooms. Dom spies a trail and heads off that way.

Stephen: So with, it’s a grims fairy tale. Oh, we’ve got these mysterious ruins that appeared all over the trees. And look, there’s the obvious path. Let’s follow it. . Yeah.

Rhys: And it’s funny because the guy that they claim is the premadonna is I’m going this way.

And Hutches is like, no, Southwest is this way. And he’s I don’t care. I’m going this way. And Phil goes with him. So everybody’s gotta go with him. As they’re walking along, Phil is saying he wants to talk about what happened the night before. Everyone else is saying it’s, it was just nightmares. I don’t know that everyone believes that, but that’s what they’re saying. Hutch and Dom just really want to ignore it and keep moving. But Luke feels some of Phil’s concern.

This is something that should be con conversed about. Then Dom sees these signs on the trail where you have basically tree stumps that are carved on the sides of the trail and he says there’s signs of civilization. They must be on the right path. They come across a second cabin and decide wisely not to go in.

Stephen: Yeah, the best decision ,

Rhys: yes. They’re taking off and dumb. He stops. He needs a breather he’s going to determine everybody’s gonna go down this trail, but he’s gotta stop and take a break. Hutch is trying to push him through the pain and Luke’s in agreement and he heads up through the trees at the top of this ridge to see if he can see anything from up there.

But when he gets there, it’s just more forest. It’s a little clearer, but it’s just trees for as far as the ice can. . Then he looks down at the scars on his chest and he hears something moving through the woods. Then he hears it call and that’s one of the first times almost anybody can see it moving.

Just something moving through the trees and he takes off

Stephen: and it’s loud. It’s not gonna over tree hold trees out of the ground. So Yeah. It’s not a bunny rabbit.

Rhys: No. It’s, and when you look at it, you know the movement is 20 feet up all the way down to the ground. So this is a very large thing.


Stephen: And I do love when you, on their backpacks, they have the old school blue foam pads to lay on. They don’t have that too much anymore. Just warm my heart. That’s, you know what I had .

Rhys: Yeah. It’s interesting cuz the book was written around 2000. when that might have still been in vogue when you didn’t have the battery operated air.

Mattress Auto Inflaters. But it was shot in 2016, 17 when you did. So maybe

Stephen: it’s more popular still in other countries. Maybe that could

Rhys: be. When he gets back, he’s insisting they take off and he shows them the scars on his chest, and then he and Dom get into it. Turns out Luke isn’t the only one who blames Luke for Rob’s death.

Dom does too. And it seems like the other three have had this kind of conversation and Dom just keeps pushing him and Luke punches him in the face. Now he has something new to line about . Yeah. Yeah. Like in the book, it was like not just a punch in the face, it was like on the ground, I’m going to keep hitting you until you just stop talking kind of thing.

Hutch tries to save the group, but Luke’s I’m done with all of you. Hutch chases after him and Luke questions him if he feels that way. And Hutch does not say he doesn’t. So Luke just heads off in like a good distance in front of the rest of the group. They do some silent hiking and then they find what turns out to be a tent buried Shallowly in the woods.

They find a wallet which belonged to a girl from 1984, and now people are starting to freak out. And Hutch is we’re registered at the lodge. People will come looking for us when we don’t turn up. And then Dom’s you know what? It’s starting to get dark. So now we cut to everybody sitting in camp.

They’ve set up. Hutch is examining Dom’s knee and it turns out he’s not just being a whiny bitch. It’s like discolored. It’s swollen. Yeah, it was a serious

Stephen: injury. If he lives, he’s going to have surgery in his future. Yep.

Rhys: Luke is awful on smoking. Hutch comes over to check on him cuz again, he’s the mother in this group.

He’s trying to make sure everyone gets along. He suggests that Luke head out on his own to get help because he’s in the best shape and Luke agrees. Then he then Hutch goes over to check on Phil. Luke hears something moving in the forest and now we cut to inside Luke’s tent. He’s going over the supplies he’s gonna take with him in the morning when he heads out on his own.

Then here’s where the Foley work comes in again, he hears something moving around outside. He hears this creature growl. He opens his tent and sticks his head outside and looks around and as he does. The liquor aisle appears in the middle of the forest. . Rob is actively being clubbed to death, and one of the robbers looks at him and his eyes are glowing and he calls him a coward.

And later on in the movie, when we get a look at the Beast’s eyes glow. Yeah. So the beast was actually playing the part of the robber

Stephen: And they, they make it obvious he’s feeling guilty. And, but the way these are all done, it’s is it a hallucination or is it truly appearing in the forest?

Because there’s one scene later where the beast actually crashes into one of the aisle, the beer things and knocks it over. I’m like that’s a pretty damn good hallucination. Yeah. Um, So it, it’s another one of those kind of messes with your head what’s really happening. . Yeah. And

Rhys: you were, you had said during our house that we had a lot of movies where you questioned whether it was the sanity of the people or whether it was actually happening.

This one I think we can agree on is actually happening.

Stephen: Y yeah. Yeah. It totally far felt that way. Yeah.

Rhys: Yeah. As far as what’s real reality or not, it’s something else entirely, but we can agree that whatever this is actually happening. He retreats back into his tent and he looks at a tent outside and it gets lifted off the ground.

Luke wakes up in his own tent to hear Phil screaming, and Phil is saying it was here. Hutches tent is destroyed and he’s missing. There’s a scream and a roar from out of the darkness in the woods, and Luke heads off in that direction calling for Hutch, followed by Domin, Phil and Dom saying they need to head back to camp.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience. But I know it’s probably happened to me two or three times where I’ll be out camping and it probably was when I was younger, but you’ll be in the tent and you’ll hear something moving through like your campsite at night. And whenever that happens to me, I’m suddenly reminded of the fact that this tent is no protection


Stephen: Yeah. I love that When he peeks his head out and something’s moving, so he jumps behind it. I’m like, what is that gonna do? stop anything?

Rhys: It’s as much protection as the pants you’re wearing right now. I Exactly.

Stephen: The only good thing is it keeps you out of view and the split second it takes to rip through.

It gives you enough time maybe to move, but that’s about

Rhys: hopeful. It hopefully, unless it like picks your whole tent up which case you’re just

Stephen: screwed. It’s a 20 foot tall beast Yeah. The following morning, they didn’t find their tents. They’re just sitting on the ground in the woods.

Rhys: They wandered about, now they’re completely lost. Hiking off, they find a trail of destruction where trees are knocked over and things, and they find hu’s body hung up in a tree like the deer earlier. They pull him down and Luke takes a folding knife off his body. Phil insists that, oh, Phil says, put it there because it knew they were coming this way.

And Dom insists that they bury Phil and starts to cover him with sticks, which they do, and leave his body there and head off through the woods.

Stephen: Yep. And at this point I was also thinking that if they had GoPro cameras, this probably would’ve been like a found footage. Totally different type and feel.

Rhys: Oh, it could have been, in fact, I think it was called the Blair Witch Project. , right? Yeah. Pretty much

group of inept wilderness survivalists wandering around in the woods. Lost for days.

Stephen: Except those were teens. They were

Rhys: teens, yes. It’s also interesting to note that the bodies are hung in trees because we find out later that you can bow down to the beast and it won’t attack you.

But if you look at it, it hangs you in a tree. And if you look at Norse mythology, Odin, when he was reaching the ultimate and Enlightenment hung himself from the world. For an extended period of time. And so it might be an actual nod to the Norris mythology where the beast doesn’t think that you’re enlightened enough, cuz you’re not bowing to it, so it’s gonna hang you into it in a tree until you learn.

Stephen: But he’s also honored and sustained through pain and suffering of others through somebody, so it, it’s very hellraiser like in that regard. Otherwise it is moms and, yeah.

Rhys: Yeah. Just you put it in the woods with a Angelou creature and all of a sudden you’re not making that tie right away.

But yeah, Phil is all in that there’s a monster and it’s followed them from the house. Luke agrees with him and Dom insists it’s the equivalent of the Swedish hillbillies .

Stephen: The Swedish Chainsaw. Massacre.

Rhys: Yes. Luke quiet the conversation saying, Hey, there’s three of us. I’ve got a knife. We need to

Stephen: get outta the forest.

I, I’ve got a knife. I was like, good for you. What’s that gonna do if you’re like, got 50 people after you or something? Yeah.

Rhys: The camera pans back over their heads and we see how hopeless of a task that is because they are literally in the middle of forest all around in every direction. It fills the frame.

This is

Stephen: kinda like the forest in Zork where you keep turning and just keep turning in the same spots. Turn

Rhys: to the right . You come to a four-way intersection, turn to the right. They wander the forest and they come across the remnants of a small spring and they drop on all forests and start drinking cuz they haven’t had anything to drink.

Stephen: Which I said, Ooh, that’s going to lead to other horrors later. . That’s

Rhys: right. Yeah. But while they’re down there they notice human blueprints, which reinforces dom’s concept that Hutch was killed by people. and they decided against following them and head off in the direction they think is Southwest. And it’s up a steep forest hill, which seems an odd choice to me because Dom knee Yeah.

But whatever. And there are times where I could spot the creature following them while they were going up this hill. Partway up Phil slips and starts to slide down and he manages to get himself stopped and Luke startles him just as he’s about to. He helps him back up. And Phil says the things in my head, it’s been in my head, I can’t stop thinking about it.

So they reached the top of the hill and Domin Phil collapsed on the ground and Luke sees a clearing through the trees. That’s a good. Yeah, there you go. Back to our teenage horror movies. He leaves his friends behind and heads to the clearing. From there he can see the forest edge. He, they’re, that’s not the forest edge, but from there he can see the forest edge and hutch was right, it’s just to the southwest, and they were almost there.

Then he sees a light through the trees and smoke coming up. So he heads back into the darkened forest. Phil is standing there with a flashlight and he asks Luke what he’s doing, and then all of a sudden he’s just snatched off his feet into the darkness. There’s this scream again, fully artist top marks.

There’s scream, a crunch, a squish, a growl, and Luke takes off. He runs into a tree, which knocks him to the ground, . Now, one of the things that Neville did in the book that I appreciated a little bit of this, Is that by the time you had the three of them in the woods, they knew the creature was after them and they purposely stuck together.

They did watches and stuff, and the creature still managed to pick them off.

Stephen: I was wondering about that because they really don’t show anything during the daytime. It seems like they’re always at night. Pretty much

Rhys: so I, I really liked that because it’s much more impressive than hey one guy being stupid, wandering off and then coming back and where’d everybody go, kind of thing.

But still very dramatic kind of thing, nice. He opens his eyes. He finds himself back in the liquor store. Forrest Rob is dead on the floor and he finds the door out, which I found interesting cuz he’s in the woods. He walks out the door and Hutch, Phil and Dom are looking at him. Then he focuses on this light and it turns out to be his flashlight on the ground.

He grabs it and shines it around the area amidst all of the monster sounds in the dark. And he sees Dom hiding under a tree and he heads over there and they’re comparing notes. They’re like, oh, we’re being hunted. What made you think that? , you should have

Stephen: realized that three friends ago.

Rhys: Yeah. They’re trying to figure out how to, they’re gonna move through the woods.

They’re gonna have to run, and Dom doesn’t think he can. He’s asking Luke if he can carry him on his back and Luke’s I don’t think so. . But they head out and Luke is actively acting as like a crutch for Dom, and they’re moving as fast as they possibly can. They pause and look around and the beast comes through the trees, but we only see the antlers as it comes through the trees.

And they’re way up in the trees. This is no deer. The two of them head off and ended up on a path lit. By torches. Those torches cut in the ground. Only these ones are lit. Then they see Phil’s body hung up in a tree. The beast is on their heels. They head down the path which ends in the cabin and they get through the door, find themselves lying on the floor.

There’s some music playing on an old record player, and there’s a figure kneeling before a room covered stone. Luke takes a look around and then he sees what looks like a foot next to him, cuz this is all upside down, right? Which makes it a little disorienting. So there’s this foot next to him and it kicks him in the screen goes black.

Now this is something that I did enjoy they did in the movie, as opposed to the book. Dom makes it to the house with Luke in the book, Dom gets taken in the woods. Oh. But it does a really nice doing it this. Shows like the sacrifice and you get to see the creature and you get the more definition

Stephen: about it.

Yeah. Cuz really without that you don’t have much ritual .

Rhys: And in the book, he gets away with it cuz it’s 200 more pages. So he can go into all kinds of intricate detail and stuff like that. Again, we’re in the back nine of this movie now we’re like the last 20 we’re did that fast-paced 20 minute part now.

The scene comes back, Luke is on the floor and Dom’s trying to wake him. When he does, he opens his eyes and finds himself bound and chained to a ring and a wall. Luke digs out the dirt between two logs, the chink between the two logs and looks out and it’s daylight outside. There’s a collection of peasant looking individuals building.

Dom talks Luke into trying to get reach. There’s a table with a glass bottle on it and he wants to see if he can get it and break it and cut the ropes.

Stephen: Does that have a little sign that says, drink me? Yeah.

Rhys: Luke stretches himself as far as he can. He’s like rocking the table back and forth and you’re like, oh, it’s gonna work.

But then the door opens. And these two big guys come in with this old lady carrying water. And she comes in, she checks the scar on Luke’s chest and she shows him that she has the same marks on her chest. And then the two big guys grab Dom, take him out of the room, beat him a little bit, then they take him upstairs.

And then the old lady leaves. And when she does well, it, anytime you see this told lady, her feet are very loud on the floor. She’s got a very distinct walk in the book. She was referred to as the witch, and in the book, Luke actually sees she has CLO hoods. That makes sense. Yes. They don’t actually show that in the movie, but it’s a nod to people who have read the book by making her footsteps so loud.

As she walks around, Dom has been taken upstairs, he starts to scream, oh God no. And then this young girl with a lantern comes into Luke’s room young. Who knows how old these people are? Cuz again, there’s this whole thing about maybe the creature just keeps them alive. So yeah, she speaks English, which no one else seems to.

She explains in English to Luke that they’re preparing for sacrifice and it’ll be over soon. Then Luke wakes up on the floor and they bring Dom in and he’s not talking much. He does start by telling Luke that he never told them about his dreams. And in his dreams he saw these people offering him to the monster with its dead hands, gripping me.

And then he saw his wife, he tells Luke he’s gonna die here. And Luke says, you’re not, I’m not. I can’t lose all of you. And Dom tells him, you are gonna get out. And when you do burn this place to the ground and then tell my wife what happened when you get back to her and when Dom’s describing it, it sounds like the kind of nonsense that you expect in a dream.

Stuff flows together all the time. It doesn’t make sense. So you don’t even really question it until it’s actually happening and then it happens exactly as he described it. Yeah. Which is interesting. When we have Luke’s hallucinations, it’s the past, but Dons are the future.

Yeah. Or yeah.

They cut to the outside. There’s this kind of cross built there, but it’s built in the shape of a room. Instead of being like a t it’s more of a y with a line in the middle of it. They drag dom to it and they’re tying his hands. And this is another one of those scenes where they cut back and forth from scene to break and build tension.

So while they’re doing that, Luke is trying to rip the ring out of the wall. I don’t know why people ever think that’ll work.

Stephen: never has in anything. It’s metal. It’s

Rhys: not going

Stephen: anywhere. The worshipers, this part here, I was like, huh, this is King Kong. It’s the tribal worshipers. You keep peace offering the sacrifice to the God.

Cause that’s really what they thought of King Kong. Was it?

Rhys: No, it wasn’t Persephone. Whoever it was, the thesis went to save the King’s daughter. They tied her out for the Kraken.

Stephen: Yeah, I’ll think about it. I’ll probably get it in five minutes after we’re done, .

Rhys: Awesome. Put it in the comments below.

Stephen: There you go.

Whoever trivia.

Rhys: Dom tells we already covered that. They drag dom to it. They’re tying in, Luke’s pulling on that thing. The worshipers start chanting and apparently they do until the sun goes down. Because when we first look outside, it’s daylight. The next time we go back to it, it’s night. And the torches are lit up unless the beast brings darkness with it, which I suppose is a

Stephen: possibility.

Which, that’s a good thought because like I said there, there was a lot more dark that they were walking around in than light and it wasn’t raining all the time. So I bet if we went back and looked. All the times when they were about someone about to die, the creature was around. It was darker.

Yeah, that’s a very good thought. And it also

Rhys: is one of those things where you could see it in the daylight, but it was just following them. It wasn’t actively like attacking them. Manipulating. So maybe the environment changes with its mood, so it’s ready to have something to eat, so it’s gonna make everything dark and cozy and nice, again I took the whole thing as the, this cre this God survives on the pain and suffering of others. He is spacing that out

to good way to induce fear. Yeah. Yeah. Dom starts to insult the people and he is trying to speed things up. He’s just bring it on.

Stephen: Yeah. Now he gets tough .

Rhys: Yeah. Luke comes up with the idea to break his thumb so he can get his hand free,

Stephen: which is not as easy as you think in the movies. .

Rhys: No. And I do wanna point out to anybody, if you ever find yourself in this situation, that’s a really bad idea. Because the longer your hands are bound, the more they swell anyways.

And then when you break your thumb, the tissue’s gonna swell again and you have an even less chance of being able to slip it through the rope. So all you really do is hurt your hand. But in movies, it seems to work all the time. It’s very dramatic. Yeah. Outside the worshipers, all Neil Dom’s looking around for the beast, but instead of seeing the monster, his wife Gail steps out from the woods and he’s just calling to her and she walks up and touches his face and she says his name.

And it almost seems a little tender until you see that the hands of the dead, hands of the beast. And he’s staring into the monster’s hooded face. . Then the monster takes his body away and hangs him in a tree. Oh, of course.

Stephen: Yeah. He’s like putting him freeze dried for later.

Rhys: Yes. Luke notes the silence.

His hands are now free. They’re not quite free, really close though. The girl comes in to feed him or something. She’s bringing something. She doesn’t actually feed him, which is I’m not exactly sure why she’s there with a tray, but okay. She comes in and he asks her if they took Dom’s body down from the tree, and she says they don’t touch the bodies.

Then he asks her what it is, and she says, it’s an ancient God, a yo tongue, an offspring of Loki. They will not say its name, but allows them to live there free of pain and free of. As long as keep worshiping him. As long as they keep worshiping him. Yes. She tells him that his ritual begins tonight and he must kneel to the God or it will hang him in the trees.

Then he notices that she has a scarred chest just like him, and she asks, why me? And she says, your pain is great, and then she leaves. So the trauma of watching Rob be killed is what has allowed him to be left alive so

Stephen: far, which I thought was a pretty interesting reason for yeah, to be happening.

Rhys: The other thing I thought, and you’re talking about how it feeds on their pain and fear.

There are a lot of instances in folk tales of creatures that are incredibly specific with their dietary requirements where it will only eat a liver or something like that. And every time you find these things hung in a tree, they’re disempowered. Which makes me wonder if maybe this thing only eats people’s kidneys or something like that and the rest of it’s immaterial could be.

So it sticks ’em up there. I don’t know. Who am I to question the dietary habits

Stephen: of God? Yeah. Don’t do. That’s probably a another rule you shouldn’t break.

Rhys: Yes. Oh, and before we go any further, if you happen to be. A member of that religion? I’m not being insulting. No. Yeah. pondering

Stephen: Mostly making comments to be a stupid funny or just keep something to converse about.

Rhys: Yes, absolutely. He manages to get his hands free. He opens the door and looks out at the roon stone, and there’s a whole pile of mouth or rifles in the corner. These are German made World War II rifles in great

Stephen: shape, which I took as that those were soldiers or something that they sacrificed could be from the cabin.

But I, because I was wondering like, man, how many people wander through this woods and get lost to sacrifice? The funny

Rhys: thing is when I saw them, I saw that they were all the same. They’re German made, they were in great shape. It made me think maybe these guys have been here since World War ii.


Stephen: very true. Because they’re immortal. So there’s also the argument that it probably gets a lot of people that it might draw people who are hurting and could be some,

Rhys: yeah. The witch is coming inside. It’s, he’s trying to creep out of the room and he manages to stealthily get up the stairs so she doesn’t notice.

He gets up to the stairs, he grabs a torch in the hall and opens the door. And inside there are lots of those statue figures like in the old cabin. The room is packed full of them. And then there are all these grows and whispers happening, and they’re not like, clear enough that you can understand them.

But then you notice that they’re actually mummified pieces of body in with the statues. And some of them seem to be. , like the jaws start to move, like they’re waking up kind

Stephen: of thing. Yeah. Which was not explored and not really hit. I was like, what the heck is that? And that’s really all we ever get of it.

So I thought that was Yeah, that would’ve been a little more interesting to add some more there. It

Rhys: would’ve, but kudos to Luke. He just lights on fire. No .

Stephen: He’s done. Hawk all you want. Bastards, , lights him all on fire. Finally a good decision. .

Rhys: Yes. And then he comes down the stairs and one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie, the Witches at the bottom of the stair and looks up at him and you’re like, oh no, she’s gonna catch a spell.

He just punches her in the face and knocks her out. Out.

Stephen: Yeah. It’s the. Independence Day. When Will Smith punches the aliens as welcome to, yeah. . I’m trying to think. My son referred to it as the Indiana Jones and the Sword Guy. Yeah. Scene . I don’t have time for you. Pam. Pam, yeah. The rest of the community notices that their house is on fire and almost as if in the daze they’re walking to see why it is on fire and the yoan comes running out from the woods.

Rhys: It’s like tearing through the woods. And so part of me is thinking those EFS that were upstairs held some kind of power. Maybe it held the power that kept the people alive or clear thinking, cuz they all seem in a daze or maybe it was a power that the God was playing. or that it used. So maybe

Stephen: it’s like some sort of portal thing.

They had these houses with the things, you have to have ’em all to have the power magnified within it for him to survive on our plane or something. Yeah.

Rhys: Luke grabs one of the bouncers and he finds a couple rounds in a drawer and he loads up the gun. And again, not in a big gun culture in England.

So the fact that he just takes this 60 year old rifle and just effortlessly cracks soap, breach cracks open the breach, puts the bullet and loads it properly is pretty impressive. Yeah.


Stephen: But they’re not too hard to figure out . No,

Rhys: that’s true. The worshipers are all kneeling on the ground as the beast approaches.

One of them doesn’t. It happens to be the girl. Who went to feed him. Luke’s trying to get out and one of the guys sees him and Luke tries to shoot him and the gun misfires and the guy doesn’t rush him. He’s speaking to him and it part of me is thinking like the guy’s trying to be rational with him.

We gotta get outta here. The house is on fire or whatever. The gun misfires, Luke goes to reload it, it accidentally goes off and shoots the guy.

It all worked out. Yeah. Luke looks out the door. He sees the girl he is talked to, her body has dropped on the front porch. It looks like her eyes have been gouged out. And then the creature puts, its. Human in air quotes, face in the doorway, and its hands grabbed the door and Luke’s I’m out. And he runs off back into the house.


Stephen: I love that scene. It was a, it looked awesome. It looked really good. It did and freaky without showing everything. And I thought it was done very well. They could have done the alien thing and crawled in. It’s oh, now it looks like a rubber suit. But they didn’t. And I thought it was much more effective.

Rhys: And I think that was the beauty of the creature, is that it’s, is so complex and so interchangeable. Cause sometimes it’s on four, sometimes it’s on sixes, sometimes it’s standing up on two. You can just show bits of it and it’s very powerful. You never you’re eating the elephant here.

It’s not one big bite. You’re just taking nibbles. Exactly. Around the edges.

Luke limps off and manages get out of the back of the building. And I, I don’t know where he went to do that, but somehow he ends up out of the back of the building. He sees the creature with the girl’s body and it looks like an elephants elk kind of combination. It’s a silhouette against the burning house.

And you can see how small she is cuz it’s how small she is compared to it. Cuz it’s holding her up right. Pretty effortlessly. And then Luke shoots it. Another

Stephen: rule, if you’re getting away, don’t piss off the God, don’t shoot it. Let’s go . I’m like, what are you gonna do with one bullet? We actually get to a kind of a cool thing that I appreciated here in a bit.

Rhys: Luke runs off into the woods. He has this ax, or maybe it was a foldable shovel. It was something that he grabbed from inside the cabin before he ran. And so when the thing comes after him, he drops the gun. He has that ax thing, and suddenly he finds himself in the liquor store. He’s running down an aisle, and as you mentioned, the creature comes running through the store, knocking stuff over and blindsided it, freight.

It knocks him off to one side. He gets back and he looks to see it approaching him, and then it’s got him, and it forces him to look into its eyes. And as it’s picking him up, he’s saying no. And instead of hanging him in a tree, because he’s got that exquisite pain and it’s got, he’s got the scars on his chest, it puts him in a kneeling position, and then it rears up to its full height.

And again it’s a silhouette really. So you’re not seeing. , but you are saying like this weird amalgam of like legs and arms and antlers. And then Luke gets up and then it comes back down and forces him into the kneeling position. This is the ritual and it wants him to complete it. It wants to add him to its fold.

He looks off to the side and sees the ax and then stands up again and it goes to move him back down and he hits it with the ax and takes off it recoils from the blow and then takes off following him. But he ends up outside the edge of the forest is the sun is rising and then the thing is sitting there screaming at him and he’s standing there screaming back at it.

The thing I appreciate about that is it’s one of those kind of things where you can be a god where you were immor. and you can’t really be permanently hurt, but being shot with a gun’s still gonna sting .

Stephen: And it’s, and a lot of times the rules change a bit when they’re on our mortal plane.

You always hear that type of thing. Yeah. And I also took some of this as well. He got away, partly they didn’t show it so much, but he had the character growth where after going through all of this, he no longer felt the measly little worm that he felt like, because he didn’t help save his friend.

So he had that character growth. He was no longer suffering, which gave him the power to get away.

Rhys: Yeah. And so there’s the contrast between the book and the movie is that he was a coward. He had to overcome that and he survived because of it. Whereas in the book, he was violent and he had to really embrace that cuz he kept trying to fight against his instinct throughout the book.

but then he had to actually embrace it and because he embraces it, he gets away. Yeah. So it’s the same kind of pseudo message, just told in completely different directions. Yeah. Yeah. So then we cut to day scene and Luke’s blocking across the open hills of Sweden. The camera zooms into his face, and then we get the credits.

Stephen: See, right there he is lumbering, limping and stuff. So unbeknownst to us, the zombie apocalypse broke out. Somebody thinks he’s a zombie and shoots him from far away, and then he is dead. And that’s the end of the movie .

Rhys: Totally different ending Night of the Living Dead, right?

Stephen: Yeah, exactly. So there we go.

The ritual. The

Rhys: ritual.

Stephen: All right. So a, again, it felt a lot like some other movies. Almost a stereotype type of feel, but the ending with everything that happened changed it up a lot. For me I thought the ending really made the movie a standout. I think

Rhys: it also, it felt like a lot of other movies, but even at that, it was really well done.

Yeah. It felt like, and so I can A

Stephen: blockbuster.

Rhys: Yeah. Yeah. And it it did a very limited festival round and then it went straight to streaming. So

Stephen: I think it’s a perfect one on streaming, because it probably would’ve done, eh, in the theaters. But going to Netflix and stuff, I think more people get a chance to check it out, yeah. Yeah. For sure. All right, so what’s next sir? Next?

Rhys: We have a little bit of an indie, this one’s kind of hard to come across. It’s hard to find mostly because it might be the only Finn Horror movie on my entire list. Wow. It’s called Sauna. It’s from 2008. It’s a period horror piece. And looking forward to it.

Stephen: Yeah, me too. That was a difficult one to get ahold of, just like Baskin in the next season was

Rhys: Oh my God. I have a whole story about Baskin. Oh,

Stephen: good. That’ll become next season. Yeah. There we go. One more. And we still gotta figure out a bonus episode of some sort, but we are doing our horror fest but we are doing horror fest, so that could be a double bonus somewhere.

Rhys: It could. Cool. Kids are coming. They’re looking forward to

Stephen: it. All right. That sounds good, man. All right. Talk to you later. Yep.