The Ritual

We’re back and we’re lost in the woods. There seem to be some familiar landmarks, however. If we look to the left, there’s The Blair Witch Project. Over there on the right is The Wicker Man. And sneaking up behind us is just about every rural horror film made. What, if anything, makes The Ritual stand out in this landscape?

Main Topic

The Ritual is a 2017 British horror film, based on the 2011 novel by Adam Nevill. We decided to discuss it because it follows on nicely from our episode about survival horror. The book especially is a great example of the genre, combining isolation, a hostile environment, dwindling resources and an unkillable threat. The dynamic of a group of friends who disagree about everything also appealed to us for some reason.

The Ritual film poster

As ever, we offer an overview of the film, picking it apart as we go, then tear deeper into the remains to see what we can scavenge for our games. We also do something a little different this time, comparing the film to Nevill’s original novel.

The Ritual book cover

We all know people who complain about film adaptations, with their rambling rants about how the book was better. It’s irritating. Any film based on a novel has to change and simplify elements to better fit the new medium. An adaptation does not replace the book and merely offers a fresh perspective. Still, it’s interesting to compare the two, looking at what is different and the impact of these changes. So we do. And we complain a bit because we are flawed and complex human beings. Consistency is for insects.


At least some of us will be at the UK Games Expo this year. Expo is the UK’s largest gaming convention, hosted in Birmingham, and runs from the 1st to the 3rd of June. We plan to be there on Friday the 1st, running some games, signing books at the Chaosium stand and generally drifting around like lost souls. Please do say hi if you’re there.

Other Stuff

In our social media catch-up, we pick out a few choice comments on our recent episode about The Last Feast of Harlequin. As usual, most of the discussion can be found on our Google+ community. There are many insightful comments we didn’t have time to spotlight, so we recommend having a look for yourself.


After we mentioned how harlequinade sounds like a soft drink made from clowns, William Adcock suggested that this is what such a horror would taste like.

Nighttime in the woods is unnerving. Every crack of a twig or rustle of leaves hints at some unseen horror, stalking under cover of darkness. Silence is even worse, however. Does that mean that there’s nothing out there, or is there a predator too stealthy for human ears to detect? The dread soon becomes unbearable. It’s like an episode of The Good Friends without any songs. Sooner or later, someone will back us at the $5 level on Patreon and the horror will begin anew. In the meantime, cower in your tent and pray for dawn.

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