10:32 PM | Reviews, Ritual, Tales From the Crypt with 0 comments »
“Tales from the Crypt” was one of my favorite horror anthology series back in the nineties. The series spawned two feature length films “Demon Knight” and “Bordello of Blood”. But I totally forgot that back in 2001, Dimension Films quietly released the third film “Ritual”. I never knew that this film existed until I heard that Echo Bridge Home Entertainment recently released it on Blu-Ray for the first time. The other odd thing about this film was that this was a remake a classic RKO Pictures film “I Walked with a Zombie”.
The film is about a doctor (Jennifer Gray) who becomes jobless, after the medical board revoked her license. She receives an offer to travel to Jamaica to treat an American’s brother, who is suffering from a mysterious ailment. But when she arrives, she finds herself absorbed with all the exotic rhythm and harmony of the area. The locals tell her about the horrific zombie and possession tales that have had happen. Her faith in science begins to clash with all of her new experiences in the supernatural. Soon, she must submit to all of the native cultures, while trying to survive. Craig Shieffer (A River Runs through It) and Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show) also co-stars in the film.
“Tales from the Crypt: Ritual” is one of those films that I knew I was going to hate after a very bad beginning. Everything felt rushed and the fact the cryptkeeper and the movements looked very cheap. But for some strange reason, this film got better after its rushed beginning.
Most of that had to do with director and co-writer Avi Nesher directing. I thought his direction was good considering that this looked like it was done for very cheap. One of the things that he does well, he manages to keep the pace of the film moving though the direction. It was surprising that this film moves at a very good pace considering the type of horror film. Nesher does a very job making sure that the scenes had some life to it. Whether it’s in the action scenes or in the acting, he doesn’t bog down the action. It helped me not think about the film’s week screenplay or wanting to turn the film off. The other thing that makes Nesher’s directing work well was the acting. I liked how, he does a good job getting his cast to make the characters interesting. It helps makes the action and the story watchable.
The screenplay written by Rob Cohen and Nesher was weak at best with a few bright spots. One of things that I didn’t like about the screenplay was the fact that the beginning was rushed. It felt like, the writers didn’t was to spend time developing the film’s main character. I don’t know if they didn’t want to spend time developing the main character in the beginning or they were in a rush to get the story to Jamaica. Either way, it hurts the film a bit.
What turns this screenplay around, the fact that they keep you guessing about the mysterious voodoo practice that are going on and who’s behind it? It really makes up the rushed introductions to the characters. This film had bad film written on it, until the story got behind the mystery of the voodoo curse that’s affecting the millionaire’s brother and the doctor that’s trying to put an end to the madness.
Overall, I enjoyed “Tales from the Crypt Presents: Ritual”. With good direction and a solid second half, it saves the film from becoming a complete disaster.
Review Rating: Three Stars