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Redbox Review: Ritual and Collision



RitualRitual (Dir. Mickey Keating, 2013)

I wanted some scares this week and upon reading the synopsis for the film Ritual I assumed there’d be some chills.

Of my assumptions… how you can disappoint.

The film is a low-budget thriller with a great plot but poor execution. Relying heavily on long shots, bad judgment calls on behalf of the actors and illogical sequences, the film takes the audience in and strangles their eyes with head-aching visuals and a missed opportunity.

A man arrives at a hotel after getting a call from a frantic woman. He walks inside to find she has killed a man, claiming self defense. After finding drugs and an intriguing mark on the unidentified corpse, the man decides to search the person’s car, discovering a video camera. The two then watch footage of a satanic-ish ritual and must start protecting their lives.

Ignorance plays heavily in horror/slasher/thriller films because it keeps the plot moving, ergo more running time. A mistake on part of the man, something so simple the camera couldn’t avoid making sure we saw it too, jeopardizes their getaway and possible innocence.

Without giving too much away, as if you’ll see the film yourself, the couple become screwed by their lethargy and get what came natural to them.

Call me crazy, or well prepared, but I know what to do when I come across a body, especially when it’s damage caused by someone I love. It’s not CSI that trained me: it’s common sense. You leave! You drive! You just freaking go!

The director achieves interest in several scenes and levels. Again, the plot was good from the start, but having a camera shot last minutes is not appealing when establishing tension amongst static characters.

Music hit its mark and the acting was okay all around… as if this salvages.

Final Score – 4/10


Collision (Dir. David Marconi, 2013)

With more twists than a maze, character development, unpredictable escalation and an enjoyable ending, Collision is a film that is worth the buck at the Redbox.

Directed by David Marconi, the film uses a wide range of beauty and mystery to build a creative scenario in the desert of Morocco.

A honeymooning couple, Frank Grillo and Jaime Alexander arrive in Morocco to explore the foreign lands. A hedge fund manager from New York, Grillo isn’t giving the necessary attention to Alexander whom we quickly discover is having an affair with a hitman. Already at the hotel, the hitman (Charlie Bewley) agree on the scheme: follow the couple as they drive in the desert, provoke an altercation and do what needs to be done.

The car chase ensues but ends with more than expected: crashing into a broken bus with people. Several die but one in particular lives. Handcuffed, he is quickly the man of focus and every movement he makes begs the audience to watch closely.

As the sun moves across the empty sky, the survivors, couple and hitman included, are greeted by Saleh, played by French actor and director Roschdy Zem, a man with a broken motorbike. His convenience is too good to be true and by the end of the journey we discover why.

The film is good. The camera work, score, special effects, execution: it has it all. This is a bundle not to be taken for granted. But the flaw rests in the storylines: too much of them.

Every character has their own supposed good and bad side, and by the end one is ditched. While I know morally-possessed people will not cheer for the ending to the honeymooning couple as I did, the filmmakers wanted to balance good with bad. To show the capabilities of someone does not mean to solely display their humanity and heroism to their fellow man. Courage is not always standing up for what’s necessarily right but asserting yourself in order to get what you want. It’s a selfish attitude but no one said you had to root for anyone when popping in this DVD.

With 101 minutes of running time, the story unfolds like origami: turns everywhere. Sometimes it’s sudden, almost preposterous, but enjoyable.

Final Score – 6.5/10

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