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Review: Tales From the Crypt Presents Ritual

In On Film on February 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm


A couple of months ago, I was browsing around on Amazon, hoping to find/buy all of the Tales From the Crypt sets that are avaliable now. You see, when I was younger, I was a huge fan of the series. I am dead serious when I say that I would stay home rather than go to a friend’s house on Saturday night if me going meant that I would miss Tales From the Crypt. Is that sad? Probably, yes, but I just want to make it clear that I loved this show. I also loved the movies that resulted from the series. Demon Knight was a fun ride through Hell, while Bordello of Blood was so goofy you had to love it. So yeah, back to my original story…there I was, browsing Tales From the Crypt and I notice something I had never seen or heard of before. This something was a new Crypt movie called Ritual. I assumed this was intended to be a pre-order, but to my surprise it was already released and for sale. Feeling a bit elated with the knowledge that a new Crypt feature was on the way, I eagerly purchased Ritual. Mistake. Huge mistake.

The plot of the movie is one you’ve seen many times before. Jennifer Grey stars as Doctor Alice Dodgson who gets her medical license revoked due to going against the orders of her boss, and effectively killing a child patient. But have no fear, soon she is contacted by a young man who fears that his brother is terminally ill. His brother, however, swears he is affected by an evil voodoo cult. Yep, sadly this is another “voodoo” movie. I’ve personally never enjoyed a “voodoo” horror flick. The closest I came was The Serpent and the Rainbow. But anyway, back to the plot, the good doctor soon finds herself being chased after by the evil voodoo cult. Voodoo ensues. I know that’s a piss poor roundup of the movie, but it’s sadly all there is to know.

The actors (for the most part) do a fine job with the crap they’ve been given. It certainly is not the worst acting I’ve ever seen in a direct to video film. The main problem with this movie is the fact that the plot is so stupid, so cliche’ that it’s impossible to love anything about this movie. Tim Curry is in this movie, yet I have no idea why/what became of him. Now, either I didn’t pay attention closely enough or that’s just an example of how poorly written this thing is. Remember how clever the old episodes of the show were? You can forget that here. Remember the twist endings? Even the first two movies has somewhat “twisty” endings. You can also forget about seeing that in this movie. The ending this time, is pretty lame and silly.

The absolute biggest problem I had with this was what they did to the Cryptkeeper. Admit it, as good as the stories were, the main reason most of us tuned in was to see the Cryptkeeper. Prepare to have you childhood crushed. In this movie, our beloved ghoul is only in the film at the beginning. No bookends here. Why did they do that? Well, I can’t say for sure, but one hunch I have is they were humilated at how bad the puppet looked. Remember how extremely cool the old puppet was? Even in the first season when the puppet hadn’t became as “advanced”, it was still pretty damn cool. What you have in this movie is a puppet that looks like a Halloween decoration you can buy at Wal-Mart. To make matters even worse, he speaks in a Jamacan accent the entire time he’s onscreen. It’s just terrible. Completely terrible.

You know, I honestly can’t find a really good thing to say about this movie. Nothing about it is compelling or endearing. Even if you’re a die-hard Crypt fan like myself, there’s still nothing good to come of this. If anything, it’ll just piss you off that they put a blemish on the face of the franchise with this worthless movie. If you’re just extremely curious, then nothing I say will stop you from watching this. But if I may give one bit of advice; avoid it. Avoid it like the plague.

Final Grade: F


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