On paper, The Red Book Ritual looks great. The anthological structure promises a good selection of stories, while the trailer hints at some interesting scenes, full of horror and gore. However, expectations are a far cry from reality in this cheesy hodge-podge of a movie.
The Red Book Ritual Premise
The Red Book Ritual opens up with a stereotypical bunch of high school kids, sitting around a table and talking about doing a ritual called ‘The Red Book Ritual’ that has its roots in urban myth. When the ritual begins, the hapless three soon find themselves amid a horde of terrors as they unleash an unexpected hell into their lives.
This is where the movie breaks off into its sub-plots. The Red Book Ritual, as mentioned, is a horror anthology. These stories do a great job of giving the viewer a much-welcome break from the wooden acting of the three characters but sadly even these fall short of conjuring up any emotions other than tedium, disdain, and the occasional dash of accidental humor.
For an anthology to work, the collection of stories needs to be presented with an engaging narrative that breaks off into the different short stories subtly and leaves the viewer hanging on that central vein. The Red Book Ritual doesn’t only fail to compel the patient audience with these scenes, but it somehow also succeeds in making each story worse than the last.
The Red Book Ritual Stories
The Redbook Ritual is split into five different stories, each lasting around fifteen minutes. While these short stories offer a little variety to the ridiculous cheese-fest of the core story, they do very little to break the overall tedium of the movie as a whole.
The anthology opens the proceedings with Stray. Perhaps being the only story of them all to show any signs of promise, Stray is a story about a shifty-looking cat that can’t be killed and a woman that roams the house naked with a crossbow making strange noises. It soon becomes clear that the seemingly deranged woman and the mysterious moggy are one in the same. Stray won’t be winning any awards but it did offer at least a shred of quality horror in an otherwise shambolic collection. ,
Moving on from this average short, The Red Book Ritual starts a rapid descent down into the realms of B-movies, stopping only at Boredom Lane, Despair Park, and Misery Central along the way. ‘Nose, Nose, Eyes, Eyes’ is predictable and pointless, while ‘Sermon’ feels like an amateur production – and not even in a good way.
With five cracks at the whip, it’s unfortunate that The Red Book Ritual failed to hit the mark four-and-a-half times. Yes, one or two of the shorts do occasionally show at least a glimmer of real horror. However, these are quickly diminished by one of the many accidentally comedic moments strewn throughout the 83-minute runtime.
The Red Book Ritual Summary
While The Red Book Ritual does have a handful of decent moments, these are few and far between. Watching the trailer, you would think it to be an ideal candidate for a Saturday night, enjoyed with a bowl of popcorn. Sadly, as we see so often, The Red Book Ritual‘s smattering of great moments are all seen during the trailer. Rather than giving us a taste of what the movie has to offer, the trailer acts as a ‘best of’ reel.
This hodge-podge mismatch of an anthology may hold the interest of horror novices but those that don’t scare easily should avoid this movie and watch something a little scarier – like The Addams Family.