Ritual aka Tales from the Crypt Presents: Ritual and Voodoo Ritual – is a 2002 horror feature film directed by Avi Nesher (She, 1984) from a screenplay co-written with Rob Cohen, loosely based on I Walked With a Zombie (1943). The movie stars Tim Curry, Jennifer Grey and Craig Sheffer.
This is the third and final film spin-off from the HBO television series Tales from the Crypt, the first being Demon Knight and the second being Bordello of Blood. The film’s famous producers are Richard Donner, David Giler, Walter Hill, Ted Hartley and Robert Zemeckis.
Doctor Alice Dodgson (Jennifer Grey) is a failed physician that travels to Jamaica to care for Wesley Claybourne (Daniel Lapaine), a young man apparently suffering from encephalitis. Because she had been fired due to her actions resulting in the death of a patient, Alice has few options left and decides that she is willing to serve as Wesley’s nurse.
While in Jamaica Alice begins to fall for Wesley and starts to suspect that she and Wesley are the targets of a voodoo cult…
” …offers a few jolts, Grey looking good (plastic surgery notwithstanding), a campy performance from co-star Tim Curry, and a decent score by Shirley Walker — incredibly making it the best of the three Crypt features.” The Aisle Seat
” …a boring and oftentimes silly film that tries to provoke cheap scares from the audience but only ends up irritating them. One of the movie’s favorite ploys is the “attack the heroine with various objects, things, and persons, only to have her realize it’s all just a bad nightmare” gimmick.” Beyond Hollywood
“Ritual feels about as much like a Tales from the Crypt film as Def By Temptationfelt like a Troma film — that is, not at all. With barely a hint of the humor or the gore (aside from a grisly opening scene) that marked the excellent Demon Knight and the, er, Dennis Miller-y Bordello of Blood…” Black Horror Movies
“Holy shit, does Grey sure scream a lot. But she has no Principal Rooney to kick in the face immediately thereafter, which makes a huge difference. That’s because a solid sense of humor is sorely missing; other than the slapped-on opening featuring the Cryptkeeper in dreadlocks, in no way does it ever feel like a Crypt film, much less a Crypt episode.” Flick Attack
“Screenwriters Rob Cohen (the xXx guy) and Avi Nesher (who also directs) take the old plot and tangle it in complications which only serve to take away from the core of the drama. Grey and Wilson at least bring some heat to their roles – at one point, Grey has a voodoo nightmare in which she is attacked by her own curly hair – but Sheffer and Lapaine are just stiffs.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“There is some abysmal CGI effects that stand out. But on the whole the movie is solid. It’s just boring. There are too many things going on. Too many characters to keep track of. And it’s not a horror movie. It is a straight up mystery/noir.” UK Horror Scene
Cast and characters:
- Jennifer Grey … Doctor Alice Dodgson
- Craig Sheffer .. Paul Claybourne
- Daniel Lapaine … Wesley Claybourne
- Kristen Wilson … Caro Lamb
- Gabriel Casseus … J.B.
- Tim Curry … Matthew Hope
- Ron Taylor … Superintendent Archbald
- Erick Avari … Doctor Peter Winsford
- Dorothy Cunningham … Violette
- Kathy Owen … Doctor Shaba
- Jessica Collins … Jackie
- Stephen Tobolowsky … Doctor Javitz
- Natasha Budhi … Dori
- John Kassir … Voice of The Crypt Keeper