THE RITUAL KILLER (2023) Reviews of Cole Hauser, Morgan Freeman thriller

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The Ritual Killer is a 2023 thriller about a weary detective who teams with a professor to track down a serial killer who is performing the ancient black magic practice of Muti.

Directed by George Gallo from a screenplay co-written by Bob Bowersox, Francesco Cinquemani, Luca Giliberto and Jennifer Lemmon, based on a storyline by Bob Bowersox, Francesco Cinquemani and Joe Lemmon.

Produced by Chris Arthur, Monika Bacardi, Andrea Iervolino, Joe Lemmon, Danielle Maloni, Bret Saxon and Buddy Wyrick.

The movie stars Cole Hauser, Morgan Freeman, Murielle Hilaire, Vernon Davis, Brian Kurlander, Peter Stormare, Luke Stratte-McClure, Mayumi Roller, Talia Asseraf, Cody Lemmon, Destiny Loren, Bill Luckett, Dominic Salvatore, Saffron Quinn, Julie Lott, Christina Grandy, Bob Bowersox and Aurora Cossio.


The Ritual Killer is cookie-cutter filmmaking all around, providing a dull ride with dangerous and broken characters who all move so slowly and offer little emotion, they may as well be mannequins presented for limited posing. For a movie about a murderer, black magic, and traumatic pasts, nobody here is working up the energy to care much about it.” 1 out of 5 stars,

“The best that can be said of the result is that Freeman is quite good here in his early scene as a professor; his lecture is riveting. It’s only later, shambling through the plot, that he gets stuck as a cog in this weary machine. Apart from Freeman, certain other actors can barely deliver their lines, while star Hauser simply looks bored.” 1 out of 5 stars, Common Sense Media

“The film’s contrivances never become plausible. Freeman acts so distant as if almost out of it as if he knows this pic doesn’t cut it. But I guess it’s hard to give up such an easy paycheck even if you realize you’ve signed onto a bad picture. For the viewer, it’s not worth investing any emotional energy for such an inconsequential film. ” Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews


“The sad verdict is that there is not a single reason to recommend The Ritual Killer. It fails miserably to create suspense due to glaring missteps in direction and editing, regurgitates most of the tired clichés established around the serial-killer crime thriller genre, and through a number of antics it even gives rise to cringe.” Filmy [translated from Greek]

“Frankly, former NBA athlete Vernon Davis has a pretty sinister presence as Randoku. He too is better than expected, but he cannot overcome such a dull storyline. It is also a bit surprising Gallo and company had the guts to make their bad guy an African spiritual practitioner […] Unfortunately, besides Hauser and Davis, everything else about Ritual Killer is average or mediocre.” J.B. Spins

“Put simply, The Ritual Killer is offensive as a piece of storytelling. As an attempt at filmmaking, it’s on that same level.” 0 out of 4 stars, Mark Reviews Movies

“There is no shortage of outlandish ideals and head-scratching moments until the final credits roll. The film is compact, only 90 or so minutes, and features plenty of death, but still seems to drag on. With nothing unique, a mediocre at best script, and lackluster performances – The Ritual Killer is not worth a watch.” 1.5 out of 5 stars, Punch Drunk Critics

“With a cultural basis in its story and a rather loopy motive for all that happens, The Ritual Killer should be better than it is, but even with the combined powers of four writers and a few great actors, it’s just another ritualistic viewing of a bad movie. A practice that’s all too familiar.” 1 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony

“Aside from the overall poor execution, quite why the pointless Rome angle was tacked on is more of a mystery than the woeful script itself. The acting is wooden, the suspense is non-existent and the endgame is shockingly bad, and not in a good way. The only positive things I can say are that the lighting/cinematography is fairly decent and it’s thankfully short at 90 minutes.” 2 out of 10, White Towel

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Cast and characters:
Cole Hauser … Detective Lucas Boyd
Morgan Freeman … Dr Mackles
Murielle Hilaire … Detective Kersch
Vernon Davis … Randoku
Brian Kurlander … Shelby Farner
Peter Stormare … Captain Marchand
Luke Stratte-McClure … Detective Claussen
Mayumi Roller … Deelie Boyd
Talia Asseraf … Terry
Cody Lemmon … Stefano
Destiny Loren … Katie Franklin
Bill Luckett … Medical Examiner
Dominic Salvatore … Dennis Hobbs
Saffron Quinn … Police Department Rep
Julie Lott … Doctor Mannheim
Christina Grandy … Internal Affairs Angie Cannon
Bob Bowersox … Police Forensic Tech
Aurora Cossio … Sergeant Downs

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