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Nightmare Fuel / The Ritual

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This is why you Don't Go Into the Woods.

WARNING: Per wiki policy, spoilers are unmarked on Nightmare Fuel pages.

  • The film has an incredibly effective soundtrack, which helps heighten the dread in the scenes set in the woods.
  • The sight of the creature's victims hanging from the tree branches (such as the elk on the right) is very disturbing, which is made even worse by the sight of their intestines on the ground...
  • The creature itself is pretty creepy, not being fully revealed at first. When it's fully revealed for the first time, it appears as Dom's wife, Gayle, but then it's shown to be a... thing with the body of an elk. For a head it has a headless human torso with antlers for arms and human arms for legs. Between the "legs" is a goat skull. And that's not mentioning its eyes...
  • Luke's nightmares are a combination of this and Tear Jerker, as they show that he still feels guilty about Robert's death, and it's disturbing to see the creature using his memories to manipulate him.
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  • When Dom is about to be sacrificed, in preparation he is taken upstairs to something so horrific he is heard screaming in absolute terror. Later in the film, it's discovered exactly what it was. A room filled with a congregation of naturally mummified corpses that open their mouths to speak in Black Speech. When the girl who tends to Luke says "no more pain, no more death" that wasn't a euphemism.
  • During a rainstorm, the main four go into a cabin for shelter and one of them goes upstairs to look around. He opens a door, spots something in the room, and immediately screams for his friends to get up there right now. Turns out they found an inexplicably horrifying effigy made out of straw, roughly in the shape of a human body with no head, holding antlers in it's raised arms. One of them immediately declares it witchcraft. As they leave, the camera lingers on it's odd, shrunken feet. Turns out this is the shape of the monster's front half, and the shrunken feet are really human hands and the antlers are attached to it's "head". Phil says he'll give one of them a grand if they go sleep upstairs with it, but no one takes the bait. They all suffer horrible nightmares and Luke finds a naked Phil in a praying position before the effigy the next morning.
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  • While Phil and Dom are hung from the trees in the night, Hutch gets no such mercy. He's found in broad daylight, gutted like a deer. His abdomen was torn open, bones of his ribs fully exposed. A dark, empty hole marks where the creature completely eviscerated Hutch and left his intestines in a pile beneath his body. Let's hope he was dead long before that...

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