“The Ritual Killer” is a thriller-drama set in 2023 that revolves around a desperate father, Boyd, who is struggling to accept that his daughter is no longer alive. He is a ruthless detective, but he keeps getting into trouble for killing criminals instead of arresting them. In one of his cases, Boyd kills a pedophile, and his entire department begins to pester him with numerous questions. But things take a turn when Boyd discovers the body of a 15-year-old, followed by several other bodies that belong to minors. The story introduces the “Ritual Killer,” who follows an African black magic ritual called ‘Muti.’ Boyd decides to enlist the help of Professor Mackles, who teaches at Millsaps College. Mackles is very particular about his course, and he motivates his students to think outside the box. Through this process, Mackles introduces them to a much darker side of African culture and other medical knowledge. But Boyd notices that the killer has a strange pattern of murder, and each time he disposes of a body, some appendages are dismembered. “The Ritual Killer” constantly switches between the past and the present, which gives a better insight into the plot.
Boyd and Mackles discover strange secrets that lead them closer to the killer. In the midst of all this chaos, Boyd struggles with nightmares and finds it troubling to sleep. At the same time, Mario Lavazzi, an Italian inspector, is struggling to catch the killer in Rome. They are engaged in a man-to-man battle, and now, Detective Boyd must work with Professor Mackles and find a way to put an end to the killer’s ritualistic practices.
How Did Professor Mackles Help Detective Boyd? Who Is The Killer?
After discovering the bodies of two victims, Detective Boyd comes into possession of some herbs that the killer uses in his rituals. With his connections, Boyd learns that Professor Mackles is one of the most renowned scholars in the city and, because of his expertise in African cultural studies, can easily help him solve the case. At first, Mackles does not give Boyd any information until Boyd approaches him again. At the same time, Lavazzi also learns about the killer. Lavazzi gets into a fight with the killer, Randoku, but he defeats Lavazzi with his dagger and seriously injures him. It is strange how both detectives are connected to this case and how both of them make new discoveries at the same time. While Detective Boyd learns about the killer’s motives, Lavazzi learns more about Randoku. Lavazzi turns to a local thug, who gives him Randoku’s information but advises him to stay away from him because he might attack Lavazzi. It’s pretty clear that Randoku is known for having a ruthless personality, his cultural beliefs are too vicious, and he will not let anyone thwart his plans.
Boyd decides to take Mackles to the crime scene to learn more about the strange scriptures and rituals that Randoku practices. Mackles finds that the writings are in Swahili. From the writings, it appears that Randoku is praying to gain access to some kind of great power, a power that will help him achieve anything in the world. Boyd and Lavazzi learn that Randoku is a witch doctor called a Sangoma who specializes in treating his patients with various rituals and ceremonies using different herbs. But Randoku has a dark side: he uses ‘Muti’ for his murders. Muti is a medicine specially made from plants or animal organs. It is known to cure any disease and in 2010, the Muti killings became notorious in Africa. People began killing young children to use their body parts to make Muti. The movie “The Ritual Killer” is based on a true incident where Randoku harvested children’s organs to concoct his medicine. According to Professor Mackles, the Sangomas use this medicine to transfer power to other people.
How Does ‘Muti’ Work?
Several powerful men seek this medicine to gain more power and success in their lives, believing that Muti acts as a source of protection from problems. Randoku works for rich people whose ultimate goal is power. Each body part has a different meaning, and Randoku uses genitalia, hands, and eyes. These body parts bring fame, wealth, and the ability to see the future, respectively. Boyd discovers shocking truths about the case and realizes that all of the victims were alive when Randoku removed their body parts. Each victim must be alive because Randoku must summon the gods to give power to his clients. Pain is the most important ingredient because when the victims feel excruciating pain, the medicine becomes even more effective. Little by little, the body parts and blood are mixed with herbs and real gold, and to complete the whole ritual, one must drink the potion made from these ingredients. As for Boyd, he knows that the whole ceremony is dangerous because a serial killer is involved in the case.
Mackles warns Boyd about the impending murders, as Randoku will soon be on the hunt for more victims. He killed the first two victims for himself, and the other victims will die for his clients.
Did Boyd Find Randoku?
Randoku arrives at a bar and begins communicating with the bartender, Terry, a young college student who is completing her medical studies. Randoku captivates Terry with his words, and it is clear that Randoku is targeting her eyes. He keeps commenting on her eyes and strikes up a conversation with her. Suddenly, two policemen show up at the bar, and they find the van Randoku uses for all the kidnappings. They decide to check with Terry since it is parked in front of the bar. But before they can do anything, Randoku attacks them and escapes. Boyd and his team head to the bar and question Terry, who is completely traumatized by the whole situation. Terry realizes that Randoku wanted to kill her in an abandoned apartment next to the bar. Boyd and the entire team search the building, but he manages to escape and injure some of the officers. The forensic team identifies Randoku based on his fingerprints in the bar. But it seems that Randoku was declared dead a long time ago because the officers managed to find his death certificate. It was pretty clear that Randoku had faked his death for his own benefit. Meanwhile, Boyd receives a business card belonging to Inspector Lavazzi, and the two eventually communicate.
Lavazzi concludes that Randoku is connected to a businessman named Shelby Farner. So Boyd decides to meet him at his mansion, but instead of talking to Farner, he attacks him and warns him to stay away from the kids. Boyd should not have done that because there is no doubt that this mistake will get him into big trouble. Boyd cannot control his anger when it comes to tricky cases like this, and it usually gets him into trouble, but Boyd is still a remarkable detective. Back at the college, Randoku threatens Mackles to stay away from Boyd, but Mackles has not changed his mind.
‘The Ritual Killer’ Ending Explained: What Happened To Detective Boyd And Randoku?
Randoku lures a young girl named Katie from Millsaps College. He takes her to Shelby Farner, where Katie was offered a scholarship. Katie is one of the brightest students at the college and she is good at sports. That explains why Farner is so interested in absorbing her qualities. Meanwhile, Boyd and Mackles are still working together to find Randoku since Katie has disappeared. Mackles suggests that he look for her at Farner’s estate. There is a strong possibility that Randoku and Farner will perform this ceremony in a secluded and secret location. But the story does not fit because Farner would have had to wait a while longer. He already knew that the police were on his tail, but he decided to go ahead with his original plan. Boyd and the other officers search everywhere for him, especially near Farner’s estate, until they find a warehouse near the river. Leaving the other detectives behind, Boyd enters the warehouse alone, which he should not have done. He already knows that Randoku is known for hurting police officers in the city and in other countries. Fortunately, Boyd sees him and points the gun at Randoku, but Farner manages to hit Boyd with a pipe.
Boyd is knocked unconscious, and now, Randoku tries to kill Professor Mackles, but somehow, he is so strong that he manages to kill Farner, but Randoku escapes from the warehouse. Meanwhile, Mackles is nowhere to be found. The cops rescue Katie, and Boyd makes a shocking discovery. Mackles and Randoku are connected to each other as it is implied that Mackles was his teacher in the past. A few days pass, and both Boyd and Lavazzi receive a package from Mackles. It is a small box containing Randoku’s eyes, and “The Ritual Killer” ends with Boyd eating those eyes. It seems that the duo have been planning this for a long time.
Even though “The Ritual Killer” ends ambiguously, it is clear that Boyd wants to gain power. When Mackles attacked Farner, he also managed to attack Randoku. He must have bled to death, and Mackles certainly killed him. But this ending doesn’t complete the movie because no one cares about Mackles even though it is so strange that he has disappeared from the city. Also, Lavazzi implies that Randoku learned the entire Muti ritual from Mackles. Not only did Boyd receive a package, but Lavazzi also received a part of Randoku’s body. As Mackles said, eating the eyes can give you the ability to visualize the future. So there was a possibility that Randoku’s eyes could help Boyd with his cases in the future.
Perhaps the loss of his daughter is an important reason for him to consume Randoku’s eyes since Boyd feels responsible for her death. Jessica Boyd drowned in the river, and when she called for help, Boyd had fallen asleep because he was drunk. But this power can help him become farsighted and predict the future. Besides, Boyd couldn’t foresee the death of his wife, Deelie either. She killed herself because of Jessica’s death, and if Boyd had had the foresight to know about it, he could have saved her as well. There was no doubt that Boyd suffered psychologically and struggled with sleep deprivation, depression, and nightmares, although he had no reason to use this ability other than to further his career, and the ending of “The Ritual Killer” could lead to several conclusions and possibilities.
“The Ritual Killer” is a 2023 thriller film directed by George Gallo.