First you should know that this review is coming from a Deist, a back sliding Baptist, a confused Catholic — in other words I bring my doubts into this film which puts it at a serious and unfair disadvantage. However, there were some good moments in The Rite and for the most part the story was done well and I wasn’t overly annoyed with the corny possession scenes. I mean at this point there isn’t anything really new to be done when a chick is possessed. More about that later.
I mean what can I say bad about Sir Anthony Hopkins? Well other than he should demand his name be removed from the credits of Wolfman. But that’s another gripe for another day. The Rite stars Hopkins as Father Lucas, whose specialty is performing Vatican approved exorcisms. The good Father has been sent a young Priest I’ve decided to call Father Hot. Father Hot although has completed his seminary training has not taken his final vows because he like me is side-eyeing religion. You see where this is going, right?
Once is Father Lechter’s charge, Father Hot goes on along on many of his cases. And like every possession film we learn the demon rentals’ (possessed people) back stories which always call into question their sanity. Now I could and probably will insert my opinions here. Is it me or these people usually schizophrenic? And why does possession resemble schizophrenia? Are these actually mental demons rather than actual demons? Because isn’t easier for an overzealous religious person to believe they are possessed rather than spiraling into madness? Well be because this is a movie and not necessarily a documentary we are lead to believe Father Lucas is completely on the ups. The two cases we are shown cannot be explained away with pesky science. The climax of the film of course resolves all this because it involves Father Lucas and Father Hot squaring off with the ultimate horror villain Satan himself. Well one of Satan’s foot soldiers I suppose. Satan is busy plotting droughts in Texas. Google Rick Perry and that will make sense.
Now when one takes on a member of Beelzebub army you are expecting some serious Exorcist , bed levitating, head spinning moments. Nope. Not in The Rite , it was mild at best. I guess demon possession is afraid of the MPAA as well. Sads. Overall, The Rite is worth a watch especially if you’re a fan of Emily Rose and maybe even The Last Exorcism. However if you are looking for a modern day The Exorcist this isn’t it. The good Sir of course delivers his usual steady performance; I think for what he was given to do I don’t have major complaints. Father Hot (Colin O’Donoghue, The Tudors) was appealing enough I suppose, but I didn’t feel one way of another about what happened to his character. I can’t decide if this is due to lack of story or what. And on a side note what is the ever loving hell is Rutger Hauer doing in this? Cable It!
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