Sunday, March 13, 2011

Review - The Rite (2011)

"Be careful Michael, choosing not to believe in the devil doesn't protect you from him."

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O’Donoghue, Alice Braga
Director: Mikael Hafstrom
Writer: Michael Petroni

I’ve yet to watch The Last Exorcism, as such there is a burning desire at the moment to watch the exorcist type movies. I just find something fascinating by the evil that can infest the heroes, and there is nothing that they can do about it. At the end of the day the battle being waged is for one soul and even if the main protagonists succeed the devil is just around the corner ready for another bite of the cherry. A real good exorcist movie can just be creepy as hell and leave an impression that will haunt you as you go to sleep. So after this mammoth introduction how does The Rite stand up to all the exorcist movies? Well time to go one on one with the devil and review this hell of a movie.

The story is apparently inspired by true event. Now I’m not sure if a movie needs to have that disclaimer up front but for some reason it just tore the audience out of the moment instantly. People started laughing and it created a mood that I’m sure did hurt the movie. When it comes to these horror movies that are inspired by true events maybe leave that little part until the end of the movie. It’s a cheap ploy to pull at the sympathies of the audience and as the general movie going public get smarter it’s going to hurt more and more. Okay here endeth the rant. I think I turned left at Albuquerque on that point.

Anyway the plot is a young priest in training Michael Krovak (O’Donoghue) is having a crisis of faith and is sent to Rome to undergo exorcist training in the hopes that he will reconnect with his faith and become a demon kicking tool of the lord. (Okay I made that sound more exciting than it should be). At Rome he butts heads with the Priest in charge and so is sent to Father Lucas Trevent (Hopkins) in the hopes of making him believe in exorcism. It is here the plot starts thickening as a demon seems intent upon Michael and is using his past against him.

So in this horror movie I think I was scared once and that was from a cat smacking itself against the window. There was a creepy atmosphere but I was never really on the edge of my seat. When I thought something was going to happen in kind of fizzled out. The movie is actually caught between this weird middle ground. It’s not so fantastical with it exorcism stuff because it’s ‘inspired’ by true event and yet at the same time there are over the top touches that really hurt the audience from buying into the real events of the movie. At the end of the day I left the movie somewhat creeped out but quickly forgot most of the movie and went about by night. Truly not a good sign.

Directing was pretty competent and as I said was able to generate a suitable creepy mood, just nothing really came of that. Acting wise everyone does an adequate job. O’Donoghue sometimes downplays it a little too much, and Hopkins while fine enough does seem to be bouncing about the various roles he’s done over the years. Alice Braga is also okay but her story isn’t really that important in the end. I guess she’s just there because she was there in real life.

I think that The Rite isn’t a god awful movie it’s just very adequate, and it doesn’t really raise any questions that will stick in a persons mind. After watching the movie I just wanted to see The Last Exorcism more. Still if you have some spare cash and are desperate for the ol time Catholic horror go watch The Rite. Better yet go and hire out The Exorcist. In fact do that second thing right now.


  1. I love a good exorcism film myself, and have kinda been wanting to see this. I think I'll wait for the DVD.

  2. It didn't look like it broke any new ground.

  3. @ShaneC It is a DVD movie. I don't think you will lose anything with the small screen.