September 21, 2011
Movie Review: The Rite
It seems like lately the topic of exorcisms has been popular fodder for horror/thriller movies. One of the latest exorcism movies is The Rite. The story is about a young American man who wants to back out of seminary due to a lack of faith in God. Upon the urging of a priest who has acted as his mentor, the young man attends a training course on exorcisms at the Vatican. Through the course he makes the acquaintance of a priest who is a famous exorcist with some unorthodox ways, played by Anthony Hopkins.
The young man at first tries to explain away the events surrounding several people who are supposedly possessed, but eventually the evidence becomes too much for the man to deny. The way the skeptic vs. believer in the paranormal events played out in the movie almost--almost--reminded me of the X-Files when it was in its early seasons. Any time a movie, book or television series hearkens to such a great work, it is a good sign. By the time the main character in The Rite begins believing the possessions and demons are real a demon has singled him out and begins to wage war on him with a fury the young man has never experienced.
The movie had some promise, but I felt the climax fell a little flat for the building up. Some of the scenes portraying demonic possession can be frightening, depending on your tolerance level. I am a big fan of Anthony Hopkins, and he did not fail to deliver in The Rite, but I could not say the same for all of the actors in the movie. Ultimately, though, The Rite's undoing was a script that was not completely developed, leaving a doughy and half-baked taste in my mouth.