THE RITE Movie Review
I love horror movies. I love horror movies to a point where some people find it a little unsettling. I watch The Exorcist for fun. When I heard about THE RITE and saw the previews, I was THRILLED. This sounded right up my alley!
I, thankfully, was warned to go in to The Rite not expecting The Exorcist. If you’re expecting a remake to that classic movie, or even a cheap knock off, you’ll be disappointed. Not that The Rite doesn’t have some of the same basic criteria of The Exorcist; there are only so many ways to make a movie about demonic possession after all… but The Rite is more a thriller than a movie that sets out to scare.
Based on the book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by journalist Matt Baglio (which is based on a true story), The Rite is the story of a priest in training Michael Kovak. Kovak is played by newcomer Colin O’Donoghue, and I really, REALLY enjoyed his character in the film. He didn’t go in blindly believing everything that he was told, and his faith was tested in a way that most of us never have to experience.
Michael enrolls in seminary school, and is sent to Rome to attend a class on exorcism at the Vatican. He meets Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins), a very experienced priest in the art of exorcism. From there, the battle of beliefs begin.
The old priest/young priest theme is where The Rite resembled The Exorcist, but after that it became a film that was meant to leave you feeling unsettled, not a film that intended to scare you out of sleep. I loved it. I feel that there were a few scenes where the use of “cheap” scares were overdone, but if that’s all that I can find to complain about, I think The Rite did it’s job.
The acting was strong – Hopkins is always great, and while I saw a little Hannibal Lecter in Father Trevant, it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t get past.
Do yourself a favor and see this film – and do me a favor as well, don’t think you’re going to see The Exorcist. This will make your viewing experience of The Rite better to a degree that I can’t even describe.
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