The Rite

  • Year:2011
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Mikael Håfström
  • Cast:Rutger Hauer , Alice Braga, Ciaran Hinds, Anthony Hopkins, Toby Jones
  • Release Date:July 13, 2011
  • Distributor:Warner
  • The Film:2.5

"... attempts a more measured, seriously dramatic approach to its subject than the usual horror movie."

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The Rite examines the ritual of exorcism through the eyes of Michael Kovak, a young American seminary graduate sent to attend the Vatican's exorcism program in Rome. As a result of his scepticism, Michael is advised to see Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins), an unorthodox Jesuit whose extensive experience has produced a rather matter-of-fact approach to the issue of possession. As with many an exorcism film, the questioning of faith is a key theme. Michael's doubt about his religion has prompted him to reconsider entering the priesthood; even Father Lucas still has lapses in belief.

The Rite attempts a more measured, seriously dramatic approach to its subject than the usual horror movie. Its cast, including Hopkins, Ciarán Hinds, Rutger Hauer and Toby Jones, is heavyweight, its cinematography impressive, particularly the European location scenes. Parts of the film have a dark visual poetry that's full of menace. It's disappointing, therefore, that the ultimate confrontation is anticlimactic, succumbing to the possession genre's more obvious clichés. Having atmospherically set up its weighty theme of faith versus evil in a sceptical age, you want The Rite to plough deeper.

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