The Rite: Steeped in creep

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The Rite” captures 3 Red Vines for being a quality exorcism creep fest

Will anyone ever be able to make a movie about demonic possession to rival “The Exorcist?”  Probably not.  But I still went to “The Rite” with high hopes of getting a good scare. And while I can’t say that “The Rite” is scary, I can say it is super creepy, extremely unsettling and lots of fun!

Based on a true story (but who knows how much?), “The Rite” centers around a young man (Colin O’Donoghue as Michael Kovak) who leaves his father’s business of undertaking to join the priesthood.  But his decision is more one of desperation than dedication. 

Though he has spent his life apprenticing by his father’s side, he does not want a life filled with death.  He decides he can get a free education if he goes to seminary school without ever actually entering the priesthood upon graduation. When his goal is almost in reach and he has informed his priest adviser of his decision, an odd twist of fate-and little papal blackmail-lands him in Rome to study exorcism. It is an odd predicament for a man who doesn’t have much faith to begin with, just a desire to get an education any way he can. So when he fights the arguments for possession his Rome adviser has him apprentice with one of the oldest and most prolific exorcists in the city.
Enter Anthony Hopkins.

Like Donald Pleasance in the “Halloween” movies, just having an actor of Hopkins’ caliber immediately adds a certain amount of gravitas and legitimacy to the production. As Father Lucas Trevant, Hopkins is at his scene chewing, goose bump provoking best! You are never quite sure about this gentle, shop-worn warrior.  Is he doing God’s work the best he can or just a frocked huckster? Or, as fate would have it, is he something far more sinister?

These are the questions that plague Michael as he follows Trevant on his house calls. Time and again, evil calls out to Michael giving him information that would be impossible for the assorted possessed peasants to know.But Michael’s lack of faith will not be shaken. *Spoiler Alert* That is until the student is called upon to save his own teacher!

“The Rite” simply oozes ominous atmosphere. It is gorgeous in a dirty, ancient city kind of way. The imagery is romantic, startling and ominous. My only complaint is that I would have liked a little more out and out scare with my creep.

While the lack of gore, scares, sex and profane language might make “The Rite” too boring for younger, more thrill seeking audiences, I think there is an audience for this movie just the same.

If you, like me, enjoy rich visuals, great performances (expect to see a LOT more of newcomer Colin O’Donoghue!) and an interesting, unnerving storyline then “The Right” might be right up your favorite dark alley!

LADIES ROOM LOWDOWN:   My horror/gore loving friend also loved this movie for all the same reasons I did. That’s saying a lot as she is a fan of hard core scares like “Saw.” There was actually some applause at the end of the movie and this was a young audience!

A preview of this movie was provided to me by the studio but it in no way effects my unbiased review.

The Rite related links:
> The Rite official Website
The Rite Wikipedia