Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

THE RITE (2011)

>> Thursday, February 3, 2011

The rite stuff.

Sir Anthony Hopkins is back to being as creepy as he possibly can in the year's first excorcism movie. Either the churches are pushing for more of these (it was only last September we were treated to The Last Exorcism) or Hollywood is thinking this is the new 'hot thing' - as it was thirty years ago. Either way, I'm happy to say that while The Rite has some moments of weakness, it's far better than Last Exorcism in style, acting and consistency.

Hopkins plays Father Lucas Trevant, an exorcist in Italy who has done more than 2, 000 exorcisms in his lifetime. We first meet up with Father Lucas when the lead character in the film, Michael Kovak (Colin O' Donoghue) is sent to him by a colleague. Kovak is there to acquire the proof he needs to make sure that the line of work he plans on entering (a Priest) isn't a big ol' sham. In a sense, Kovak represents us, the viewers.

What Kovak experiences in his first exorcism at the hands of Lucas, is enough to convince most people that this ritual isn't all smoke and mirrors. But not Kovak. He's a doubter and it'll take more than a few bloody nails being coughed up before he'll believe in the Devil. So what happens next? Well the Devil says "Fair enough, Michael. You want proof? You got it." The rest, as they say, is history.

At least that's what the filmmakers would like to you believe - that The Rite is not only inspired by true events (as it blatently states in the credits), but that it's an actual true story. This is where my only real issue with the film lies. While it's one thing to state this film is inspired by true events, it's another to state it's all fact using a couple of 'Here's where they are now' paragraphs randomly thrown in at the end of the movie. Now, I don't mind it when fictional movies try and seem real to add to their overall effect (Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity, etc). What I do mind, however, is when a perfectly fine narrative soils itself at the last minute by trying to throw in little factoids to make the whole thing seem 'scarier'. A movie going audience isn't naive and if you're not going to market The Rite as a true story from the get-go then don't try and squeeze it in last minute. Especially when your 'true story' facts go something like "Michael Kovak now runs a parish just outside of Chicago" - upon looking I found over 100 parishes in that area. In this case, the devil really is in the details.

Despite my peeve within relation to this feeble attempt at building a larger audience, I'm giving The Rite an open door. Hopkins was fantastic in it (as was most of the cast) and regardless of the female lead AliceBraga's two-dimensional character (not important enough to mention, really), the film and story are relatively fleshed out enough that you'll have a good enough time. The scary moments are scary, the creepy moments are creepy and the epic moments are - well, epic. Hannibal is back, baby!

*Stills courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


About This Blog

  © Free Blogger Templates Skyblue by 2008

Back to TOP