The Rite is a movie about an American Priest who travels to Italy to study at an exorcism school. The opening states that the story is based on true events. In the film, the church establishes a plan to teach Priests how to become Exorcists as there is a perceived shortage of them. Colin O’Donoghue plays Michael Kovak, a man studying to become a Priest, but having trouble with his faith. He becomes a skeptical apprentice of Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins). Rutger Hauer has a small role as Michael’s mortician father.
After being massacred by critics, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go see this movie, but a friend was really interested so we checked it out. This film has a slow pace and not a lot of scares or excitement. I can see why some people may find this movie boring. Especially if they are looking for a horror movie. This is more of a creepy, suspense thriller. It is low key and subdued. It is character, dialogue and story driven. It is intellectual and smart and a story told on a very personal level. This movie does not use special effects or gore to scare you. It uses suspense and acting – specifically Anthony Hopkins, who is excellent as always. Colin O’Donoghue plays a very non-flashy but sincere and realistic take on the situation that he finds himself facing.
This is a very simple story, told at its own pace, on a very personal level. It mirrors the characteristics of possession, an evil that brings a great deal of suffering to an individual and the people closest to them. There is something to be said about a straightforward story, not marred by distracting story elements. This is a movie that can be appreciated for what it has if you just relax and take it in. If you are looking for a scary or exciting horror movie, or a complex movie with quirky characters, or if you are in a rush for payoffs, then this film is not for you.
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