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Thursday, January 27, 2011

THE RITE

By D.E.Levine

Director: Mikael Hafstrom
Writer: Michael Petroni and Matt Baglio (book and story)
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O'Donoghue, Alice Braga, Claran Hinds, Toby Jones, Rutger Hauer, Marta Gastini, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Arianna Veronesi et al.
Producers: Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson
Executive Producer: Robert Bernacchi
Co-producers: Christy Fletcher and Mark Tuohy
Associate Producer: Christopher Almerico
Line Producer (Italy): Gian Paola Viani
Original Music: Alex Heffes
Running Time: 114 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Drama, Horro, Thriller

After seeing Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, one has high expectations about his performance when he's in a thriller or drama.

In this film Hopkins plays a priest who conducts and teaches exorcism. To make the story we have to believe that satanic possession exists and exorcism works to cast Satan out.

Based on the actual experiences of Father Gary Thomas, a California priest who was assigned by his bishop to study exorcism at the Vatican, in the film the priest is from Chicago (Father Michael).

Seeking to leave the priesthood before taking his final vows (since he entered the priesthood to pay for his education), Father Michael is shocked to learn that he will owe over $100,000 in student loans if he does indeed leave the priesthood.

Assigned to Rome he dabbles in a variety of priestly studies and activities until he is advised to spend some time with an experienced exorcist.

Accompanying the elder priest to his various exorcisms, they are followed by a woman journalist, but there is no hint of romantic involvement between either of the men and the woman.

Instead, the film is eerily beautiful with cinematographic images made in Hungary that are eerily ancient and scary. While not as horrifying as The Exorcist and not as good as The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Rite is interesting and different than most of the gory horror films being made today, but towards the end it does become campy.

While The Rite is interesting, to fully enjoy it the viewer must buy into the concept that Satan inhabits people and can be cast out via exorcism.