Thursday, February 17, 2011
The Rite (2011)
The Rite (USA, 2011) - Color, Director(s): Mikael Håfström
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Approx. 114 min.
Z-rating: 2 out of 5 stars
B-factor: 2 out of 5 stars
This film begins with a mortician who apples for seminary school to escape his bleak future. Struggling with his beliefs, we see him nearly graduate before he writes an email to his superiors concerning his lack of faith. In an effort to have him reconsider, he is sent off to Rome to take a few courses in exorcism from the Vatican. Offering nothing but hard-headed logic and arguments back by silly scientific evidence, the priest decide to send him to some "radical" by the name of Father Lucas. After sitting through a few of Lucas' exorcisms, he was still unconvinced of his faith even after the girl exhibits knowledge of things she couldn't have known and other obvious signs of demonic possession. Still unconvinced, he questions Father Lucas and his methods until one day when Lucas himself becomes possessed. Finally convinced that all the crazy shit happening around him is real, he goes to exorcise Father Lucas.... without a real priest(!) accompanied only by a random journalist.
This film takes a realistic approach to the exorcism movie but falls flat even when compared to The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I can appreciate all the little in-jokes referencing The Exorcist, but what I found strange were the odd attempts at humor even when the tone of the movie was supposed to be serious. (Lucas takes a call on his cell during an exorcism) Thankfully, there were a few creepy scenes but they were far and few between to even matter. The saving grace (sorry) of this film was Anthony Hopkins who gave a fantastic performance as Father Lucas, although I can't honestly say I've ever seen him in a movie I didn't like. There's a scene where this random bicyclist who gets hit by a car and asks our main priest to bless her before she dies. He repeats a prayer over her even though he isn't a full priest yet. I thought they were going to tie this back in somewhere, but in the end, they weren't really able to tie it all back together to make a satisfying movie. I felt like there were some loose ends that could've been tied in and some of the scenes could've had more realistic reactions. (He walks back into his room to find it infested with frogs and he just bounces out and gets a shitty motel room. Really? Then when he doesn't find the priest he's looking for, he just goes it alone even though he's a little unsure of his faith. Seriously?)
Gore: Very minimal. The goriest thing in this movie was probably the photos they show during the exorcism class.
Awesome: Despite there being a few legitimate scenes of actual creepiness, the overall movie was dull, predictable, and ultimately unsatisfying. I think it felt more like a movie that couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a realistic or supernatural horror movie. I can see this movie being played on TBS or TNT in future and everyone would have seen it on TV.