The Rite (AKA: another bad excorcism movie)

The Rite

So if you believe the trailer, The Rite is supposed to be a kick-ass horror/thriller with tons of action and suspense. But really it goes like this: handsome Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue) works at his father’s funeral home, and he’s depressed. So he decides to go to a Catholic college to become a priest, and he’s depressed. Then he tries to quit, but instead gets talked into going to Rome to attend one of the Vatican’s new-fangled training courses on exorcism, and he’s depressed.

While he’s brooding his way through Rome, he runs into a hot female journalist (of course!), and gets a talking to from Father Xavier, who recommends he drive out to the middle of nowhere to visit Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), who will prove to Michael once and for all that the devil does, in fact, exist. Wait a minute. Why does everyone in the church want to help this guy out, when he’s told them all over and over he doesn’t believe in god? “Oh, great. So you don’t believe in god and you don’t want to be a priest. You’d make a perfect exorcist!” I…don’t get it.

Anyway, when he arrives at Father Lucas’s broken down castle or whatever, he finds him puttering around hamming it up as only Anthony Hopkins can do, but this time with 100s of cats. Eventually (FINALLY) a pregnant girl shows up and starts exhibiting signs of being possessed, but Michael’s still not convinced, even the second time when she spits out a bunch of giant iron nails (she could have swallowed them! um. no. I don’t think she could have, actually).

After that goes situation goes South, Michael spends even more time brooding and being depressed until it becomes evident that Father Lucas may have somehow transferred the devil into himself—and I’m not spoiling anything here because they show you that in the trailer. I guess it’s nice disappointing to see that Anthony Hopkins is still a parody of himself. He definitely got more than a few laughs out of the audience, but hey. Isn’t this supposed to be a scary movie?

Basically, The Rite packed every interesting scene into that trailer in order to get people into the theater to see it, and it totally worked with me because I was actually psyched to see it…until about 15 minutes in. This movie takes forever and a day to get to the point, and when it does, it’s not even that interesting. My recommendation: skip it.