“The Rite” is a theological thriller starring Colin O’Donogue as skeptic seminary student Michael Kovak. Kovak seems like such a promising young would-be priest, but there is just one thing holding him back..faith. That is faith in the reality of the unseen forces battling daily for the souls of all humanity, and faith in himself. However, just when he is ready to throw in the towel and refuse to take his priestly vows Michael gets a rare opportunity to travel to Italy for a new course on exorcism where he is put in direct contact with Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins) and moments later finds himself assisting in an exorcism ritual.
The first thing noticed about this film is that it is not the typical possession flick in that it does not contain a non-stop creep factor. Sure there is a fair share of disfigured faces, speaking in tongues, and overall negative reaction to anything of a holy nature, but this is more of a film on the theological aspects behind possession and addresses the believer and the skeptic. In my opinion, this actually made it worth seeing far more than current films such as “The Last Exorcism” as it blended knowledge and bringing back that feeling of paranoia that something is watching from the shadows.
Although the movie contained a few instances of needful makeup and special effects fine-tuning, the overall performance of these two areas of production were superb and provided excellent shock factor to the audience upon viewing disfiguring post mortem conditions due to the possession. The cinematography was fantastic and kept with the dark tones expected of this particular type of film, and the dream sequences were absolutely surreal and drew the audience in before making them jump out of their skin.
Now..for the acting. As you might have guessed, Anthony Hopkins pulled off a stellar performance as a priest known for his skill in exorcism who starts to lose his face after the death of one of the people he was trying so hard to protect from the dark forces claiming her very soul. This gives those spirits an opening to invade this man of God, as the trailer suggests, and it is up to his student to find the faith in God and himself to save him. The performance by Hopkins is backed up by a strong partnering casts to give a decent viewing experience.
Watching that eerie “Hannibal Lecter” smile once again was reason enough to purchase a ticket, but there was a good moral to the story. Good may always triumph over evil, but that still does not keep good from having to watch its back and keep the faith. Otherwise, evil is always waiting in the shadows ready to kick you when you’re down.
So behave out there and stay tuned for the latest news and reviews from TheMoviePool!