Contrafilm, Fletcher & Company, KPB Digital for Film

Anthony Hopkins, Colin O’Donoghue, Alice Braga, Ciarán Hinds, Toby Jones, Rutger Hauer, Marta Gastini, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Arianna Veronesi, Chris Marquette

Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue) was raised by his dad in the family home/mortuary after his mom died when he was very young. According to Michael, members of his family only have two options for careers, either an undertaker or a priest. Michael opts for priest. He heads off to the Seminary, but soon realizes he has a strong penchant for science and psychology, but very little, if any, faith in God. He is about to resign when the Reverend Father asks him to reconsider. He sees something in him that makes him want to give it another shot. He informs him that if he doesn’t finish, that the scholarship he had could be turned into student loans that he cannot pay. The Vatican is doing a special seminar for special students reviving exorcism and he is to complete the training and then decide whether he wants to quit or not. The priest who is training the students sends him to visit Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins) who is a delightfully bizzare old Welsh priest who is a master at exorcism. Michael is to learn what he can from him and try to determine if he has faith or not. Not knowing whether Lucas is crazy, a faker, or the real deal, he gets involved deeper and deeper and meets a young reporter Angeline (Alice Braga) who is attending the seminar to write an article about it. Things turn serious in a hurry as things happen that are hard to explain. This is based on real events.

Whew, this is a thriller, totally! Anthony Hopkins in delightful and demonic as the good priest/bad priest/bumbling priest all in one. He is scatterbrained and goofy and at the same time very precise and knowledgeable. You can never tell if he’s on the level or a fantastic fake. The childhood of Michael is told in flashback in one short, extremely creepy flashback after another, bit by bit, piece by piece. Growing up in a funeral home, unafraid of dead people, this small boy is forced to work on the dead body of his mother to make her look “nice” for the funeral. His father is one of the creepiest guys I have ever seen. There are several smaller parts featuring people who either are possessed, or insane and think they’re possessed. Michael starts out very unconvinced that there is anything to this that a psychiatrist couldn’t resole, but as it goes on deeper and deeper he finds more meaning in his life. Meanwhile the scary moments (bumps in the dark, loud sounds, etc.) are there but just as much there is real suspense, and creepy settings and people. It builds on the suspense to an unbelievable level, and meanwhile there is nothing as downright scary as good vs. evil, God vs. the Devil. There is even a bit of a ghost story thrown in for good measure. This is a thriller horror film with very little actual violence or gore, but plenty of really frightening parts. I predict it will do pretty well, especially due to Mr. Hopkins who is as excellent here as he was in “Silence of the Lambs”. I highly recommend this for lovers of suspense and horror. It’s very well made.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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    Ed's Review Dot Com » This Week on DVD – 05/17/2011 said

    May 17 2011 @ 11:06 am

    […] The Rite [Click to see Ed's Review] […]

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