11 August 2011

Movies: The Rite

The Rite (2011) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1161864/

Supernatural thriller film, supposedly based on real events.

It's about a young priest-in-training. He basically went through the training to get away from his family mortuary business, and his father. He was a skeptic going in, and a skeptic upon graduation. He planned to not become a priest when finished. One of his instructors talks him into attending the Vatican's exorcism academy. Even there the instructors realize he's not toeing the priestly line so they apprentice him under an experienced exorcist instead, one that has experienced many of the same skepticism and doubts over the years, yet continues in that role.  Then exorcism-y events occur.

Stars Colin O'Donoghue. Don't worry, I thought "who?" too. But yeah, that guy is the central character. The supporting cast includes a few recognizable members such as Anthony Hopkins, Rutger Hauer, Alice Braga. The publicity and film poster pushes Hopkins, but he's not the central character. Which means the film is being sold to audiences on big name cast members over content. It is good to see Rutger Hauer still taking on more serious roles from time to time. I was afraid the guy was forever doomed for hack roles like "Hobo with a Shotgun".

I'm not entirely sure how 'real events' this film is, beyond the Vatican's push to put more exorcists in the field. I heard that the director got to listen in on some exorcisms from outside the room while putting the project together, and supposedly a couple of the characters are based on real exorcists.  Probably as 'based on real events' as "The Exorcist" was.

As exorcist films go it wasn't terrible, wasn't exactly groundbreaking either. This film did have decent enough production, acting, story line for the subject matter.  The story concentrates more on the spiritual journey of the budding young priest-in-training than it does on possessions and exorcisms. But it also seemed to just drag about and not do a whole lot. It still seemed a few shades better than "The Last Exorcism" in many ways. But overall, for me, it just seemed rather ho-hum if not boring in retrospect. Not much different than other exorcism films that precede it. At least it didn't go overboard with the possession/exorcism portrayals, except maybe the 'turning point' event. Not near as crazy creepy as "The Exorcist" and "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," which are both films I would recommend to anyone wanting to watch exorcism films. I'd say "The Rite" falls sort of between those two should-see films (in the exorcism genre) and the probably-should-avoid-because-I-found-them-disappointing films like "The Last Exorcism" and "An American Haunting".  Regardless, you won't miss out on anything by not seeing this film.

If you're still in the market for an exorcism film check out "The Exorcist" if you haven't seen it already. Be warned, though, it hasn't aged very well when compared with all the possession/exorcism films that came out after, which were all heavily influenced by "The Exorcist".  It set the foundation, so it's worth the watch for historical reasons.
If you haven't yet seen "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" that would probably be a better one to watch than "The Rite". Come to think of it, "Fallen" would be a good choice too, even though it isn't an exorcism film - more of a slick demonic possession film.  If you've watched a few possession/exorcism films already "The Rite" isn't going to add anything to the genre. I would not recommend bothering to see "The Last Exorcism" or "An American Haunting".

No comments:

Post a Comment