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The Rite - Blu-ray Movie Review

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The Rite - Movie Review

1 Star

The Rite isn’t exactly the horror experience it is being marketed as.  It isn’t exactly all that good either.  While it has its fair share of plagues and puking and haunted houses, horror aficionados should steer clear.  While adding absolutely nothing new to the exorcist genre, The Rite wastes its time with a scenery-chomping Anthony Hopkins and seems to hope for a miracle instead of actually delivering a decent scare throughout its running time.

Hopkins plays Hannibal Lecter.  Whoops.  I mean, he does – especially in the latter half of the movie – but his character, as the mentor, focuses his energies on “curing” an allegedly demonized pregnant teenager (Marta Gastini).  A skeptical steward, Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) is sent to the Vatican to learn the ways of an exorcist from Father Lucas (Hopkins).  Once proven to be a trickster by Kovak, Father Lucas becomes possessed himself with the only clear path of becoming clear of the devil through a firm belief in Jesus Christ.  Meaning, it’s time for Kovak to fess up and produce "the power that compels" in order to save the day.

God help us.

It’s the audience who really needs to saved from this insanely dogmatic piece of drivel.  Unlike The Last Exorcist, a character study this is not.  And unlike that same movie, The Rite delivers no surprise, no guessing, no “is he or isn’t he?” moments of doubt, and no genuine scares.  To suggest The Rite takes itself too seriously is the only kind words one could muster about this limp noodle.

Without honest inspiration and a pretentious manner (that laughably attempts to connect Kovak’s lack of Christian faith to the woes of his parents), The Rite stumbles its way through the whitewashed halls of impotent Horror.  It’s simply too generic and meandering, both in storyline and in Michael Hafstrom's spiritless direction, for it to succeed on even the basic levels of demonic storytelling.

Hopkins, as an actor, seems to have gone off the deep end, too.  This performance is another is a long line of latter day wackiness from the actor.  He’s hysterically cracked out as Father Lucas; full of some serious oddball behavior.  In one scene, he slaps “the taste” out of a child for no reason whatsoever and, in another. he answers a ringing cell phone mid-incantation.  He draws out his line delivery in beats that attempt to recall Dr. Lecter in the audience’s minds, but, instead, each and every gnash of his teeth just comes off as uninspired and weak.  His performance mirrors the script as both embrace every stubborn cliché known to this tired genre.

The Rite could benefit from a real demonic possession.  Without some devilish activity, it’s simply an unholy mess, inferior to even the weakest and cheapest flicks about the so-called realities of exorcism.

{pgomakase}

{2jtab: Film Details}

The Rite - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for disturbing thematic material, violence, frightening images, and language including sexual references.
Director: Mikael Håfström
Writer: Michael Petroni
Cast:
Anthony Hopkins; Rutger Hauer; Colin O'Donoghue; Alice Braga
Tagline: You can only defeat it when you believe.
Genre: Drama | Horror | Thriller
Memorable Movie Quote:
"There's a new program designed to reteach to clergy the rite of exorcism."
Distributor:
New Line Cinema
Official Site:
whatdoyoubelieve.warnerbros.com
Theatrical Release Date: January 28, 2011
Blu-ray Release Date:
May 17, 2011

Plot Synopsis: Inspired by true events, “The Rite” follows skeptical seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue), who reluctantly attends exorcism school at the Vatican. While in Rome, he meets an unorthodox priest, Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), who introduces him to the darker side of his faith.

{pgomakase}

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

The Rite - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie
 
Blu-ray Disc
1 Star
 
2 stars
     
Blu-ray Experience
1.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 17, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); Digital copy (on disc); DVD copy; BD-Live
Packaging: Slipcover in original pressing
Playback: Region free

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There are none.

Special Features:

  • The Rite: Solider of God (HD, 7 minutes)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 13 minutes)
  • Chilling Alternate Ending (HD, 2 minutes)
  • BD-Live Functionality

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