The Rite (2011)


Plot: Despite his conviction that demonic possession is just so much superstitious mumbo jumbo, Catholic priest-in-training Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue) journeys to Rome to attend a special exorcism school being taught at the Vatican. Before long, true-believer Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) introduces the young cleric to the devil’s power firsthand. Director Mikael Håfström helms this graphic supernatural thriller inspired by a true story.

My Review: The movie starts out with our lead character, Michael, at a funeral home, attending to one of the dead, as its his families business. He later is talking with his friends when he tells them he’s decided to go to college to become a priest. In his family your either a mortician or a priest. So for the next four years Michael goes to school to become a priest, but he loses his faith, and tries to resign from the priesthood. Only his teacher won’t allow him to without trying something different. He asks that he try a class in Rome to become an Exorcist instead.

So Michael goes off to Rome to study exorcisms. There he meets a young journalist who he pals around with briefly, and he meets and works with Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) on two different exorcism cases. One is the case of Rosaria, a 16 year old pregnant girl, and the other a case of a young boy who claims to see a demon mule…yes, a demon mule. You can even see it at one point in the film. The main focus in the film is Rosaria, but the little boy’s case also mixes in.

Here’s where it’s a little wishy-washy for me. I first of all don’t really care for demon movies, nor do I really care for Exorcism movies. Because they all boil down to the same thing. A person who thinks they are possessed who contorts their body into weird positions, looks creepy, pukes something up, and then gets exorcised. This movies formula is pretty much that, with a death or two mixed in. And I never understand how in movies like this, if demons have the power to move things – as it does in this movie with bending crosses, slamming doors, ripping restraints off…then how come they can’t just attack someone with their powers by say bashing them over the head quickly with an object in the room?

I also didn’t quite get the significance of all the frogs and the bracelet. Why did both the girls have the same bracelet (other then signifying they were both probably possessed). It just seems to me like there was more meaning behind it and it wasn’t included. At one point it seems as though all exorcisms are “the devil” (as one priest says just that I think) but then they say that you must ask the demon its name to properly cast it out, so that would mean there is more then one demon. So is it safe to say that the demon that has possessed EVERYONE in this movie is the same one? I have no idea. Not to mention it seems they wanted to somehow tie it all in with Michael’s childhood, but then skipped it, or made it slightly a mystery. I don’t know. I’m kinda confused about that still.

The movie was way too long, by the last 30 minutes I just wanted it over, all exorcism movies I’ve ever seen, seem to be the same and this one really was no different.

Gore/FX: There wasn’t much going on in this department. Basically the people possessed start looking a little creepy. Especially the person possessed at the end. But that’s about it.

Sexual Content: None, come on did you really think there would be any? The main character is a priest.

Acting: Decent, no issues with it at all. Obviously Anthony Hopkins is the main draw here, but the actor playing Michael held his own.

Overall: Its like 10 other Exorcism movies except it has someone famous in it – Anthony Hopkins. It wasn’t a bad film, it was slightly entertaining, but as I said above, its like a bunch of other movies with the same subject matter and it got boring towards the end. I don’t think I’ll watch it again.


View The Trailer

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4 Responses to The Rite (2011)

  • avatar
    VoodooPriestess says:

    Honestly as a exorcism horror movie which I enjoy, this fell real flat for me. It was really formulaic and I felt in some parts they were copying from The Exorcist and expecting those factors to help make the movie scary. FYI I think the frogs were a messenger or familiar of the demon coming to possess Hopkins. (It’s been forever since I’ve seen it and don’t care to watch it again) I will say that a lot of things you’re wondering about in your review above are things people into that genre can answer, but it shouldn’t have to work like that. . . . It’s actually starting to get late for me so if you end up watching another demon movie 2008’s Credo (Aka The Devil’s Curse) might be more your style. Or something with strong psychological tones to accompany the demon stuff. Maybe Session 9. (This might just be a curious ramble since the few reviews I read of yours have been mostly negative and I guess I can’t figure out your type)

  • avatar
    Kat says:

    I came back here to read your comment and in doing so reread my review (as well as watched the trailer) and when I saw that Colin O’Donoghue was in it I kinda wanted to rewatch it. I love him as Hook on Once Upon a Time. But alas I don’t think I’ll rewatch this. I was never a big fan of any movie really involving possession.

    I saw Session 9 many years ago when it first came out, because I have a strong obsession with abandoned/haunted insane asylums, and since the one in that was near me (and I had wanted to visit it) I gave it a watch. I remember not really liking it until the ending. But I haven’t seen it since so don’t really remember much about it.

  • avatar
    Sonya says:

    Actually if you pay attention to what exactly Anthony Hopkins is saying you will find he is already possessed from the first meeting. There was something deep down like God’s fingernail. He knew it would rain on a clear day. The devil is just waiting for him to break down, to take over.


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