Inspired by true events, The Rite follows a sceptical seminary student, Michael Kovak (O’Donoghue), who has lost his faith. Tired of his disparagements, Michael’s instructor, Father Xavier (Hinds) decides to send him off to Rome to attend an exorcism seminar and meet an unorthodox priest, Father Lucas (Hopkins), who introduces him to the darker side of his faith.

The Rite's story could have worked back in the early 90s, where the idea would have still been somewhat fresh (but not original). However, this plot is exhausted and overdone with nothing really special to offer after the series of Exorcism films and other imitations. It’s a tired and clearly predictable formula that lacks any new ideas or twists to drive the audience into becoming involved with the story. Sure, it has Anthony Hopkins, which means that it takes itself too seriously; but it still remains a B-class horror film.

Ever since Hopkins’ Oscar-winning performance in 1991’s Silence of the Lambs, it seems that he has been trying to outgrow that unforgettable role. His performance in The Rite isn’t terrible, but it’s so beneath him; we’d expected much more from such a greatly respected actor.

As for the rest of the cast, Colin O’Donoghue and Alice Braga as Michael and Angelina are just plain average. Both of them are understandable assets that are dragged through the film to make it work; instead of being relatable characters that we should empathise with (especially considering that Michael is the main character). Ciaran Hinds as Father Xavier fits his role perfectly as the creepy, enigmatic and sinister priest.

For an exorcism film, the script is awfully poor. Almost every single line or quote seems to have been heard before in a previous film. The only explanation to such a dilemma is possibly due to the director’s hope that The Rite would be carried away by the actors. Sadly, that didn’t work.

Even for horror fans, this is weak achievement. The problem isn’t with the film itself – bad horror films are often much more entertaining than slickly made ones – it’s the talents that went to waste during the making of this film. Hopkins fans will be disappointed; so avoid at all costs.