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The Rite

The Rite: Tired Horror Formula

  • Anthony HopkinsCiarán Hinds...
  • DramaHorror...
  • Mikael Håfström
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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The Rite: Tired Horror Formula

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.

Like This? Try

The Omen, The Exorcist, The Exorcism of Emily Rose

360 Tip

The music for The Rite’s trailer was taken from 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which also starred Anthony Hopkins.

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