Mikael Hafstorm has done a creditable job to have made a really interesting watch out of a movie which belongs to a genre which has been done to death. I remember the last exorcism movie which actually made an impression on me was EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. I had seen it a long time back but still some of its scenes linger in my memories. Especially the hapless look on the main protagonist’s face knowing that she had something inside her and she could not fight it. It was extremely effective if not path-breaking. And off-course the mother of all horror movies, “THE EXORCIST”. It was arguably the greatest horror movies of all time and the depiction of the rite of Exorcism there was chilling to watch. It was good enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine.
Coming back to our topic of discussion today which is “THE RITE”, it does have its moment. Frankly speaking I hadn’t heard of this movie until quite late primarily because of my preoccupation with my work and also because its promos didn’t draw much attention on the net. it was during a chance discussion with a friend that the name of this movie came up and he gave me a few good vibes about it that I decided to watch it one evening.
Michael( Colin O’Donoghue ) the son of a funeral director, finds himself taking a course for the seminary. Towards the end of the course he finds himself in total lack of religious faith and decides to drop out but his teacher persuades him to take up a course in exorcism instead and upon return decide his future course of action. Micheal reluctantly agrees and starts of with the course quite belligerently. his instructor Father Xavier (Ciaran Hinds) realizes his skepticism soon enough and sends him to father Lucas(Hopkins) to give a real taste of Demoniac exorcism and also to help him find his faith. But Michael is still reluctant to grasp his beliefs. Then a chain of events is triggered which tests not only Micheal’s faith in religion but also pulls the threads of love, relations and belief to their extent.
The build up to the story is very well done and the way the characters are developed is immaculate. The viewer is quickly soaked into the proceedings even without him still caring for the characters. As the movie progresses we gradually start caring and rooting for the characters. The plot is interesting and with the power packed performances, whatever holes were left are all filled up. The climax is apt to the rest of the story.
Speaking of the performances, Anthony Hopkins powers down his star persona quite a bit to get into the skin of the father “not so magical” Lucas. His movements, his looks all give us a glimpse of the mayhem that is to come next. His sequences with Michael (and there are quite a few of them) are extremely well done. Alice Barga as Angeline doesn’t have much to do till the very end but performs her part with aplomb.
The cinematography, background score and the interesting dialog only add up to an already engrossing fair.Final words, GO FOR IT.