2011's "The Rite" is built around the Hollywood doctrine that any movie, big or small, can be made automatically horrifying if including Anthony Hopkins as one of its stars. Unfortunately that's not the case for "The Rite" a truly terrible exorcism film that dabbles in the religious hysteria of losing faith and includes about as much exorcist crapola to keep audiences watching with baited breath unsure if they'll get anything even remotely shocking as what was seen in the William Friedkin classic film from the seventies. What "The Rie" feels like is a con. And that's because most of the film works on the premise that every exorcism, and every case involving satanic rituals and possession is leading up to something big and powerful, a punch--if you will--that will ultimately leave us breath taken. Sadly no such punch is amidst, and "The Rite" feels like a hodgepodge cliches and contrivances that feels like it's going somewhere and never does. Michael is a young priest who has lost his faith.
What "The Rite"
ultimately is, is just a movie about faith versus logic with horror
occasionally rearing its head to trick us in to believing we're
viewing a genre film. Anthony Hopkins basically sleep walks through
this role and does a bang up job of looking interested in what's
happening around him most of the time, while Colin O'Donoghue is
sharp as the young priest on a mission to disprove everything before
his eyes, no matter how spectacular.
Ultimately though, "The Rite" is a lousy genre picture, and one that should fill up the shelves of films that almost come close to the greatness of "The Exorcist" but never quite reach that crescendo in innovation and originality.