I like the story and of course the promise that itís based on true events (isnít everything these days, supposedly) but what stands out most for me is the fact that a priest is questioning both the scientific and the psychological idea of possession and religion in general. Possession has to be a rough story to sell so itís cool to see someone call it out for a change. Michaelís relationship with his Dad is creepy as is the fact that heís a mortician (growing up around dead bodies canít be healthy for the mind). One of my sisterís best friendís Dads was a Mortician and he worked out of their basement, meaning that there was a dead body in their basement at any given time. I never once set foot in their house, hell, my skin started to crawl every time we pulled into her driveway.
What ultimately sells this film is Anthony Hopkins; the manís a character actor and gives one hell of a performance as a veteran exorcist filled with regret. I really wish the trailers didnít expose the fact that he gets possessed but then again, I suppose that IS the selling point here. I will say that it didnít happen nearly as fast I thought it would but every moment Hopkins is on screen is gold. Something about him changed when he took on the role of Hannibal Lector (something for the better as far as Iím concerned) and now the man just emanates with raw evil when he needs to (he also rocked as Odin in THOR).
THE RITE is a dark retelling of a familiar tale but done so in a smart manner and with brilliant acting. There are a ton of visceral effects here that play with the mind as they haunt the characters on screen. The mule looked particularly evil and thereís a thing with Michaelís Dad (youíll know when it happens) thatís particularly freaky. I will admit to their being somewhat of a pacing issue through the middle (like I said, it took far too long to get to the point) but the film does quickly redeem itself once the ball starts rolling with Father Lucas. I wouldnít say you need to rush out and see this film today but itís definitely worth a look when you get a chance.
Alternate Ending: This ending definitely has a creepy-cool vibe to it (much like DEVILíS ADVOCATE) and for that reason I have to say I dig it more than the real ending.
Deleted Scenes: Sometimes I suppose twelve minutes is a debatable time to add or subtract from a runtime but this was good stuff so I think it should have stayed in.
Previews: There are a couple trailers before the feature, some BD-LIVE content as well as a DVD and Digital Copy of the film.