Movie Review: Unforgettable
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THE RITE’s biggest issue probably has to do with the film’s lead, Colin O’Donoghue, a guy who looks utterly bored out of his mind throughout the film, casting no real emotion whatsoever other than the look perplexed in thought and in disbelief. His monotone actions and all-around self-loathing demeanor make every scene he’s in as boring and unwatchable as he treats the rest of the movie. Not to say that Alice Braga brings anything to the table either, but at least she makes you believe that she actually gives a shit about being there, whereas O’Donoghue does not.
Pairing O’Donoghue to tag along Hopkins sits at the line of being genius or being a total disaster as Hopkins’ performance is actually passable, throwing in his own brand of dry humor in the mix and even gets to be a possessed a-hole for the later part of the movie. Don’t worry, that’s not a real spoiler or anything as it’s quite obvious that’s where the film is going and if it can hold your attention long enough to give a flying f*ck, then all the power to you. With a run time of just under 2 hours, the film is about 30 minutes longer than it needed to be, thus making the last half of the film a tedious mess to get through. Without characters and a storyline that I cared about, the film literally offers nothing to grasp onto and certainly nothing to stick with for the film’s entire duration.
It could be because religious horror flicks and those that deal with exorcisms do absolutely nothing for me, but I just think THE RITE was poor filmmaking. While the shots were squeaky clean and somewhat stylish, the soundtrack does nothing to set you in the right mood, and most importantly, they don’t even try to make you care about any of the possed, the exorcists themselves, or create any fear from the demons doing their dirty work. They assume that people will think a demon is scary, therefore if they present a demon, the audience will be scared. And if not, they’ll throw in a few ‘cats jumping from off screen’ jump-scares to do the trick—the oldest and cheapest trick in the book. But more than all of that, THE RITE falls flat on its face due to the combination of the lead actor and the script, both of which appeared not to care about the film or the audience they were making it for.
Audio: The DTS remastered sound was heart-pounding when it needed to be, but kept it quiet during scenes of dialog and the like. In true Blu-ray formation, the film shined in both its audio and visual presentation.
Alternate Ending: The Blu-ray box claims this is a “chilling” alternate ending, but really it’s just a regular ol’ alternate ending that doesn’t really make much sense and is pretty obvious as to why it was replaced. Not that it would have ruined the movie if it was left in it, but holy hell it would have left room open for a sequel and that would have been a disaster.
The Rite: Soldier of God: This little 6 minute featurette is actually quite interesting as it talks about the real life priest and the real life reporter that the film was based on. It also shows a glimpse into the real Exorcism School and interviews a number of the producers and actors involved in the making of the movie. This is more interesting than the entire movie.
DVD & Digital Copy: I have to hand it to Warner Bros., including the DVD and the Digital Copy on their Blu-ray discs is pure gold—not that I’d want to watch THE RITE anywhere and everywhere I go, but having the option is awesome.