The Rite is perhaps the most authentic representation of how The Vatican sees exorcism. And that's where the problem begins.
Part X-Files, part The Exorcist, The Rite begins as a debate on the veracity of demonic possessions. Of course there's the skeptic priest Michael (Colin O'Donoghue) and the grizzled believer Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) who ping pongs arguments the same way atheists try to debunk the existence of God against members of the clergy. Pretty interesting stuff, if you ask me, but it hampers the pace of the movie.
As soon as the discourse on exorcism ends, that's where the shocking stuff and horror begin. Unfortunately, the shocks aren't too scary. There's a scene where the priests perform an exorcism rite and it was pretty uneventful. Father Michael exclaimed "That was it?" and Father Lucas replied "What were you expecting? Rotating heads and pea soup?"
As a Catholic, the film interests me because it also shows how the Catholic Church is now, particularly in recruiting priests and the relevance on faith today. That is why I think it's a must see, especially for those who are reflecting about their faith.
But as a horror movie, The Rite is too slow and verbose to make a mark in the genre.
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