Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Rite

In 'The Rite', an elderly priest takes on a doubtful new recruit in the murky world of exorcism. The murky Italian world of exorcism that is, as Rome seems to be a hotbed of potty mouthed teens with non-psychological psychological problems. And with all those wonderful sunsets and beautiful buildings, it's not really that murky.
There's not too much to be said for 'The Rite'. It makes oblique references to 'The Exorcist', as if to differentiate itself, but there's no getting away from the fact that this is Exorcist-lite with Anthony Hopkins standing in for Von Sydow and newcomer Colin O'Donoghue doing Jason Miller's Father Karras. As a horror movie it has some spooky moments, but few scary ones. Even the demons seem fairly mild by comparison with the peasoup spewing varieties of other movies. It goes some way to describing the tenor of this film when I say it has a malevolent mule, though thankfully only briefly.
So nothing original here then. Instead what we get is a pleasant recruitment film for the Catholic Church (not only do they pay your college fees, but you could get a free trip to Rome into the bargain). One shocking moment has a priest strike down a little girl, so all that stuff about the Church and children you can just put that down to demonic possession. I do kind of wonder why cold, but generally genial, Rutger Hauer, the young priest's father, seems to end up in Hell, but then God does move in mysterious ways.
Nothing to offend here, but no great revelation either.

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