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Blu-ray Review: THE RITE

Jun 25, 2011 - 4:30:03 AM

Religious horror movies scare me.  I actually put off watching THE RITE because of it.  I know a lot of you probably find that stupid, but it's the truth so deal with it.


We all have certain content that makes us uncomfortable and for me, it's the religious stuff but any flick with Anthony Hopkins has got to be worth a look and so in went the Blu-ray of THE RITE.


It only stands to reason that THE RITE is going to get compared to THE EXORCIST.  Lets face it, any exorcism movie is going to be compared to THE EXORCIST, and they are going to lose.  THE EXORCIST is in a league all its own and nothing has come even close to touching the classic.  THE RITE gives it a run for its money though and with a stand out cast and really creepy storyline it is most definitely one that any horror fan should seek out and give a peek.


Based on the novel by Mike Bagilo the movie gets the good old “based on true events” disclaimer and tells the tell of a young man who is faced with going into the family mortuary business or becoming a priest.  After a bad encounter with a female suicide victim he decides that embalming isn't for him and head off to the priesthood.


Rutger Hauer plays the boys father and is fantastic. 


Once at seminary school, things don't seem to be going well and Michael is planning on leaving but a series of events unfold that changes things and he ends up going to exorcism school at the Vatican where he meets up with Father Lucas played by Anthony Hopkins.


Father Lucas is treating a pregnant woman who is possessed and Michael joins him in his attempts to rid her of the demon.  It soon becomes apparent that there is something wrong with Father Lucas and Michael must do all he can to save the old priest.


That's really all I want to give away because to discuss it more would ruin the viewing for you.  THE RITE does a really good job given its PG 13 restraints.  If able to go for the hard R, it might have been more on par with THE EXORCIST.


Because of Hopkins amazing performance, and as I mentioned above, Rutger Hauer’s fantastic although limited time on screen this one really is worth checking out. 


THE RITE is tightly wound and easily holds your attention and some of the exorcism scenes are disturbing to say the least, especially if these types of films aren’t your cup of tea.   The location shooting is great and the sets used are dark, creepy and very atmospheric.  It all works together to make this one worth checking out.  I do think that stranglehold of the PG 13 rating hurt THE RITE as it keeps it from gaining its full stride and it ends up coming off as a bit of teeny bopper scream fest, fun but ultimately just OK.


Not a lot of meat special features wise on the disc.  There is a retrospective on Father Gary Thomas on whose life the film is based and there is a section of eye witness accounts of actual exorcisms, which seems to have become a staple on special features of exorcism flicks.


There is also a look at the actual Exorcism Academy.


Not bad, entertaining just not great.


That about sums it up.


I would say check it out if you like Anthony Hopkins, he is great as always.  Check it out if you like exorcism films, it’s not bad but mainly check it out for Rutger Hauer’s small but ultimately memorable turn as Michael’s dad, he’s creepy good.


THE RITE is available now in a Blu-ray, DVD, Digital copy combo pack.  Got get it!

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