Synyster Graves

Spoilers: The Rite

by on Oct.11, 2011, under Spoiler Alert!

** Disclaimer: This rant includes spoilers so I strongly suggest that if you do actually want to watch this film and attempt to enjoy it by all means but you should probably stop reading this article. This is not designed to ruin everyone else’s enjoyment, but stops them wasting hours of their lives on films I perceived to being a bit poo. While I may not discuss the entire plot, there will be elements whereby any attempt to create a facade by the film will be shattered. You have been warned! **

I’m always been of the opinion that every film I’ve seen with Sir Anthony Hopkins has been quite good. I’m looking at films like Silence Of The Lambs as a reference point. So when I discovered that he was in a horror/thriller about exorcisms I was naturally intrigued.  However, intrigue turns to despair as the film goes on.

Why It’s Crap

Showing a cross guarantees exorcism...of course

Staying awake is the real skill required to watch this film as for huge parts nothing happens at all. The film starts Michael, a son of a funeral director is preparing a corpse ready for burial, but is in the latter stages of becoming a priest. Not wanting to become a priest he tries to hand in his resignation before witnessing a vehicular accident and despite wanting to quit the order, is still wearing a dog collar, and gives the unfortunate cyclist who was just smashed by the van her last rites. Seriously? Plus the silly prick who caused the accident was actually the priest who is mulling over his resignation. Clearly unaffected that he has caused the poor nameless girl’s death he then instructs Michael to go to Rome to train to be exorcist, as there has to be at least one exorcist in every city… seriously?!

Then again, maybe not...

Michael then goes off to Rome and is instructed to be the understudy to the only Welshman in the village, well the Vatican City anyways, Father Lucas played by Anthony Hopkins. He witnesses first hand the unorthodox technique of exorcising a demon from a pregnant girl. This turns out to be in vain as the girl and unborn child both perish of blood loss. Despite being in a hospital and when her heart rate falls it beeps like fuck, yet everyone seems to be asleep. If that isn’t total bullcrap.

Father Lucas then starts becoming a bit odd and acting out of character meaning that this demon has now possessed him. Michael gets phone calls from the beyond the grave from his recently departed father  and somehow now is the only person who can exorcise Father Lucas, who is slowly showing signs of possession, the make up department making him into a grey form of Yoda to show his demonic metamorphosis.

Hello there, I'm Baal. Pleased to meet you.

In a very predictable “twist” it turns out that Michael had lost his faith when he was a boy, after watching his mother die and unbends his concealed crucifix, bestowing him with the necessary faith to perform an exorcism, as faith clearly is some kind of tangible statistic, a bit like MP in a role-playing fantasy game. Michael shoves his rebent weapon of exorcism, also known as a shabby little cross thing into Father Lucas’ face and demands to know the demon’s name. Since the demon has spent the whole film taunting the priests and being obstinate as to the origins of it’s being, seems to yield far too easily and gives up it’s name in rather acrimonious fashion, which is totally polarised behaviour from the rest of the film.

Michael then goes back to being a priest once he has driven Baal out of Father Lucas, and the final scene, realising he has his faith restored. Well that’s what I gathered whilst trying to stay awake.

Verdict

As exorcist films go, this was very very slow with massive inconsistency problems and a predictable twist about a priest who lost his faith. Not only is that a totally stupid premise even not as a twist, but the whole foundation of the storyline collapses when it turns out to be the pivotal point of the movie. Compared to other films of this ilk, it wasn’t nearly as entertaining or edge of seat enthralling like Emily Rose and The Exorcist were. Not the worst film I’ve seen of late, but a very lethargic two hours of my life were just lost and another consignment to the “never watch again” pile.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Karen

    As a Catholic, the scariest shows to me have always been those that deal with anything demonic. Aliens is good and scary, but the scariest movies are the incredible based-on-truth stories like the Emily Rose movie or The Excorcist. Ooo…those give me the willies.

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