‘The Rite’ breaks tradition of typical exorcism thriller

Kaylee Remington

We’ve all seen our share of exorcism movies, so you know how evil the devil can be. And, like any handful of movies today, “The Rite” is based upon true events.

Anthony Hopkins portrays an exorcist in the movie, which opens in theaters Friday. Father Lucas Trevant (Hopkins) takes an American priest named Michael Kovak under his wing at the exorcism school in Rome, as Kovak doesn’t believe in the Devil. Hopkins pushes possessed spirits out of his clients, begging them to reveal their identities. In some cases, his clients don’t survive.

Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue) thinks Father Lucas Trevant’s clients should be seeing a shrink instead of an exorcist because he believes they are mentally ill rather than possessed by the Devil.

This exorcism movie doesn’t include the typical 360-degree head spin, but it offers an eerie and dark experience. The effects and makeup are phenomenal, especially when the Devil rises to the surface of its victims. The victims’s faces begin to appear gray, and cracks form in their skin. The audience sees a whole new face when the Devil starts to speak, and the victims’s eyes are no longer their original color.

Hopkins has played spooky roles before, like Dr. Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs,” but this character brings his acting skills to new heights. The acting is great, and the movie moved along quite well – not bad for almost two hours long.

What set this movie apart from other exorcism movies I’ve seen is the unsuspecting dialogue Father Lucas Trevant brings in the middle of the movie that induces laughter in the audience – not something you see in movies like “The Exorcist.” Although Father Lucas Trevant takes his job seriously, he also brings a little light humor to the situation.

Besides the different types of dialogue, the direction is typical of an exorcism movie but with a great ending, as you will discover if choose to see it. Directed by Mikael Hafstrom and written by Matt Baglio and Michael Petroni, “The Rite” will definitely entertain those who enjoy psychological thrillers – others perhaps not so much. Father Lucas Trevant and Michael Kovak work well with one another as Kovak rediscovers his faith working with demonic spirits.

Three out of five stars

Contact Kaylee Remington at [email protected].