The Rite [Blu-Ray] Mikael Håfström

The Rite [Blu-Ray] Mikael Håfström
The recent resurgence of the Catholic horror is sort of anomalous to current Western Cultural principles, given that traditional Judeo-Christian religion, in the broadest sense, is dominantly perceived as a crux for the weak and uneducated, relegated to Appalachia, Southern states and provinces with tar sands. And with most people scoffing at the idea of demons in a gothic, '70s horror sense, what effect do exorcism-themed movies like The Last Exorcism and The Rite really have in playing off the theme of weakness through scepticism? Beyond a base visceral thrill, I'm not entirely convinced that there is one. And in the case of The Rite, since there isn't even the base visceral thrill, I have to question what purpose this bloated, dry, plodding exercise in liturgical vestment porn really serves. The plot is bland enough, following doubtful seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) from America to Italy to exorcism school where he incidentally mentors under the unconventional Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins) and bonds with similarly pragmatic undercover journalist Angeline (Alice Braga). Unsurprisingly, repeat exorcism rituals with pregnant teen Rosaria (Marta Gastini) challenge his doubt and provide ample demonic speak in German, putrefied images of cracked skin and the occasional inappropriate sexual comment towards men of the cloth. There are also some frogs and a bruised kid to boot. It's boring, predictable and directed with absolutely no sense of humour, leaving us stuck in a single-dimension where the theme of questioning faith is all we have to work with. There's not even a scene of a possessed girl ramming a crucifix up her hoo-hoo and shoving her mother's face in the blood to entertain, in the lowest common denominator sense. Plus, while not as revolting and bland as Alex Pettyfer, Channing Tatum or any of those tools on The Vampire Diaries, Colin O'Donoghue is slightly less interesting to watch than The View. The Blu-Ray includes an alternate ending, which is, again, boring and ineffectual, along with a "riveting" behind-the-scenes look at the man the movie was based on and the true to life exorcism school. (Warner)