Day 11: The Rite


Happy Halloween Countdown: The Rite

I have never wondered what Hannibal Lector would be like as a priest– never, not even once.  Okay, maybe just once:

Possessed Girl (in an unnaturally deep voice): “The sow is mine!”

Father Lector (calmly): “You should leave now, demon.”

Possessed Girl (in an unnaturally deep voice): “Never!  I will keep this body until it rots! Mwahahaha!”

Father Lector (Humming, pulls a jar and butter knife from his pocket): “Hmmmmmm, mmmm, mmmm.”

Possessed Girl (in an unnaturally deep voice): “What have you got there, priest? Holy water?  Ha! I dare you!”

Father Lector (Opens the jar and dips the point of the knife inside): “No.  This isn’t holy water.  It’s Dijon mustard.” (He begins to spread mustard on the girl’s leg).

Possessed Girl (in an unnaturally deep voice, sounding a little confused and scared): “What are you doing?”

Father Lector (puts the jar aside, smiles): “This is going to hurt quite a bit.”

Cut to the outside of a bedroom door. Demonic screams can be heard, then silence. The door opens.  Father Lector steps from the room, wiping his face with a napkin.

Now that I think about it, I would like to see that movie.  The Rite comes close to that – sort of.   It’s the story of, Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue), a priest in training struggling to keep his faith in a materialistic world.  He is sent to Exorcist school in Rome to shore up his failing religiosity.  Once there, he is referred to Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), a creepy Jesuit who lives in the creepiest house in Italy.

In between bouts of being creepy with Father Lucas, Kovak hangs out with Angelina, a hottie journalist and Exorcism 101 classmate.  Will Kovak follow Lucas’ path, his faith restored, and take on the mantle of the exorcist? Or will he run off with Angelina get married and open a Bed & Breakfast?  Ah, that is the question.

The chief selling point is that The Rite features Anthony Hopkins doing his creepy Hopkins thing.  The biggest problem with The Rite is Anthony Hopkins doing his creepy Hopkins thing.    The Rite is to atmospheric horror as a drooling leer is to a subtle seductive smile.  Between Anthony Hopkins chewing up the scenery and Colin O’Donoghue’s sleepwalking his way around the bits Hopkins left unnibbled, The Rite is just uninspired and flat.  It’s not The Exorcist.   It’s not even The Exorcist II: The Heretic, but it comes mighty close.



Anthony Hopkins
Colin O’Donoghue
Alice Braga

Mikael Håfström

Michael Petroni

Two of three Vincents


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