THE RITE

Just five months after The Last Exorcism showed us there is still life
in religio-horror pics, this new entry falls into the same old same
old category. The filmmakers avoid twisting heads and pea soup effects
— instead framing their story around an almost academic debate about
the nature of possession. Priest Anthony Hopkins (mostly) believes
it's the Devil in there. Not-quite-a-priest-yet Colin O'Donoghue
thinks the sufferers merely need a shrink. The “possessed” mostly jerk
about and contort themselves into painful looking positions, so you
don't know if they've been demonized or are just nuts. That's fine,
but it's pretty much the whole movie, which builds to a…. huh?
Hopkins is ok; he even has some fun with the part by not taking
himself too seriously. But O'Donoghue underplays to the point of
vacancy. And Alice Braga seems like she's there because the producers
said “there's gotta be a girl”. Also, will some filmmaker please wake
up and give Chris Marquette a real part instead of the nothing crumbs
(like his near-cameo here) they throw his way? — Jeff Schultz

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