New Trailer: The Rite (2011)

New Trailer: The Rite (2011)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date (UK): 25 Feburay 2011
Certificate: tbc
Running Time: tbc

Director: Mikael Håfström
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O’Donoghue, Alice Braga, Ciarán Hinds, Toby Jones, Rutger Hauer

The Last Exorcism (2010, our review here) obviously hasn’t been the last, and with The Exorcist (1973) still being one of the best horror movies ever, The Rite has a lot of spirits to take on that have possessed the movie landscape with more or less convincing stories. To me, a rather striking take on this subject was Francis Lawrence’s Constantine (2005) with Keanu Reeves as the cancer-ridden hellblazer. Others, like The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), were disappointingly mediocre, if not outright bad.

The Rite (2011) Like the Serpent, The Rite is based on a book and inspired by supposedly true events. Sceptical seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue) attends the exorcism school at the Vatican where he meets an unorthodox priest, Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins). Encountering demons during a number of exorcisms, Michael learns about the darker side of his faith and that the phenomenon of possession, of course, is not just a residue of the archaic ages but very contemporary and ubiquitous, even at the Vatican.

Matt Baglio’s book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist has received mixed reviews however, if the film is true to the core message of the literary blueprint, it might just surprise even the disillusioned genre fans:

“Keenly aware of the misunderstanding that abounds about exorcism through film images, Baglio sets about dispelling misconceptions and does so skillfully, separating the real from the imaginary in the mysterious and unsettling sphere of the demonic.” (Publisher’s Weekly, © Reed Business Information).

I’m hoping The Rite is not just another supernatural thriller with a stellar cast and a specialist director (Mikael Håfström, 1408) that doesn’t do much more than meandering through the scary mazes of the demonic. Even if it’s just a well crafted and evocative metaphor on our embattled times, it would actually be a rare spiritual experience.

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