The Rite on DVD

Anthony Hopkins in average religious horror

2/5
(15+) US. Colin O’Donoghue, Anthony Hopkins, Ciarán Hinds

A dreary metaphysical drama dressed in the vestments of a religious horror movie. ‘Suggested by’ Matt Baglio’s book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, a non-fiction study of the exorcist training school run by the Vatican, this essays the gritty approach of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. But it lacks the rigour to scrutinise its supernatural themes with conviction and fails to explore the fine line between demonic possession and psychiatric illness.

There’s no denying director Håfström’s ability to stage individual scary scenes, as evidenced in his adaptation of Stephen King’s haunted-hotel-room story 1408. So whenever the intellectual argument wears thin, he simply stages an exorcism and cranks up the banging, groaning and gurgling in the hope that this cacophony will distract us from our bored incredulity.

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