Posts Tagged ‘Vatican’

The Rite

Posted 19 May 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

The Rite, USA, 2011The Rite movie

Directed by Mikael Håfström

The Rite is a curious film. We get a film in the exorcism genre once a year, it seems, but we don’t usually get films that take consideration of what they’re  studying. In 1973, The Exorcist debuted to stellar box office and reviews, and in 2005, The Exorcism of Emily Rose came to theaters and was much maligned. Emily Rose, based on the factual exorcism of a young German girl called Annalise Michel, has been called more authentic than The Exorcist; however, it isn’t the famous one. The more serious and accurate the film, it seems, the less popular it becomes. The Rite falls in the middle of these two: a serious film, that still comes with all the frills. No spinning heads, no constant vomiting, but still loads of flopping around and other traits of “cinematic possession”. It’s a film that ponders several questions, most  importantly, “What happens when a priest gets a demon?”

We all have our demons. Matt Balgio’s book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, upon which the film is based, examines the demons of Father Gary Thomas, a California priest sent to study exorcisms in the Vatican. I haven’t read the book, but it is safe to assume the film takes liberties simply because it is a film; what was a journalist’s exploration became a Hollywood chiller. That seems to be the case, more often than not, doesn’t it? Where The Rite gets it right, though, is in its atmosphere. It’s a studied version of a studied tale, and while the liberties are taken, the effect is still the same. The film presupposes, as it has to, that exorcism is real, and very much something to be dealt with seriously. Read More