By: Julio De Francisco (Four Beers) –
Based on true events, Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue), a student in doubt about his faith in seminary school, is sent to Italy to take a course on exorcism.
There, he meets up with Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), a Welsh exorcist who is treating people Kovak believes to be mentally ill.It’s Science versus Religion, Crucifixes versus Screaming Possessed People, and the Devil performing abortions!
Who is this stoner kidding?
When I was a young boy I learned about exorcism from 1973’s The Exorcist.I was probably 5 years old when I saw it.Whenever the girl would speak with a demonic voice I’d pull the covers over my head and hide from what I thought was the Devil trying to possess me.
Could this be real, I wondered?Does the Devil really take over your body and do bad things to you?I grew up Catholic, and of course my parents said it was.In fact, they told me if I didn’t believe in God, Jesus, and all the Saints, what happened in the movie would happen to me.It’s no wonder why I’m weird.
I raise my first glass of beer to Anthony Hopkins.He plays Father Lucas, a Welsh priest who was once a doctor, but now an exorcist.In this film he lives in Rome, thus speaking Italian, which he did really well.If he faked it, he fooled me.Speaking, arguing, and performing an exorcism in Italian was definitely something to be noted.
***Bit of a spoiler***
Without a doubt the best and most shocking scene is during his transition from Father Lucas to a possessed demonic man.He’s at a park, staring into the distance, when from behind a precious little girl walks up to him and asks if he’d bless her teddy bear.His eyes slowly look toward the little girl and, without warning, she is bitch-slapped and sent packing.This was epic in the sense that I believe it will be parodied.“Will you bless my… insert anything you’re carrying…”SLAP!
Michael Kovak is played by Colin O’Donoghue, a pretty face that can’t carry this movie kind of like Tom Welling in The Fog. A native of Ireland, he convinced me that he had an American accent.So in that respect I like him.However, when there were scenes with just him, I started to get bored and started looking at the time.I don’t think he was right for The Rite.This role needed someone less serious and a bit more loose.
I even bore myself.
When the Devil performs his abortion, I decided it was time to take a drink.This was more than just a touch of symbolism, it was basically saying abortions are works of the Devil.Rosaria (Marta Gastini) is a pregnant 16 year old who was raped by her father.If this isn’t bad enough, she’s also been possessed by the devil.
She also happens to be one of Father Lucas’s patients.When his exorcisms fail to rid her body of the demon she ends up in the hospital where she rants and curses.While she’s tied down she has a major demonic episode.Her baby monitor machine begins to beep rapidly and a pool of red blood forms in her bed.It’s clear the movie has a certain ideology it is conveying here, but for myself, I thought it was a big stretch.If anything it was a severe miscarriage, but in Italian it was referred to as an ‘aborto.’Ridiculous.
Look out, he’s got a cross!
Formulaic writing and editing really brought this movie down for me.Picture this; a boy walks in late to class. The teacher notices him, and shames him in front of everyone in the class.Later, the boy contributes an intriguing thought in front of everybody and wins the mind of a love interest.
I just described a scene in the movie but you could use this for countless teen movies, scary movies, any movie.Towards the end of the movie there’s an “I believe in you” line and I just roll my eyes, angry, that I’m watching this movie.Oh, and the guy gets the girl at the end.We all win, right?
If you are looking for a scary date movie, this one could be it.It’ll give you some cheap scares.If you’re an Anthony Hopkins fan, you’ve seen a version of his performance before with Hannibal Lecter.It’s a little different, but maybe not worth the 9 dollars + popcorn to see.Still, if you’re a faithful Catholic, I dare you to go see this movie late at night and then go home to sleep.It may not happen.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: anytime someone says God
Take a Drink: anytime the sign of the cross is made.
Take a Drink: when Anthony Hopkins slaps a girl.
Take a Drink: anytime a possessed person speaks