YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE...MAYBE TWICE!
"What an excellent day for an exorcism."
Those lines have haunted my dreams for years. The words were those spoken by 12 year old Regan MacNeil in William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist, the movie that set the bar for demonic possession and exorcisms. The idea of a demonic force taking a person against their will only to be driven out by a "man of the cross" has fascinated me since I was a kid. Fascinated and terrified. Every single time a movie that covers the topic of exorcism is released, I get excited. Excited and then hugely disappointed. The issue being since The Exorcist, no movie dealing in the theme of expelling demons has been able to compare in quality story telling, plot, acting, etc.
My movie going friends and I had given up on waiting for a decent exorcism flick after The Last Exorcism. We walked out of the theater feeling completely ripped off; having just watched 87 minutes of a shaky 'documentary' crew following a con-artist claiming to be an exorcist.
Unfortunately, we need to get used to idea that no film on the subject will ever compare to the original, and yet we are doomed to consistently use it for the basis of our comparisons.
And having lost all hope for the exorcist themed films, I threw up my arms in dramatic exasperation until I heard that Anthony Hopkins, was going to star in a movie called "The Rite".
Based on the "true story" of an American priest in training being trained in Rome by an experienced Exorcist, The Rite, was to be released in January 2011. I screamed like a 10 year old girl front row at a Justin Beiber concert. Hopkins, best known for his role as "Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lecter" was the answer to my dark little prayers. If anyone could breathe life back into this sub-genre it'd be Sir Anthony.
My biggest problem was trying to find someone to hit the movie theater with me, which I never could find someone to brave another horrific disappointment, so I waited. Fast forward to today. I sat here waiting like a kid on Christmas Eve for the download bar to finally hit 100%.
Let me tell you, horror fans, The Rite did not disappoint. The story although a little slow off the hop, did not lose momentum. In fact, the ever escalating tension in the movie had me on pins and needles the entire time, nearly jumping out of my skin on several occasions. Yes, the director went for some typical scare tactics, like the classic cat jumping out of nowhere, but when they happened they hardly seemed tacky, especially when mixed with the awesomely eerie soundtrack and excellent timing.
The story leading into the possession scenes set the tone perfectly, as well as tying everything together in a nice little package for the climactic final battle of Good VS Evil. The acting of the pregnant 16 year old Italian girl was phenomenal. I can't say from personal eyewitness account that that is what demonic possession would look like, but damn, I would imagine that was the most realistic portrayal, I have ever seen. Skip the pea soup, head spinning, crucifix sex toys and you are left with raw evil flowing through what used to be an innocent teenager.
Anthony Hopkins, as Father Lucas, has yet again brought a streak of genius to the world of horror movies. His superb acting ability combined with his creepy facial expressions have left an image burned into my subconscious that I am sure I will be seeing later tonight in my nightmares. With an actor of Hopkins caliber and reputation, special effects take a backseat, although the special effects of The Rite as minimal as they were, were spot on as was the very, very effective acting abilities of the rest of the cast members.
I loved this movie from start to finish. I can say in all truth, my heart was racing, my hands were clammy and I turned all of the lights on in my apartment, after grabbing my cats to do a walk through to ensure no malevolent spirits were lingering. I don't believe that everyone will love it as much as I. I'm absolutely positive that the skeptics and anti-religious nuts will rip this movie to shreds, but if there is a single fleeting thought of the possibility of demons, God, or the Devil, this movie will shake you at your core. Maybe not as hard as the classic and still reigning champ, The Exorcist, but you will find yourself shifting anxiously in the dark by the end of it.
Like I said before, "What an excellent day for an exorcism."
Sleep tight and God Bless, kiddies.
That one ain't my sister... IN FACT, that kinda looka like-a MAN, homie.
... And yes, I recall bits and pieces of an exorcism taking place, there has always been a little empty hole in my soul ever since you expelled that demon.
And as for this movie being slightly boring. I'll disagree, it was more of an intellectual, historical horror movie than masturbation with a crucifix, head-spinning, pea soup puking exorcism movie.
But I loved it none-the-less.
This is exactly why I post reviews... to get people's opinions on films and express my own!
Thanks LW! :)