It's been since 2009, I think, when I last made a movie review and I remember, I promised myself that whenever I make reviews, the film must really be a good one (so that I would only post positive commentaries and so to avoid being a critic that I am not!).
Anyway, obviously this review is for the movie, The Rite. The movie is not good; but is not that bad neither. Oh yeah, forgive me for the usual blah! I just mentioned 'not good' and just lost my integrity for still making a review on this! Haha! Okay, let's just say, I am now possessed --minus the spinning head and pea-soup and high-angled projectile puke-- by the devil and it is him writing this. LOL!
So, speaking of the devil...Hafstrom perfectly places him (the devil) on the limelight to creep the hell out of all of us. Apparently though, it will always go without saying that this is like what any other exorcism film maker would do. But I challenge you to give this film a chance to attest itself that this isn't another The Exorcist, or a copy cat of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and you'll be surprised with the team's few attempts to have it more edgy over the other films of its genre.
Let me start with Haftrom's unique idea of preventing the movie from being conveyed as another cliche, by his attempt to put a different attack on Michael Kovak's (O'Donogheu) struggle on faith. The usual arguments, "Is there really a God?", "I can't do this and that because I lack faith (in God).", and whatnot, are replaced with, "How do I (O’Donoghue) take the devil away when I do not believe in him in the first place?", and..*insert any other statements on disbelief on devil's existence. This approach also poses a call for atheists to do a tweak on their premise, that they may yet prove themselves worthy not to be called fools :D Okay, forgive me (father) for I have digressed! Haha!
Another thing that's worth to mention, and I think the best asset of the movie, is its cinematography. Thanks to Ben Davis' admirable talent. Honestly
and without exaggeration, I have never seen a movie yet that has as much creative camera works and perspective. The camera crawls in every scene with purpose --whether to scare you or to give you (false) expectations that in the next scene you'll be in dread, or screaming. Fast, precise and sharp shift of focus never compromises the scene's sense of art, especially during detail-defining shots. But since those are aided by technology, let alone Davis' creative playful mind shown through uniquely-angled shots from frame to frame, the movie can brag and will never be ashamed of showing off its ass if, or when, commended for its cinematography.
However, the brilliance ends there! As far as the acting is concerned, O’Donoghue is so-so. Emotions are flat and he is, in general, blank. He could have pulled-off a more effective mortician-turned-seminarist guy who eversince from his childhood has resentments to God after her mother died. But nah. Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) even outshines O’Donoghue..he is very realistic, and his role as the key character to Kovak's turning point is well justfiied.
And before I forget to mention, the spooky echoing whispers of the demon that is supposed to frighten the audience becomes annoying. I don't know why, but that is what I felt for it. Nevertheless, the rest of the sound effects sure do a good job as far as the film's effectivity in giving goosebumps is concerned.
There. That's how I see The Rite. It's just right, but not all right. Still worth the watch though! I give it 8.5/10 :)