The Rite Reviews
Is it the devil's work or a psychiatric disorder? That is the spurious debate that sputters along in this dull, pretentiously verbose movie that (need it be said?) enthusiastically takes the devil's side.
A run-of-the-mill chiller that spends an inordinate amount of time flirting with unconventional scare tactics before sacrificing all of its ingenuity to become the latest in a long line of "The Exorcist" clones.
Director Mikael Hafstrom's foot-dragging pace makes a pretense of intent character study, but Michael's spiritual trials are occluded by Michael Petroni's patchy screenplay.
Sure, there are cliches (why must possessed characters talk like Darth Vader in a bathtub?), but the film avoids the schlockier pitfalls of outright Exorcist wannabes.
Horror fans may be disappointed by this handsome exorcism drama, which aspires to the serious religious feeling of William Friedkin's The Exorcist but delivers little of its shock or gore.
Despite an impressive cast (excluding the excruciatingly dull O'Donoghue, a newcomer from Ireland), "The Rite" is the sort of misfire that Hollywood has long buried in January.
If it's a nonsensical patchwork quilt, it's mostly a watchable one, with supporting performances from Ciaran Hinds and Rutger Hauer (which is a lot of long, gloomy faces for one movie).