The Rite

Rated 2.0

An American priest struggles with his faith after being dispatched to the Vatican to study Exorcism 101, only to realize that mentor Anthony Hopkins is still up for channeling Hannibal Lector. Basically a horror film for folks who don’t like horror films, The Rite is all slow burn with a weak-sauce climax. It never utilizes any aspect of what was laid out in the first act to complement the resolution, burning 20 minutes or so of film on nothing more than character development. It’s oddly unambitious for the money involved, considering the quasi-apocalyptic aspect set up in the first act (why does the Vatican suddenly need to post exorcists in every diocese worldwide?). Instead, the movie plays like a well-polished pilot for a TV series. It looks good, but just sort of lies there. And seriously … a demon mule is goofy, not scary. Especially when all it does is stare red-eyed into the camera. With a PG-13 rating, The Rite seems skewed to an older, Catholic audience. Although in a departure from most Catholic-based horror films, while there’s some crude language and some vaguely disturbing imagery, it’s respectful of the faith. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13