1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Rite (DVD)
A more thoughtful and intelligent film than was the similar "Exorcist". The "possessed" people depicted undergo physical contortions, to be certain, but none beyond the capability of the human body i.e. no heads spinning around. Therefore the viewer is still free to interpret the events as non-demonic psychological and/or physical phenomena. Nevertheless, because of the degree of contortion and vocal changes, the viewer is led to "believe" that the unfortunate individuals in question are truly demon-possessed.
As both the exorcist-supremo and ultimate victim, Hopkins does his usual good job. Still this film misses the genuine creepiness that I suspect the directors hoped to create.
It is interesting, however, to view the subject of present day "demon possession" and supposed exorcism in light of the history of the Roman Catholic Church. Amazon offers a fascinating book, "Malleus Malificarum" [Hammer of Witches] which I have reviewed on Amazon. It was written by two Catholic clerics and Inquisitors in the late 1400s and is an exhaustive study of how to identify--and punish--witches, warlocks and the demon-possessed. Yes, demon possession was regarded as a terrible problem back in those days and the 'therapy' wasn't exorcism. It was interrogation and oftentimes torture accompanied by burning at the stake. Purifying flames were considered a more certain cure of demon possession than was priestly incantation.