30 January 2011

'The Rite'

(CREDIT: to the owner. by now, you should know it's not moi.)
Rank: 2.5/5 <- stuck in limbo

Two scary movies in a row? Maybe I need to go back to light-hearted fairy tales of sugar and bubblegum. ...NAH.

As of now, I have to question what makes a horror movie good? In fact what makes any story great? How did Inception blow away so many people last summer? How did Aeris's death in Final Fantasy VII become one of the most shocking scenes in video game history? How has Shakespeare's works become literature that every living being in civilized culture must learn about? Why did Star Trek have a humongous, continuous cult following after the cheesy show went off the air decades ago? How can some subjective ideals be more universally agreed upon than others? And why are there some things one can either love or hate, with no middle ground? Like the meaning of life itself, maybe there is no absolute and definite answer.

"Why sound so philosophical, Fangirl," you may ask? Well, I do overanalyze things or I babble on and on to the point you want to hit me with a metal baseball bat. Once again I might be over-thinking this movie and wondering why I gave it this rating.

As far as horror films go, The Rite is by no means a god-awful film, but it sure as hell isn't great. Of course it doesn't suck because Anthony Hopkins is in it, and he is fantastic; but the other actors didn't impress me much. The plot brings some bits of stupidity: a young man in the seminary who suffers with a crisis of faith and goes to the Vatican to study exorcisms. As a skeptic I found myself arching my eyebrow every time people pushed the man in that direction. Either the man has issues that surpass his eyeballs, or he is a big pushover. Actually with him being surrounded by so many Christians I'm surprised he hasn't complained about the emphasis on faith IN THE VATICAN. (It's bad enough with me being in a CATHOLIC SCHOOL.)

Basically, every character, except Hopkins', has little to no personality. However, they have more personality than those of the cast of Twilight.

This shouldn't taint your idea of seeing or avoiding this film, but as a doubter of almost any religion, I was a bit turned off by the black-and-white logic presented here. It basically spelled this out to me: "If you believe in the one, true Christian God, you have power to cast the Devil away. If you are a doubter or an atheist, the Devil has deceived you and has lead you into his grasp." I do appreciate that the movie highlights the importance of not just citing words for the fun of it, but that mindset is extremely myopic and not an objective truth.

Regardless, there are far better scary films with exorcisms to see, but this film isn't horrible. I don't really care what you want to do with this. Besides, my mom and I saw it mostly because of Anthony Hopkins, who didn't disappoint us, and without him, the film might have sucked. Sometimes execution is key. :)

Because this and Silent Hill are getting to me, I think I should avoid horror films for now. On the other hand, I should avoid romances too. *sigh* [For the most part] I hate February...

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