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REVIEW: 'The Rite' Gets Scary All Wrong

We all know Anthony Hopkins can be scary. 

But there’s little that’s scary about “The Rite,” a horror movie so muted that, when the devil finally turns up inside Hopkins, it’s anticlimactic – and less about the spook factor than watching the overlay of computerized special-effects on Hopkins’ face.

In fact, “The Rite” is barely Hopkins’ movie. Instead, it’s about a young, would-be priest (newcomer Colin O’Donoghue) who’s ready to quit before he takes his vows. But a persuasive monsignor convinces him to try his hand at exorcism instead. 

Who knew that was a career path?

He becomes an apprentice to Hopkins’ Father Lucas, a full-time exorcist – and must put his lessons to practice when the devil decides that he’ll possess Father Lucas himself.

Don’t get me wrong: Hopkins can inspire chills with just a heavy-lidded look and an insinuating purr (remember “Hello, Clarice”?). But this movie just doesn’t deliver the goods; it’s as if every horror moment announces itself and then focuses on its special effects.

What is it about January that brings out the devil at the movies? First it was Nicolas Cage and “Season of the Witch.” Now Anthony Hopkins turns up in this ill-advised venture. The only thing frightening here is the amount of money they spent to make this movie.

2 Stars (out of 5)

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