During the opening scene of The Rite, we see the vivid details of a body being embalmed and prepped for viewing. It’s unsettling, sad – and super sexy! That’s because just as we’re totally grossed out by the sewing shut of the body’s mouth, the camera pans up to the hottest mortician we’ve ever seen.
Flash forward fifteen minutes into the movie and he’s about to become the hottest priest in history. Forgive us, Father, for we have rented the apartment next to yours, bored a tiny hole through the wall into your shower, filmed your morning cleansing rituals, and posted the videos on PriestHunt.net.
Oh, sorry. Got a little sidetracked there. So, Colin O’Donoghue is the actor playing the mortician-turned-priest. His prior work is mostly in his native Ireland, but we’re hoping this movie launches a successful career in the U.S. because we’d definitely love to see more of him. Lots more.
In The Rite, O’Donoghue plays Michael Kovak, a young candidate who stops just short of becoming ordained due to a nagging lack of faith. Rather than have his scholarship transformed into a $100,000+ loan that he’d have to pay back for quitting, he reluctantly agrees to spend two months in Rome at a Vatican exorcism school. Because, you know, the Church is having a shortage of exorcists and what better candidate than somebody who’s not even sure he believes in God?
What follows is a supremely creepy film with an amazing performance by Anthony Hopkins as one of the most successful exorcists in the business. His unorthodox ways may be just what young Michael needs to finally believe that both God and the Devil exist. Let’s just say, when the Big D himself finally gets some screen time, it’s pretty spectacular.
There are plenty of good scares and a smart plot that doesn’t go for cheap thrills. Well, other than one requisite cat-out-of-nowhere jolt. The movie is based on a true series of events, so that adds significantly to the oogie-boogie factor. With so many cookie cutter slasher flicks still hitting theaters, it’s nice to have a solid return to good old-fashioned terror.
The kind that makes our head spin.
Opens today in theaters everywhere