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Film / The Rite

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A 2011 movie based on Matt Baglio's book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. It follows a reluctant, skeptical exorcist.

It stars Colin O'Donoghue as Michael, a young seminarian who is doubting his faith, and Anthony Hopkins as Father Lucas, the experienced but cynical priest who trains him and lets him observe an exorcism of a teenage girl. Then things take a turn for the worse....

This Film Contains Examples of:

  • Christianity Is Catholic: Granted, the main characters are priests and most of the film takes place near the Vatican.
  • Crisis of Faith: Michael, although he's a priest-in-training, doubts the existence of God. Father Lucas counsels him that he sometimes doubts his own faith, especially when he's unable to help someone. This comes back in full force for him after Rosario dies, to the point that the demon Baal is able to possess him.
  • Demonic Possession
  • Faux Affably Evil: Baal. Its somewhat insane rants are always delivered in a faux-friendly and familiar tone.
  • Hollywood Atheist: The main character is a priest who doesn't actually believe in God (he joined the seminary to get a free college degree). Even after he sees a girl possessed by demons who speaks in tongues, contorts her body into impossible positions, and changes her voice completely, along with her vomiting up the nails used to crucify Jesus, he still claims it was just a hoax to cover up her being molested.
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  • Hollywood Exorcism: The film plays this straight, albeit in a more subdued manner than usual, and lampshades it by having the exorcist joke about projectile vomit head spinning.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Every possessed person.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: A sixteen-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated by her father, causing a demon to possess her. During her exorcisms, the demon causes her body to do very disturbing and unnatural things. She is later sent to the hospital where both she and the fetus are killed by the demon.
  • Large Ham: Anthony Hopkins is in true form here. Especially as the demon, Baal.
  • Lecture as Exposition: Father Lucas explains the basics of exorcism in lectures at the beginning of the film.
  • Motor Mouth: Father Lucas Trevont
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The demon Baal terrorizes Michael until he believes that the devil is real, but this convinces Michael that therefore God must also be real, and his newfound faith enables him to exorcise the demon.
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  • Nothing Is Scarier: The phonecall Michael gets from his deceased father is... not reassuring. Not to mention terrifyingly vague.
    Michael: Michael... they're hurting me...
  • Precision F-Strike: When Michael finds that his room is full of frogs, (a sign of possession) he mutters out a "You gotta be fucking kidding me!"
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The mule. Yes, a demonic mule appears in this movie.
  • Surreal Horror: The demonic vision.


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