Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Rite - Cineworld, Edinburgh - 4/3/11

Have you ever seen "The Exorcist"?

Of course you have.

It's a wonderful film.

Beautifully shot, terrific performances, big questions about faith, the meaning of life, loss of innocence, who are we, what does it mean to be good, is there a God, is there evil in the world and it stands as a metaphor for the USA at the time of its production.

If you haven't seen it you should.

A young girl falls foul of demonic possession after she plays with a ouija board and what follows is truly horrific and terrifying.  Slowly but surely innocence is replaced by vulgarity and wickedness.  The impact on the girls mother, a famous Hollywood actress, is equally shocking as she physically and emotionally collapses...unable to understand what is happening to her daughter and then ultimately turning to a Catholic priest for help.

The priest is experiencing a crisis of faith.  He is haunted by his failings as a son and by the knowledge that he no longer possesses the faith necessary to serve God, the Church or those who look to him for spiritual support.  When he is eventually convinced that what is happening to the girl is more than a psychotic episode he is forced to confront the fact that evil is real and that only faith can save him and the girl.

The priest is supported in performing the exorcism by an older, experienced priest who we know has already confronted evil thanks to an astonishing opening scene when we are introduced to this priest as he supervises an archaeological dig in Iraq.  This priest leads the exorcism and guides the younger, doubt ridden, priest through the ritual.

It isn't just that "The Exorcist" is filled with horrifying images and shocking scenes that makes it one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, horror films of all time that makes it special; it is the fact that it is driven by serious questions and themes, features fabulous performances from everyone involved and has a script that is the equal of many more, supposedly, serious films that make it one of the the greatest films in any genre.

I have watched "The Exorcist" more times than any other film.

Each time it leaves me speechless.

It is, simply, brilliant.

It's power to shock, stun and provoke never diminishes.

It is a film about faith.

It is a film about family.

It is a film about the transition from childhood innocence to the awful state of adolescence and adulthood.

Read Mark Kermodes fabulous book on the film and then watch it will be thrilled and delighted as much as you are shocked and scared.


"The Rite"?


A steaming, stinking, awful turd of a film that is unworthy of your time.


  1. Haha brilliant! Keep the great writing coming!

    Michael :)

  2. Everything you wrote is exactly what went through my brain when I saw the trailer for this. Glad to know I can trust my own judgement from time to time like 'Movies, Games and Videos' but more modern, and with less games. Actually no games.