Is this better than the majority of horror movies that have been released in the past several years? Yes I think so. But is it on par with something I'd expect from Anthony Hopkins? Absolutely not. I'm convinced that in his advanced years he's taking roles for the fun of it, roles that allow him to indulge. He's already gotten all the acclaim and recognition any one actor can hope to have. I doubt he needs the money, so I'm thinking his decision to play the part of Father Lucas in this film is based simply on the fact that it sounded fun. . Even though I was secretly thinking that his role of Dr. Lecter would have easily fit here and been appropriate. It was insidious and intense. Just what this film needed.
The first two acts are done well, and I was prepared to give it a 7. I was wholeheartedly anticipating the inevitable climax which I knew was coming from the previews, but I was severely disappointed. Up until that point, the movie was sophisticated and smart. However by the end, it had descended into a cheese fest like you wouldn't believe. All because of that terrible dialogue. It was just funny. I do mean literally funny; the audience started laughing. I hated to see such a phenomenal actor as Hopkins having to actually go through with that melodramatic fluff. I think if the writers toned it down a bit and opted for subtlety the outcome would have been many times better. It seems that every movie dealing with exorcism has to go The Exorcist route and try to drum up some profoundly shocking dialogue. That's a losing battle. The Exorcist is in a league of it's own. Don't try to beat it; do your own thing. That's why I appreciate Exorcism of Emily Rose. Now that was a rather good film. As it stands now, The Rite is still a capable film, but those last 20 minutes really don't do it for me. It was there that the whole thing took a nose dive.