Twenty-something mortician Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) decides to leave his father's business and go to Seminary college to become a priest. But after four years he decides he just doesn't have the faith to do it and sends his teacher a resignation letter. The teacher doesn't want him to quit and instead convinces him to go to Italy for two months, to study exorcisms. This sounds intriguing and he goes. At first he doesn't believe anything the lecturer recounts so the guy tells him to visit Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins). He's an unorthodox priest who has been performing exorcisms for years. The first case involves a sixteen-year-old pregnant girl who was raped by her father--and that doesn't end well. In fact, the failure shakes Trevant so bad that it opens him wide open for possession. So Kovak must perform an exorcism on his mentor. There's also a subplot about a reporter named Angeline (Alice Braga) who wants to write an article about all of this.
I don't know what possessed me to see this movie. I think the reason is that I always hope Exorcism movies are better than what they are. However, THE RITE is a decent enough movie and has some intense scenes towards the end. I'm sure it would have had more punch if I bought into all the mythology. That said, I'm sure this will appeal to 95% of America. It will scare them into believing in Jesus, just like everything else.