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Faith-Based Review of "Devil" and "The Rite"
Movie Review “Devil” and “The Rite”
March 1, 2011
Recently I took a chance on seeing “The Rite.” My husband and I bought a ticket and saw it in our local theatre the weekend of its release. It was before most of the reviews were out. I did read one review that just lambasted it except for Anthony Hopkins performance, so my expectations were quite low. Actually, in addition to reading the review and sort of making my mind up prior to my viewing it, I also thought, how the heck can he play an evil character and make it different than Hannibal Lector?
Oh, he made it different, terrifyingly different.
As a Christian and as someone who loves movies, there are slim pickings coming out of Hollywood. It’s as if these people are from a different planet. I know with absolute certainty, it’s possible to make an un-sanitized, entertaining movie that doesn’t contain graphic sex and profanity. It’s absolutely possible to create a movie that is well written and well acted and doesn’t offend Catholics, Jews, Protestants and anyone of a conservative world-view. I also know it’s possible to make a movie that doesn’t come from a skewed viewpoint i.e. a liberal viewpoint. I know there are tons of people who agree with me.
So imagine my surprise when “The Rite” not only scared the pants off me, but was well acted and didn’t trash the Catholic Church. Was it perfect for my viewing? No. I would have eliminated the cursing altogether, but that’s just me. Was it well worth the price of a ticket? Absolutely.
I rarely do movie reviews. I’m writing this to inform moviegoers who read this, if you have any belief at all in God, pay no attention to the critics of “Rotten Tomatoes”, go see the movie. Why? The movie was well received by the Catholic community. That should tell you something right there. Sometimes my litmus test for movies is, do liberals get their panties all in a twist over it? If the answer is yes, then goody, I can't wait to see it!
Or--do liberals love the movie? OK--not gonna see it...
The Hollywood community is Godless. They despise movies with a religious and/or conservative values message.
C.S. Lewis said the devil exists, but people don't think so. The devil likes to convince people he doesn't exist.
"The Rite" is evocative and stirs questions deep inside for those who have a Judeo/Christian background and who may have some thoughts or questions about the supernatural. It is so well acted it’s almost impossible for someone with even a tiny bit of faith not to react to the movie. Especially given the fact it was written by Matt Baglio, a man who wrote about his true-life experiences.
Based on the Baglio’s book, The Making of a Modern Exorcism, Baglio was a part of the whole movie process and when I read an interview he gave, he’s pleased with the results. Unless you wish to believe this man is a stark raving lunatic, you most likely will have a stirring inside that will compel you to at least investigate the possibility that the devil does exist.
A quote from Wikipedia: "[The Rite] isn’t…consistently frightening, but then again, that really wasn’t the point. He’s tackling a subject that for some people is real, and his approach is both entertaining and respectful."
With the emphasis on "entertaining" and “respectful.” Needless to say, Hollywood fails miserably when it comes to treating faith and religion with respect.
Now on to M. Night Shyamalan’s “Devil.” Go see it. I realize within the Hollywood community he has become somewhat of a joke, but one of my all-time favorite chilling movies is “The Sixth Sense.” I also enjoyed “Signs.” Seeing a pattern here?
His newest venture “Devil” once again apparently didn’t please the clueless of Hollywood, but it will please pretty much any audience who likes 1) chilling/scary movies 2) Fast paced movies 3) a movie with a Judeo/Christian moral message.
Imagine that? A movie with a moral message that doesn’t offend a person of faith! No wonder Shyamalan is a laughing stock in “Hollyweird.” He made a movie not in accordance with Hollywood morality like the typical: girl meets guy in a bar, girl sleeps with guy that night, they fall in love, tackle a few obstacles that keep them apart for plot reasons, and end up living together without the benefit of marriage. Happily ever after of course.
From the opening credits, “Devil” has that creep factor that you can’t shake right through until the ending. For me, the jump-out-of-my-seat scare moments were legion as well. There were a few scenes where some tricks were used, but Shyamalan made you buy into even those “short cuts.” I immediately went along for the ride and was shocked and creeped out and yes, scared to pieces. Nothing, however, shocked me more than the morality message gently threaded throughout the film that culminated into a fine ending. It was no simple ending either. There were a few twists as the ending was formulated and each twist was more satisfying. The message (to me) was presented with perfection and conviction and all the while I was thoroughly entertained.
I urge you, if you like creepy, scary movies that send a message rather than merely go for the shock factor, these two movies are definitely for you.
Send Hollywood a message of your own. There is a God, we know it and we like good movies that accept this strongly held belief by the majority of Americans and I dare say, the world.