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'The Rite' goes wrong at times

In The Rite, Anthony Hopkins plays Father Lucas Trevant, a Jesuit priest stationed in Rome who has performed thousands of exorcisms.

Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) is an American seminarian who is skeptical of the process.

"What did you expect? Spinning heads?" Father Lucas asks his would-be protégé, who was sent to the Vatican because of growing doubts he's having about his line of work. Lucas' latest subject is Rosaria (Marta Gastini), a pregnant 16-year-old raped by her father and showing signs of possession, which unsettles Kovak.

But while Rosaria contorts her body and injures herself in ungodly ways, a spinning head or two might have added some life to this movie from Mikael Hafstrom (1408, Derailed).

The Rite, which is said to have been inspired by real events, tries to be a supernatural thriller without being too supernatural, relying instead on mysteries. Are the reasons for Rosaria's bizarre behavior psychological, genetic, chemical or demonic possession? You be the judge.

The film tries to divert us with a tempting relationship between Kovak and Angeline (Alice Braga), a reporter trying to find out the truth of exorcisms.

Hopkins, as usual, delivers an interesting performance with enough ambiguity and character shifts to make you wonder whether Father Lucas is the exorcist or the possessed.

The Rite retails for $28.98 or $35.99 Blu-ray.

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