As the last vestiges of Halloween, particularly so many lovingly and not so lovingly carved pumpkins are consigned forever to the trash, it is time perhaps to attempt one final dance with the devil, before we all go holier than thou for the Christmas season. An exorcism movie is just what we need. All that frantic prayer chanting, throwing around holy water, pushing crosses onto foreheads, and best of all – possessed people saying batshit crazy stuff. Exorcism films are all the same, but this is what makes them good fun. So it was with absolutely no trepidation at all that I sat down to watch The Rite – knowing exactly what was going to happen. The only half curveball is that the main character is actually an avowed atheist, you’ll have to watch to see how this is shoehorned into the plot, as opposed to the rather God fearing, but perhaps not so Devil fearing Priests of other exorcism films. It has none of the dark bearing of those devil child movies from the 70’s and 80’s, but the special effects department has somewhat caught up with the needs of film makers in this department – the possessed faces change in entirely non cheesy pea puke ways which are just over the top enough to be exciting. Stealing the show though is Anthony Hopkins with a performance as a sort of exorcism mentor/possessed guy. Careening all over the place from understated line delivery, genuinely emotional responses to all out scenery chewing madness he gets away with it all because no one really can say what a possessed person should be doing. His demonic babblings are nothing compared to Regans, but they are still rather good fun. The ending is far too satisfying to actually be anything of the sort, there is none of the blunt sacrifice of the Exorcist. Even so the fact that there is nothing original here does not make this a bad film, just go in with expectations, then have them all confirmed.