The Rite—Warner Bros.

Video: 4/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 3.5/5

Inspired by true events, this supernatural thriller follows a seminary student sent to study exorcism at the Vatican in spite of his own doubts about the controversial practice and even his own faith. Only when sent to apprentice with legendary Father Lucas, who has performed thousand of exorcisms, does his armor of skepticism begin to fall. Drawn into a troubling case that transcends even Father Lucas's skill, the young seminarian glimpses a phenomenon science can't explain or control - and an evil so violent and terrifying that it forces him to question everything he believes.

The Rite has a nice polished look on Blu-ray. Contrast performance is exceptional and the gloomy look of the film serves the mood perfectly. Fine detail is solid, especially in close ups, and even longer shots benefit from the HD encode. Some of the special effects soften up the image at times but I didn’t find it overly distracting. Colors can be striking one moment and then filtered the next. This compliments to the tone of the film perfectly and keeps with the obvious production intent. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is quite aggressive, especially in the surround design, making for an engaging thriller. Like most films of this genre, sound design is crucial for setting the tone and this one never disappoints. The soundstage really comes alive in the more intense sequences and the balance of the sound effects with the dialogue is perfect. Low bass extension is solid and only adds to the mood. A great presentation overall.

Warner continues to be the value leader when it comes to Blu-ray releases. Like all of their new release titles you also get a digital copy of the film along with a DVD as well. Features also include an alternate ending, a look at the father that inspired the story and some deleted scenes. Some real life insight into the world of exorcism is also included.

As far as thrillers go I found this one to be pretty average. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting, but it doesn’t really break any new ground. The performances are decent but the story never really grabbed me. Compared to such classics as the Exorcist, this one doesn’t stand a chance. Stick to a rental.

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