Skip to comments.Exorcist praises new movie 'The Rite' for showing power of faith
Posted on 01/22/2011 12:44:51 PM PST by NYer
.- Father Gary Thomas, whose real life experience as an exorcist-in-training is chronicled in the highly anticipated movie The Rite, praised the film for its positive portrayal of the Church and for its witness to the power of faith.
The movie, starring Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and newcomer Colin ODonoghue, is loosely based on Fr. Thomas' experience traveling to Rome and studying under an Italian exorcist in 2005.
Set to hit screens on Jan 28., The Rite follows skeptical seminary student Michael Kovak (ODonoghue), who is sent to study exorcism at the Vatican in spite of his own doubts. Anthony Hopkins plays a character by the name of Fr. Lucas an Italian priest and veteran exorcist who befriends Michael and helps open his eyes to reality of demon possession and the need for rite in the modern world.
The movie is based off of journalist Matt Broglio's 2009 book, The Rite: The making of a modern exorcist. Baglio befriended Fr. Gary Thomas while in Rome and chronicled the priest's studies at the Pontifical North American College and his eventual apprenticeship with a local exorcist.
In an interview with CNA on Jan. 19, Fr. Thomas who currently serves as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Saratoga, California explained that he served as a consultant for the film, particularly the scenes featuring exorcisms.
For a week in June last year, he said he was on the movie set working with cast members and producers. The priest added that to their credit, the directors and producers wanted the exorcism scenes to be as accurate at possible.
The environment of that movie set was very reverential towards the Church, Fr. Thomas said. The producer and the director and the cast whom I worked with at the time were very open.
Fr. Thomas said he recently saw a screening of the film alongside Anthony Hopkins at a New Line Cinema studio in Los Angeles. In his words, the movie has a loose basis in Baglio's book.
One discrepancy Fr. Thomas pointed out was that he went to Rome as a 50-year-old seasoned priest with a desire to learn more about the rite of exorcism hardly a cynical seminarian in the midst of a faith crisis.
Despite the differences, however, he called the film very good.
The human side of the priesthood is very well developed, he said, adding that the portrayal of the institutional Church comes out very positively.
Fr. Thomas said that given the reality of the subject matter, the experience was very powerful and even frightening for many involved in the movie.
He said that Hopkins, a professed Christian, and O'Donohugh a practicing Catholic who serves as a lector at his parish in Dublin very much believe in the existence of evil and feared possible demonic attacks as a result of working on the film.
The producer and the two key actors all asked me privately if they could be attacked by doing this movie, he said. I said, I can't absolutely say yes or no which lead me to say 'possibly.'
I do think that a person can get attacked, and I don't know if they did but they were afraid, he said. I just tried to reassure them.
Fr. Thomas also said that the intensely eery trailers for the film are deceptive in the sense that they make it look like a horror movie, which he says is inaccurate.
There's some very riveting scenes I wouldn't say they're scary, but they're a little startling.
Ultimately, however, this is a movie about faith, said Fr. Thomas. People are going to be very surprised.
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Thank you! Has the movie been released? I am looking forward to it.
In 1981 Anthony Hopkins played the part of St. Paul in “Peter and Paul”—terrific job.
I saw the trailer and thought - here we go again - glad it’s not another demonization (pardon the pun) of the Church.
Thanks for the info. I might even go see it which will be a fist in years.
Audio Interview -
The original Exorcist scared the poop out of me, I like Hopkins and your right he did a first rate job portraying the Apostle Paul
Now I’m REALLY confused. Anthony Hopkins plays the part of a priest?! From the trailer they’ve been showing around here, I thought Hopkins was the crazed individual who needed exhorcized, just going by his facial expression and the look in his eyes! It looked like a sequel to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS!
I can hardly wait to miss it. In my younger days I had a friend who messed around, rapping on walls and calling for demons, etc. Then one night the demons showed up. After a few years of life in the gutter he offed himself. I’m gonna’ sit this one out, but that’s just ME. Hope y’all enjoy it.
Philipppians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Read excerpts from the book here...
Very good scripture reference to remember.
Sometimes people come around. The whole of Christianity is based on the possibility of conversion.
I’m already dizzy for the spin treatment this is gonna get.
There are many references in the New Testament to Jesus exorcising demons.
bumpus ad summum
Release date is this coming Friday.
I think last year, reading in one of the Catholic threads that Pope B16 has called for a new training center for special exocists in Rome, if my memory is correct? Please fill me in if you can help me on that. Thanks!
Thanks. Maybe I can see it in a week or so.
Not having seen the movie, but reading the description of the book on which it’s based, I’m thinking Anthony Hopkins character goes through periods of attack from the Devil, and that’s what’s being shown in the trailers. Exorcists place themselves between the Devil and the person they’re trying to extricate from the clutches of the Evil one, so it’s natural to assume they’d come under severe attack, themselves.
You have a good memory! But you are off by 3 years. He called for the formation of Exorcism Squads in December 2007. Here's the story.
Thank-you very much for your help and correction! :)=^..^=