First time writer/director Leroy Kincaide opts for demonic possession for his debut feature, throwing in some night terrors and a shadowy (potential) demon for good measure.

Bethan Waller takes lead duties here, starring as medical student Lucy, who has recently moved in to a new home with her art dealer boyfriend Ben (Johnny Fleming).

All seems good, only for Lucy then to start suffering from visions, sleepless nights and nightmares that morph into a conviction that maybe she – or their new home – may be haunted.

With her boyfriend being a bit of a dick – the type that belittles her one night, only to then leave a rose and a ‘sorry’ note the next morning – Lucy turns to priests, authors and friends in a bid to unveil the truth. But will she get the answers she wants?

The main problem with The Last Rite is, well…it’s just dull. Now I didn’t want (or expect) some pea soup antics like The Exorcist, or bodies piling up aplenty, but for large swathes of the film nothing really happens – the whole thing just drifts along with little in the way of excitement.

That may have been down to the budget, or the performances, but Kincaide’s offering could easily have done with a pruning – a good ten minutes shaved off could have made a big difference to the film’s impact you feel.

Speaking of the performances, they are a real mixed bag. Waller as Lucy does a sterling job, totally believable as a woman teetering on the brink, convinced she can see shadows at every corner. Fleming as Ben on the other hand, well perhaps the less said about his work the better. And the inevitable knock-on effect of his performance is that the chemistry is just not there – which hampers the movie from the outset.

Kincaide is certainly able to conjure up a few moments to remember – the brief suggestions of ‘The Man In The Hat’ work nicely, while the serious tone the writer/director adopts does work, leading to a climax that at least attempts to quicken the pulse.

But the whole thing meanders along at such a sedate pace that, by the time The Last Rite kicks into gear, you may already have lost interest.

Arrow Video Frightfest Review: The Last Rite
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About The Author

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle