British film composer Alex Heffes' score for director Mikael Håfström's supernatural thriller The Rite, an exorcism movie, is generally low-key, getting across the ominous suspense as audiences wait for the appearances of the Devil in possessed people being helped by priests led by Anthony Hopkins. Occasionally, Heffes is required to accompany actual moments of possession, and then he revs things up, notably in such cues as "The Terror Is Real." But mostly, he keeps things at a simmer, locating his themes in celli and violas, plus a repetitive piano theme. When he wants to get a little more disturbing, as in "Angeline's Story," for example, he augments the lower sounds with some synthesized percussion. But this does not sound like the music for a typical horror movie. Rather, it suggests that The Rite is a film full of foreshadowing in which the fear is as much located in what the audience anticipates than in what it actually gets to see.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann