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The Independent Critic

Alicia Conway
Tabitha Morella, Kelly Holden-Bashar
Running Time
9 Mins.

 "Rite" Review 
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Having played at film festivals as diverse as the Sundance Film Festival and Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors, writer/director Alicia Conway's "Rite" is a disturbingly realistic look at the often perverse role ritual plays in our lives and, in this case, in the life of a young girl (Tabitha Morella).

It is clear from the film's opening scenes, that the young girl has reached a rite of passage in her life. She is the picture of purity and surrounded by what appears to be family and friends, however, it is only casually revealed what type of ritual she will be experiencing. With an ominous musical score from Kays Alatrakchi, "Rite" is seemingly headed into a ritual that may be disturbing, perhaps taboo.

Marriage, perhaps?


Only as the ritual begins to be performed, do we begin to comprehend the horrific absurdity of what is unfolding before our eyes. Shot on the RED One Camera by DP Stephanie Martin, the images of the young girl and the ritual unfolding are pristine and disturbing in their clarity.

An unsettling cinematic experience because it so vividly brings to mind the rituals in our own lives, "Rite" greatly benefits from Morella's calm, assured performance as the young girl.

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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