Mikael Hfström (1408, Derailed
) adapts the namesake novel and nods to William Friedkin's The Exorcist
with a moody, meditative opening: Shortly after withdrawing from seminary studies, Michael Koval (Colin O'Donoghue), a handsome skeptic, is shipped off to Rome to be trained in the rite of exorcism. These transitional scenes from America to the Vatican's hallowed halls knit together a sober fable about doubt and faith, pregnant with supernatural potential. Enter Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins), a Welsh Jesuit harbored in Rome. As one of the possessed, Hopkins chews the scenery with hambone histrionics, disrupting the carefully spun spiritual gravity that made the first half of the film so entrancing.