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At The Movies

Film Review: GHOST's Rite Here Rite Now

"The viewer feels fully immersed in the experience, with an impressive production quality in terms of both sight and sound."

Rite Here Rite Now

Rite Here Rite Now is an extremely well-produced directed and concert film that features everyone's favorite clergyman, Cardinal Copia aka Papa Emeritus IV, as he gives his final performances before his inevitable demise and a new Papa gets ushered in.

Having been an unabashed Ghost fan from Day One, I can say that the film very clearly and cleverly captures the excitement, thrill, and pageantry of a live Ghost performance… er… ritual. Filmed over the course of the last two dates of the 2023 tour at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles, fans are treated to an outstanding set of songs that ranges all the back to the first record.

What distinguishes the film from other concert films are the cutaway scenes that form a distinct narrative that tells the story of how Papa IV or "Cardi" as he's referred to in the film, deals with the end of his own existence as leader of the Ghost congregation. Guided by Papa Nihil, the original Papa from back in the day, Cardi is also helped along by his mother, who has challenges of her own to deal with throughout the film. We actually learn of how Papa Nihil and Mom get together in an animated segment of the film that was played to "Mary on a Cross."

The story is novel and humorous and allows fans to get a behind-the-scenes look, so to speak, about the tribulations of Cardi, and what he has to do to keep the performance at its peak, however, the main reason to see the film is the concert footage. The viewer feels fully immersed in the experience, with an impressive production quality in terms of both sight and sound.

Highlights of the film for me were the performances of the opener, "Kaisarion," which really captured the explosive energy of the band, as well as "Twenties," performed for the first time live and with skeleton dancers no less! "Twenties" is not one of my favorite Ghost tunes, however, it has a completely different feel to it live.

Another standout was the acoustic "If You Have Ghost," which featured two cellos and piano accompaniment along with Ghoulette backing vocals. This was from the "B Stage," giving us a different perspective on the performance and showing us just a glimpse of the emotion from Tobias Forge as he seems to realize the magnitude of what he's built and created over the past several years.

Carefully curated crowd shots that show the sheer joy of the fans, and the up-close shots of the band make you feel like you're in the ritual yourself. Meshed with the crowded movie theater, with many folks wearing their Ghost Sunday best, creates a truly devotional experience.

If I had a complaint about the film it would be that we don't get to see the complete performance of "Miasma," which the Nameless Ghouls absolutely crush live. I could also complain about the ending – really the after-credits reveal – but I can say it's done in typical Ghost tongue-in-cheek fashion that will make you slightly angry but will also make you laugh at the same time.

Viewers get to hear a new song during the credits, which has now also been released to the general public, with "The Future is a Foreign Land." Love the backing vocals by the Ghoulettes on this one as well.

Tobias Forge continues to impress and outdo himself time and time again. I've certainly seen many concert films over the years but Rite Here Rite Now is clearly one of the very best. If you have the chance, be sure to see it.

Rating: 10

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