‘The Rite’ Exclusive Photo: Anthony Hopkins And Colin O’Donoghue Exorcise A Demon

Demons, exorcisms and Hannibal Lecter as a priest — oh my! Just in time for Halloween, MTV has scored an exclusive photo from the supernatural thriller “The Rite,” which is planning to scare the everliving bejeesus out of audiences everywhere come January 28, 2011.

Colin O’Donoghue stars as Michael Kovak, a skeptical seminary student who reluctantly attends exorcism school at the Vatican. There, he finds his beliefs challenged by a Roman Catholic priest named Father Lucas — played with usual gusto by Sir Anthony Hopkins — whose rather unique teaching methods introduce Michael to the darker side of faith and, apparently, quite a few demons… one of which they’re attempting to extract in the photo below.

If the idea of a Vatican-run exorcism school sounds unlikely, consider this: The film is based on Matt Baglio’s 2009 book “The Making of a Modern Day Exorcist,” which chronicles the author’s real-life experiences while attending a one-month Vatican exorcism seminar in 2007. Scared yet?

As a result, the movie is more psychological thriller than horror. “The point of the film is to explore the idea of whether it’s a psychological illness or a true [demonic] possession, trying to take as unbiased a position as possible,” O’Donoghue told MTV. “There are some moments that will make you jump,” he added. “People are bound to be a little freaked out by it.” We kind of already are.

Are you excited to see “The Rite”? And do you believe that demons can possess people? Tell us in the comments!