Review: “Stigmata”

This attempt to create a 90’s version of “The Omen” results in a rather dull religious thriller saved only by a few factors. Patricia Arquette gives us another ‘young woman in distress who screams a lot’ kind of role which gets annoying very quickly and you’ll try and forget it as soon as you leave the theatre.

Gabriel Byrne fares better because this is the one film I can recall where we actually get to see him have some lighter moments and are surprised to see he can play a warm and engaging character really well if someone were to offer it to him. The villainous Cardinal character is quite weak, though Pryce gives it more depth than it really deserves.

Visually its a rather eye catching film with cinematography which combines elements of “Se7en”, a Michael Bay movie and even the gore factor of “Event Horizon”. Yes this is quite a gory film and it deserves the censorship rating it got as it is very much an adult film. Even the quieter moments have a strange feel with a washed out kind of look.

The special effects are fairly cheap, but well done nonetheless. Some elements of Catholicism are explored ranging from Byrne’s fascinating job of travelling the world to disprove religious miracles, to the frighteningly believable reaction by the hard line elements of the Church to quell those who’d render it powerless. So the final verdict in the religious film wars? Go check out “End of Days” instead, at least your bound to have a good laugh there. This takes itself way too seriously, and unfortunately there’s not enough to take seriously.