7 out of 10


User-Friendly "Omen"

Based on the alleged real-life cover up of St Thomas` Gospel by the Vatican, "Stigmata" follows a catholic priest`s struggle to help Frankie Page, a perfectly ordinary New York hairdresser who’s been possessed by a spirit so powerful, that she begins to suffer the "Stigmata", the physical injuries of Christ on the cross (bolt holes through her wrists, feet etc), despite being a self-confessed atheist. Gabriel Burns, himself an Irish catholic, turns in a quality performance as Father Andrew Kierman who not only has to battle to save her from the fifth stigmata, a spear wound through her gut that would certainly kill her, but also corrupt Vatican officials, crevasses in his own faith and his own illicit love for Frankie, a blood-spattered Patricia Arquette who feels the same way about him.

With surprisingly high caliber cinematography, it has a highly artistic style to it that makes it quite beautiful to watch and a superb musical score.

Despite all the special effects you expect, Stigmata is a sadly all-too-believable tale of intrigue, cover up and betrayal in the Catholic Church. Even so, some top brass clown at MGM Studios, in a masterstroke of the stupidity that has left it the sick man of Hollywood, ditched the heart wrenching, tear jerking final twist of the Director`s own cut, to leave it with a laughable and flat ending. Duh!

High Art Horror

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett