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Overall Rating
2.87

Awesome: 9.21%
Worth A Look32.89%
Average: 13.16%
Pretty Bad: 25%
Total Crap: 19.74%

13 reviews, 74 user ratings


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Stigmata
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Patricia Arquette can bring ANYTHING to life!"
4 stars

“Stigmata” isn’t so much a horror film as much as it is a religious conspiratory one, with facets of thrill and horror. The beginning of the film starts off more traditionally as it shows a priest praying with his crucifix. Soon thereafter he dies, and a statue in his church begins to cry blood. Miracle-disprover, priest and organic chemist Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne) is sent to Bella Quito to investigate the phenomenon.

Flash forward to an MTV-charged time condensed day in the life of Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette), who seems to be a high-profile hairdresser (her mom must be rich to afford the studio/loft Frankie lives in, because I doubt the hairdressing gig could cover it all) living in Pittsburgh. Frankie’s single, sexy and wild at heart. But strange events begin happening after the arrival of a gift from her mother. In other words, Frankie begins to receive the stigmata (five wounds received by only the most religious followers of God) –the only problem is, she’s a self-proclaimed atheist. So at first when Father Kiernan is sent to investigate her, her belief system clashes with the current occurrences, but when he witnesses it for himself, the father’s attitude changes for the better. And as they delve deeper into the mystery, the less interested and more agitated the Catholic Church becomes, as the answer promises to be detrimental to their way of life.
The film was highly stylized (“Run Lola Run” comes to mind) with fast cuts, montages, a sometimes awkward and innovative color scheme (called “skip bleaching”), and the aforementioned MTV-charged hyperkineticism. The contrast of colors could sometimes get annoying, looking like a cross between “Eyes Wide Shut” (good) and “Payback’s” (bad) cinematography. And again on the downside, some of the scenes were cut so quickly, if you blinked, you missed it.
But aside from that, “Stigmata” was an exhilarating adrenaline soaked thrill ride! The obvious film comparison for possession would be “The Exorcist,” and although “Stigmata’s” preview is one of the scariest ever (“How’s your faith nowadays father?!”), it’s a totally different kind of movie. Viewing the deterioration and the stigmatizing of Arquette are amazing and freaky to watch! The stigmatic action sequences were extremely physical (especially on Arquette) and demanding, but were shudder-laden, and put on layer atop layer of goosebumps. It became horrific as well as tense to watch. As always, Arquette gives all to the role, and more! She has become one of the best delivering actresses of the decade, and having her name on a project almost guarantees it to be exceptional. She does not disappoint here. Byrne is good as usual, if not unlike the usual characters he plays (standing on the sidelines, hands in pockets, observing). There’s also a nice sized role for Nia Long, who doesn’t have the typical ten-minute part of an African-American before she’s slashed up, killed, etc.

Director Rupert Wainwright says, “It was our goal to present this story as an unbelievable, yet wholly possible phenomenon,” and that’s exactly what the film achieves! It allows you to overlook some of the small plot holes and gaps without tainting the object of the film. “Stigmata” is chilling, suspenseful, and sure to have you gabbing relentlessly about it on your way home!

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1610&reviewer=172
originally posted: 11/04/99 17:56:46
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell the exorcist 4 the m tv crowd 1 stars
7/31/10 PAUL SHORTT SILLY HORROR WITH BAD PERFORMANCES 1 stars
1/15/09 FrankNFurter Overly-bashed,surprisingly entertaining "Exorcist" rip-off that's a lot of fun! 3 stars
7/31/07 Indrid Cold Gabriel Byrne apparently has a corner on this market. Why wasn't he in The Da Vinci Code? 2 stars
6/06/07 David Pollastrini Saw it and have no memory of it so it must have sucked 2 stars
1/22/07 David A. About halfway thru, this horror tries to become inspirational. Weak ending. 3 stars
1/01/07 del Easily one of the stupidest movies I've ever seen. 1 stars
6/05/06 chris I like this movie and I think it's great. 5 stars
3/31/06 Anthony Feor i got stigmata from watching this 1 stars
9/10/05 aiza awesome.... i like the story itself.. 5 stars
8/13/05 Lily So boring. Couldn't wait for it to end. 1 stars
8/12/05 ES catholic priest stumbles on a terrible plot that proves protestants were right, oh no! 3 stars
5/31/05 yosef ilove creative dildoes 5 stars
10/04/04 Bobble Very Entertaining, gory, and far-fetched. Why all the fuss ? 4 stars
8/04/04 Mia I loved the movie and I believe that it was one of the greatest movies yet to come. 5 stars
6/18/04 Alex Bound to hit a few nerves, expect NO unbiased opinions of this movie 5 stars
5/22/04 John caveat emptor 1 stars
5/07/04 Alex Fucked up movie. The guy who derectied it was a wannabe and a dam cunt. It was offensive. 1 stars
3/18/04 Trevor Definitely one of the better films in the 90's, I hope Wainright will direct again soon! 5 stars
1/05/04 cwlg420 It was fun, and it P/O the pope 5 stars
10/17/03 Summer Very well done. Beautiful. 4 stars
8/08/03 Brandy I enjoyed this movie. Obviously, those that did not, didn't get it. 5 stars
7/27/03 Monster W. Kung A ridiculous, inane and ignorant wanna-be scary, wanna-be 'message' movie. Pathetic. 1 stars
5/03/03 shaban very nice movie 2 stars
3/18/03 Mahdy Mazahary That Was Impressive 5 stars
9/27/02 Lee Wall Stigmata takes an old idea and makes it new...inspired and inspiring. 5 stars
7/12/02 KMG Less Catholic propaganda and more plot please! 3 stars
7/01/02 R.W. Welch Curious mix of conspiracy and mysticism; squirrelly but not badly done. 3 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Badly written story. Not much punch. 2 stars
1/17/02 Jockstud Exorcist + B Movie Script + Enigma = Stigmata 3 stars
1/16/02 David A. Starts out as horror and ends up being inspirational--go figure 4 stars
12/07/01 Dominik Duprelle a Dayglow, MTV, abominatrix. Balls. 1 stars
8/06/01 badfish Hello?Hollywood?We dont need any more blasphemic, unbelievable pieces of elephant feces. 1 stars
4/02/01 Joe Bova If you are aroused by lots and lots of candles and dripping water, then this is your porn. 2 stars
3/25/01 Monster W. Kung Not as idiotic as End Of Days, but rather superficial and crappy nevertheless. 2 stars
2/13/01 Jake Awful. Pathetic attempt at horror. 1 stars
2/09/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Doesn't "suspend" your disbelief...kinda ties a noose and slips it around your neck... 3 stars
11/26/00 The Bomb 69 pleasantly surprised, wasn't expecting much but the plot was strong 5 stars
10/29/00 Mitja Podgajski The greates "antichurch" movie... i love it! 5 stars
9/05/00 Terrie Smith Byrne makes the film better than it really is; major disappointment. 3 stars
5/21/00 mellemel Pretty crappy sums it up 2 stars
5/19/00 Queer with a Brain Excellent material, poorly executed. Agnes of God better deals w/similar subject. 3 stars
4/26/00 Austin Ritter This film was an awesome look into the foolishess of the modern chuch. It makes you think. 5 stars
4/07/00 SID Entertaining, but that's it. Awful MTV-editing, and soundtrack. 3 stars
3/15/00 Chrissy T Gabriel Byrne was the only thing in this keeping me from laughing my ass off. Amusing trash 4 stars
3/09/00 Mr. Kramitall coulda been a great X-Files episode 3 stars
3/06/00 Kyle Broflovski I'm a Jew, so I'm scared of the Catholic Church, anyway 4 stars
2/11/00 James Woodman Scary (but inconsistant) shit. 4 stars
2/06/00 Frank Curigliano Dull and derivative 3 stars
1/29/00 puppyboy434@aol.com wild fun ride with catholic church as villans! 4 stars
1/26/00 Joel Harwood Freaky 5 stars
1/25/00 Italian Stallion. Great Directing...Patricia cant act for shit,ending sux..kepps u thinking though!! 4 stars
1/24/00 Phil Smith above average,value for cinema buck,quite enjoyable 4 stars
11/19/99 bishopj@pumpkinsfan.com Corgan rules, this film doesn't. BEst part was Arquette in the hot green top in the opening 2 stars
11/15/99 Mark Damn, catholicism is creepy, I need a new religion 3 stars
10/15/99 Lame-Oh lame-ass schlock 2 stars
10/11/99 Ben Ryan Interesting, Binding, keeps u watching to see what the Catholics will screw up next! 4 stars
10/04/99 Holliwud I liked , I think it's worth a look 4 stars
9/29/99 Weezal316 Creepy. . .Disturbing. . .A Brillant Film 4 stars
9/26/99 Costars Redundant, hyperbolic, gross bullshit 2 stars
9/25/99 XenoWolf Alright that scene was pointless o look bloods pouring out of wrists again 2 stars
9/24/99 Tom Such a waste of time and money, should have been called Stink-mata 1 stars
9/23/99 Fork Different movie, cool concept, execution somewhat flagrant. 3 stars
9/20/99 Gunhed All style, no plot makes for one piss poor symbolic piece 'o' crap. Give me the Omen. 1 stars
9/20/99 Admiral Crunch Right on with the review, rocksolidace. Nutcase movie to be exact. 2 stars
9/16/99 ChicoWildcat Take everyone else's word and don't pay to see this train wreck. 2 stars
9/15/99 Dennis Forcier Rent 'Life of Brian' instead. 1 stars
9/14/99 Chukls When it comes to zany nutball comedy, you can't go wrong here! 1 stars
9/14/99 Elijah Stigmata = Menstruation. Nuff said. 2 stars
9/13/99 janet It made me think. Effects and soundtrack great. 4 stars
9/13/99 mason good story , rotten film 1 stars
9/13/99 Mr Showbiz An incomprehensible mess. 1 stars
9/12/99 Dr. Worm Convoluted & excruciatingly gory, alternately inducing boredom and hyperkinetic convulsions 1 stars
9/12/99 Obi Wan Something different...I was expecting too much after TBWP...but it was worth watching 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  10-Sep-1999 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Jan-2000 (R)




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