"The Devil Would Have Nothing To Do With Stigmata"
Stigmata (*) – Stigmata may be proof that the world is actually coming to an end at the stroke of midnight this year. Not because of its religious implications or any impact it may have on its audience, but for the simple truth that it may be the one film that makes me appreciate aspects of The Sixth Sense. That has to be one of the biblical signs of the Armageddon. And if you think that concept is far-fetched – I dare you to go see Stigmata.Anyone who knows anything about the Catholic church will be smacking their heads at how stupid this movie is. Stigmata has nothing to do with satanic possession. There is eventual temptation that follows, but that doesn’t matter in this film, because it seems to make it up as it goes along. Stigmata’s traditionally have occurred to deeply religious people, but while Arquette’s character doesn’t go to Church or believe in God, it doesn’t stop her from getting the five wounds of Christ (the fifth of which is described as a spear to the stomach – now maybe I’m wrong, but through 11 years of Catholic school I was always told his chest wound was the result of his flesh tearing from Jesus being stretched on the cross). OK. Fine. But the phenomenon that occurs here looks like a satanic possession. One person in the theater even said they liked “the Satan stuff”. But there is no Satan in this movie. Arquette gets the Stigmata, but it’s because the spirit of a priest, one who had already gone through the Stigmata himself, possesses her. So why does he go through it again when inhabiting her body? And why does he make an effort to seduce Gabriel Byrne? For that matter, why do we even need the scenes where Arquette tries to court Byrne when she’s normal. Why do we even need Patricia Arquette, who has now turned in two of the worst films of the year along with Goodbye, Lover. True Romance was her crowning achievement and it’s never going to get that good again for her. There’s nothing to root for in this movie. Why should we care about her character? The stick figures in The Blair Witch Project had more personality. Gabriel Byrne does everything he can with his character. I only wished that when he discovered the truth about what’s happening to her – he finds out that she’s possessed by Keyser Soze. But that’s not to be because this is a film that has you wondering what the hell is going on and then when you find out, you think “So what?” This is another disappointing example of a genre that should work – the biblical horror film. The other most recent example, The Prophecy, where a holy war of angels takes place on Earth, suffered the same fate as Stigmata – where it opens with an interesting spooky sequence – and then has nothing left to offer except traditional genre crap and blood. I know I was in deep trouble when the creepiness and Gregorian-esque of the first scene gave way to the MTV music video that was the opening credits. The score by Billy Corgan of all people is also one of the worst of the year.Weeks before this film came out, I had a friend (and you know who you are) who was so freaked out by the trailer (which is admittedly more freaky than the actual movie), that he refused to go see this movie. I’m happy to give him another reason entirely.