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STIGMATA

By admin | September 13, 1999

I recall whining at the start of the year about the total lack of horror films seeing release and wishing the studios would at least try. Be careful what you wish for.
Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette) is a typically self-absorbed 23-year-old club kid. She has the misfortune of receiving a box of trinkets from her mother who’s vacationing in Brazil. The box includes a rosary Mom bought from a kid who stole it off the body of a dead priest, BUT NOT ANY OLD DEAD PRIEST. Life goes buggy. Frankie develops strange wounds and takes to speaking and writing in a dead language. The Vatican sends Father Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne), their version of Fox Mulder who debunks alleged miracles, to investigate.
By and large, this is a loose update of “The Exorcist”. Gabriel Byrne even bears a strong resemblance to that film’s Jason Miller. The difference is in the many unfortunate traits of late ’90’s studio films:
1) It has a loud rock n’ roll soundtrack. ^ 2) The director came out of commercials and/or music videos. ^ 3) There are many unnecessary jump-cuts and montages and the whole film is way over-edited. ^ 4) A conspiracy theory is tacked on to make the story feel “bigger”. ^ 5) The filmmakers feel ^ their “big” ideas will override any holes in the story of logic. ^ 6) The script sucks. ^ Oh, well. Time to look forward to “Sleepy Hollow”.

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