A priest from the Vatican is sent to Sao Paulo, Brazil to investigate the appearance of the face of the Virgin Mary on the side of a building. While there he hears of a statue of the Virgin Mary bleeding tears in a small town outside of the city. Meanwhile, a young woman in the U.S. begins to show signs of stigmata, the wounds of Christ. The priest from the Vatican links up with her and cares for her as she is increasingly afflicted by the stigmata. Her ranting and raving finally begins to make sense to the priest who starts to question what his religion has stood for for the last 1900 years. Written by
Jeff Mellinger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The house Frankie Paige is taken to towards the end of the film is the Filoli Mansion, located 40km south of San Francisco. The 1997 movie The Game also features the Filoli Mansion and both movies show very similar shots of its front entrance. See more »
After Frankie opens the package from her mother which contains the rosary, she is seen walking over to the table. She is holding a cup in one hand and picks up the rosary in the other. The next shot has the items in her hands reversed. See more »
Hey, you know what's scarier than not believing in God? Believing in him. I mean, really believing in him. It's a fucking terrifying thought.
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Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette) is a hip 20-something New Yorker who faces a nasty wake-up call when she gets randomly attacked by an unseen force, puncturing her wrists. While the hospital calls it a suicide attempt, the Vatican thinks she may be showing signs of stigmata and sends a priest (Gabriel Byrne) to investigate.
This is one of the more clever "religious horror" films that I've seen. Using a young atheist girl as the recipient of stigmata is an original and intriguing concept. The various violent scenes where the fabulously stylish Arquette is attacked are gory and horrific, but so gorgeously shot that you cannot take your eyes away. Unfortunately, there are too many boring scenes of babbling priests. There was a bit of controversy when this was released because it hypothesizes about some very horrific skeletons in the closet of the Catholic church. The DVD features the Director's alternate ending that is decidedly less Hollywoodized than the theatrical release, but leaves the story in a confused, contradictory space. Recommended for fans of religious and stylish horror. My Rating: 7/10
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