"Stigmata is one of those films that can make a nonbeliever question the impossible and believers question the possible"
When it comes to religion,what can you say, but to each his own. However, since we've got this juicy morsel up for review, we've got to delve into the biblical waters to reach the shoreline. "Stigmata", by one definition is reported as an occurrence of crucifixion-like events occurring to an individual as they become closer to God or are chosen as a messenger. "Stigmata", by another definition means one entertaining movie based on the grimmer and lesser known parts of one's existing or absent faith. So take a walk with us, as we Unhinge the sea of "Stigmata".
Before we even begin, we must give the writers, Tom Lazarus and Rick Ramage props for even writing this controversial piece of cinema. Strange how religion is the taboo, but headlines of rape and violence run rampant throughout media outlets, but that's a whole nother conversation. So, the crux of "Stigmata" centers around the story of a young woman who does not believe in God, but is stricken with the gift/curse of stigmata. This is however, just the tip of the iceberg because there are plenty of intriguing nuggets of religious theory and powerful imagery to spark up gray matter in the most shallow of halls. "Stigmata", initially was not welcomed with open arms as it received poor reviews from top critics, but those with an open mind found value in this supernatural horror.
Frankie(Arquette) is a wild, care-free spirit enjoying life without giving spiritual consequences a second thought. She does what she wants, lives life on a whim and much like most of us, thinks she has it all together. That is until she receives a care package from mom containing rosary beads from one of the most religious priest in Brazil. Once she receives this package, strange things start to happen in her life that completely disrupt what she believes to be normal. You know things like holding down a job or even going out with the girls become a chore, but even then, she still hasn't the slightest clue of how her life will never be the same.
Well, at least until Father Kiernan(Byrne) steps onto the scene with years of research in the unexplained, plus first-hand experience with some of the more religiously conflicted events occurring in the world around us. The two pair up and that is where the true story of "Stigmata" begins which is one to question, "Are the lessons we are served in service all that there is to be heard in God's plan?". This is truly a great question because how many times have we just taken whatever was told by the "robed" man as concrete wisdom without exploring answers of our own? Are we destined to be lambs of man forever or is there a higher understanding discussed in chambers of secret behind our faiths?
A few of the standouts in this film are the accents of possession and paranormal activity that drive heavy imagery into the mind of the viewer. We've all seen bodies levitate and chairs move in film, but we never see them connected to divine intervention. Most film companies conclude that we will just assume events that we don't understand are of either extraterrestrial or demonic origin. "Stigmata" is different, it allow us to form our own truths and grow from there. Movies with nourishment, isn't that what it's all about? Or would you rather be told your truth like the Catholic church attempts to do for Frankie in the film?
Quality movie, quality message.
"Split a piece of wood and I am there, lift a stone and you will find me"
Unhinged Reviews recommends "Stigmata" for anyone in search of a film that strays from the normal horror fare. Anyone looking for an oldie, but goodie from the late 90s and for anyone that has ever felt that not being able to see something doesn't mean it's not real.
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Thanks for reading, enjoy the trailer