Stigmata (1999) Movie Review

Director: Rupert Wainwright

Writer: Tom Lazarus, Rick Ramage (Screenplay)

Starring: Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce, Nia Long, Thomas Kopache, Rade Serbedzija, Enrico Colantoni

Plot: When a young woman becomes afflicted by stigmata, a priest is sent to investigate her case, which may have severe ramifications for his faith and for the Catholic Church itself.


Tagline – The messenger must be silenced.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Science & Religion as One

Story: Stigmata starts as we meet Father Andrew Kiernan (Byrne) who travels the world in search of a way to debunk religious miracles, with his latest one putting him in the bad books at the Vatican, meanwhile in Pittsburg party girl Frankie Paige (Arquette) receives rosary beads from her travelling mother and soon starts experiencing strange vision and events that she denies doing.

Father Andrew is set to Pittsburg to investigate the mysterious events of what is happening to Frankie, trying to get to the bottom of why she has become targeted by evil forces.

Thoughts on Stigmata

Characters – Frankie Paige is a hairdresser and party girl, with her latest worry being, whether she has become pregnant or not, she receives gifts and letters from her mother that is travelling, with the latest being a rosary beads. Her life is turned upside down when she starts going through horrific visions and events, causing her to have the effects of a stigmata, unaware of the injuries being inflicted upon her, needing help and being unaware of where to find it. Father Andrew Kiernan travels the world in search for answers about religious miracles, he is drawn in the very thin line between science and religion, where he is willing to leave people believing miracles, if it makes their lives better, which doesn’t always set well with the Vatican. He is assigned to learn the truth about what is happening to Frankie, a case that will let him question his own faith more than ever. Cardinal Daniel Houseman sends out the order for the investigators, he choices when they get closed down and that includes seeing him trying to make sure Father Kiernan only does what he wants.

PerformancesPatricia Arquette as the young lady going through the painful experience is strong, we do believe her everyday woman, while seeing the frustration building up within her. Gabriel Byrne is always strong in an investigate role, this is no different from him. Jonathan Pryce only turns up a little bit and brings his class to the film, while the rest of the cast don’t have anything to do.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that has become the target of an evil presence putting her through a stigmata, where the person sent to try and save her is an investigator priest who has started to lose his faith. This is an interesting story with a twist on the exorcism ideas, we do have a woman getting put through a ritual by an evil presence, while also having a priest that isn’t all about letting religion be the answer to everything. We do get plenty of balance between science and religion showing how the two sides can be spoken about in the same conversation. It does show how the findings have always changed the stories of how religion has been revealed, which is interesting to see how history can always been seen in different lights.

HorrorThe horror in this film revolves around how Frankie is going through an unexplainable experience, it does show how religion can bring the worst horrors in life.

SettingsThe film put the film in modern American in Pittsburg, which shows us that these events could happen to anybody, though Frankie’s apartment is just weird.


Scene of the Movie – The train of terror.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The sound mixing is terrible.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting horror that will balance science and religion together well, with strong performance.

Overall: Interesting Horror.