Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of supernatural horror or demonic possession flicks with some obvious exceptions (The Exorcist for one) but for some of its flaws, mainly dating itself to the time period with the music and style, Stigmata is a decent enough flick and tolerable thanks to Patricia Arquette and Gabriel Byrne (who two months later would go on to play Satan in End of Days).
Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural
Shout Factory | R – 102 min. – $24.97 | May 19, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
Plot Outline: Frankie Paige (PATRICIA ARQUETTE) has absolutely no faith in God. All of that changes when she suddenly begins to suffer the stigmata — the living wounds of the crucified Christ. Frankie’s miraculous bleeding comes to the attention of the Vatican’s top investigator, Father Kiernan (GABRIEL BYRNE). But when Cardinal Houseman (JONATHAN PRYCE) discovers that Frankie is actually channeling an extraordinary and provocative message that could destroy the Church, he’s convinced that she — and the force possessing her — must be forever silenced. Determined to stop this deadly conspiracy, Kiernan risks his faith and his life to save her and the message that will change the destiny of mankind forever.
Quick Hit Review: I hadn’t actually seen Stigmata in many years but viewing it again my feelings more or less remained the same: it’s a darkly slick supernatural horror flick with a couple fine performances but some cheesy moments. Pryce makes for an obvious foe but Byrne does his best with the material he’s given and for her part Patricia Arquette is good in the lead and makes the film more than bearable.
The film was directed by Rupert Wainwright whose career hasn’t exactly been stellar with a few TV movies, the unfunny Blank Check and the awful 2005 Fog remake. His direction here is very dark keeping a lot of shadows and apparently using gallons of rain as the setting seems to be constantly raining (surprised it wasn’t set in Seattle).
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5
This release comes with a reversible cover with the film’s original poster artwork.
All features from the previous release have been ported over:
Audio Commentary – Director Rupert Wainwright sits down for a straight-forward and scene-by-scene breakdown.
Divine Rites (25:36; SD) – This is a basic featurette with interviews by members of the cast and crew discussing the overarching plotline.
Incredible But True (44:05; SD) was a special that aired on the History Channel, when they did actual historical programming, covering the background about the stigmata throughout history.
Deleted Scenes (12:54; SD) – We get a few scenes, in very rough form (letterboxed) of some scenes either cut down or completely cut out. They don’t really offer anything new to the story, though there is an alternate ending concerning Frankie and a more explicit sex scene.
Music Video (4:16; SD) for “Identify” by Natalie Imbruglia
Theatrical Trailer (2:26; HD)
VIDEO – 3.5/5
Shout Factory casts out Stigmata onto Blu-ray presented in the film’s original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer (though most likely this is the transfer MGM provided). It’s not the most brilliant looking picture to begin with as the bulk of the movie is either in deep shadow, takes place at night or the daytime when it’s pouring down rain. Detail is good enough and the dark levels are fairly stark but I did notice some dust marks and dirt in several places and at times the picture does get a bit murky or the noise is rather heavy.
AUDIO – 3.25/5
The disc comes with both 2.0 and 5.1 channels DTS-HD Master Audio track which in both instances are serviceable but nothing more. It’s not the most dynamic lossless track or anything, with a good portion coming through the center channel, but dialogue levels sound clear enough, the numerous scream scenes give a minor punch and the laughably 1990s soundtrack comes through well enough.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of supernatural horror or demonic possession flicks with some obvious exceptions (The Exorcist for one) but for some of its flaws, mainly dating itself to the time period with the music and style, Stigmata is a decent enough flick and tolerable thanks to Patricia Arquette and Gabriel Byrne (who two months later would go on to play Satan in End of Days). The Blu-ray released by Shout is really basic, porting over all the features from the MGM edition and offering merely OK audio/video transfers.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.