A goth-lite rehashing of "The Exorcist" -- by way of "The Crow," with a pinch of Madonna's "Like A Prayer" video tossed in for flavor -- "Stigmata" has terminal case of style over substance.
From the movie's very first frame, the story -- about a generically funky Pittsburgh hairdresser (Patricia Arquette) who becomes possessed and inflicted with the wounds of Christ -- takes a back seat to moody, underexposed photography, a never-ending rainstorm allusion and rave-spastic editing set to a soundtrack by Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins and Elia Cmiral ("Ronin").
Arquette plays Frankie Paige, a non-believer who starts channeling a dead priest after being given his stolen rosary as a gift. When she begins exhibiting signs of stigmata, an ordained investigator (Gabriel Byrne) --with faith issues of his own, natch -- is sent to debunk her case by a crooked, cover-up-happy Vatican cardinal with delusions of grandeur (Jonathan Pryce). But Byrne becomes a believer and tries to protect the girl from his superiors.
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