Visually stimulating films are generally the easiest to critique. The reason for this phenomenon is that most filmmakers tend to concentrate primarily upon action, cinematography, or special effects and all too often lose focus on plot, which is a key element in the success of a film. This has happened so frequently in past years that I can now determine within the first ten minutes whether a movie will disappear into that vast black hole of forgettable lackluster science-fiction/horror films of the nineties or have some potential for long-term success.

The upside to this way of thinking is that when you get a film that combines great visuals with a decent plot then you can have an extremely entertaining product along the lines of an Event Horizon or The Matrix. Luckily for us, Stigmata, directed by Rupert Wainwright (The Sadness of Sex, Blank Check) is one of those films that successfully molds story line with powerful visuals to make for an entertaining and eerie adventure. It's like watching a two-hour music video on MTV. An exciting fusion of neo-punk culture combined with ancient religious rites.

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