The Sin Eater (2003) (aka: The Order) starring Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Benno Fürmann, Mark Addy, Peter Weller directed by Brian Helgeland Movie Review

The Sin Eater (2003)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Heath Ledger in The Sin Eater (2003) (aka: The Order)

In Need of Salvation

With in the church exists a secret order, a select group of priests who find themselves in turmoil when one of their senior members dies. Father Alex Bernier (Heath Ledger) is chosen to go to Rome to investigate the death and when there is a similar death Alex must confront what he would hate to admit.

I have an unwritten rule which says if a movie appears to be well received and I didn't like it I will watch it again at a later date in case it was a case of trying to watch it when I wasn't in the right mood. But after watching the same movie three times and each time finishing it with the question as to whether I watched the same movie as others I know the movie wasn't for me. That is the case of Brian Helgeland "The Sin Eater" as after 3 times of sitting through this movie I just don't get it, I mean I really don't get what others saw in this movie other than the appeal of Heath Ledger.

Now "The Sin Eater" feels like Helgeland trying to bring back the 70s and the occult style horrors which Hollywood was producing and Hammer were trying to produce. I say that because from the slow look, the mysterious characters, the members of the clergy as well as are young priest being tempted it all feels like it is imitating older movies. That goes for the performances as well with the actors not so much playing a character but recreating a 1970s acting style. Maybe for those who love the horror movies of the 70s will enjoy this homage to the past but for me it becomes stiff.

Because of this stiffness it is hard to get in to what is going on in "The Sin Eater" but it is also quite simply incredibly hard to follow as first it goes here, then there ad nothing seems to connect. Combine this with characters who we don't really connect with and what you end up with is a movie which just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

What this all boils down to is that "The Sin Eater" just felt like a mess, an incoherent story trying to play homage to the horror movies of the 70s but failing to generate enough interest in the story or the characters to work.