The Sin Eater


Put three of the main stars of A Knight’s Tale together with its writer/director, and you should have another hit, right? Shame, but The Sin Eater has none of the charm of A Knight’s Tale, and fails to capture the imagination.

With a very limited cinema release in Australia – Heath’s hometown popularity apparently was not enough to coax discerning Australian cinema-goers from their home theatres – this film passed me by until its dvd release. Although I’m not sure seeing this on the big screen would have changed much, I would always prefer to rate a film based on its true appearance, as it was made to be watched.

The Sin Eater is a bit of a mess. Its pseudo-complicated plot is actually very straightforward, and there are no surprises here for fans of the supernatural thriller genre. (It is very similar to Johnny Depp’s The Ninth Gate.) In fact, I was bored for much of the film, wondering how this could divert course and make me more interested, and being disappointed that it never attempted to do so.

Ledger struggles at times with his role, but unfortunately he carries this film alone – Addy being strangely underutilised, especially in the climactic scenes, and Sossamon a pretty distraction only. Fürmann is the only star to satisfy, but suffers from poor scripting. Generally speaking, the acting is poor, the scripting poor, and the direction misguided.

The atmosphere is reasonably well achieved, giving the film the right start – the lighting is generally very good. I can’t remember the soundtrack at all.

Is it fun? No.
Is it scary? No.
Is it thrilling? No.
Is it original? No.
Is it predictable? Yes.
Is there anything to recommend this? Not really, unless you particularly love Ledger or Sossamon.

What would I recommend instead? Try Stigmata.

Rating: 1.5 stars
Review by Mark Lavercombe, 1st January 1970
Hoopla Factor: 2.0 stars

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