If you want to see a story filled with demons, saints, stigmata, Sin Eaters, ghosts and other unearthly creatures but will leave you a bit puzzled, The Order, by Brian Hedgeland, is right for you, though it is not precisely the preeminent thing that you could spend your money on.
The story is about a young renegade priest, Alex Bernier (Heath Ledger) who with the help of his best friend, Thomas Garrett (Mark Addy), is trying to track down and kill the Sin Eater that rids people of their sins through the use of dark magic. Along with Thomas, Alex is also accompanied by his friend Mara Sinclair (Shannyn Sossamon).
Thomas seems like the light in the midst of all this confusion and darkness. He is usually the one who ends up cracking little jokes here and there and making this horror movie a little bearable. At one point, when he and Alex are sitting in their teacher's house after Mara has gone to sleep, Thomas asks Alex why he is still a priest and not a man lying by Mara's side. Alex answers, simply, "Thomas, two days ago she was in a mental institution." And in return he gets, "So she was crazy about you," from the cheerful Thomas.
The movie was pretty original, but it was almost too predictable: bloodcurdling music before something really eerie happens and the idea that nothing is what it seems.
Director and producer Helgeland, an Academy Award-winner, stumbled upon "Sin Eater" accidentally and became interested in the concept of being able to eat the sins of the sinner in order to rid him of the pain of life. He then invited Ledger, Sossammon and Addy (strangely all whom have worked together previously in A Knight's Tale) to do another movie. Sorry to say, it did not come out to be as good as it could have been.
But along with every bad thing comes a good thing. Probably the thing that saves really bad movies is love. In this particular movie, love stems between Alex and Mara. "It's you and me. You and me till the wheels fall off." Mara has previously tried to kill Alex, but eventually fell in love with him when he helped her get through her problems. Now her main goal in life is to be with Alex and protect him from the something more horrible than death that she feels will happen to him, though she is not sure what.
Actor Benno Fermann (William Eden, who was also seen in The Princess and the Warrior), who plays the Sin Eater, is also known as the definition of evil in this movie. He uses his cruelty and his knowledge to get Alex, Thomas and Mara together on purpose and then use Alex and Mara's love to help accomplish his evil plan.
In the end, if you are not a fan of movies that are like Romeo and Juliet meets Angel and filled with star-crossed lovers, demons, Sin Eaters and other bizarre characters and performances, then there is no point in spending your money on this movie.
The Order is rated R for violent images, sexuality and language.
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