Every year at this time, I remind you about all of the great horror movies Gabriel Byrne has made over the years and try to entice you to watch one. He’s made horror/action, horror/suspense, even horror/comedy, so there is plenty from which to choose! Sometimes Gabriel as Satan in End of Days is the perfect scary/sexy way to spend Halloween. Other times, there is something NEW and terrifying as heck–Hereditary, anyone?–that I can almost recommend highly (except I can’t bring myself to watch the danged thing yet). And then there’s Vampire Academy (LOL!).

THIS year, I’m telling you what I watch on Halloween. And then you can tell me what YOU watch. How does that sound? Is it a deal? Good. Okay. Here goes.

Every year at Halloween, even when I don’t really want to (because busy or tired or too much sugar consumed or distracted or whatever), I watch Stigmata.

And every year, I am glad.

Gabriel Byrne as Father Andrew Kiernan and Patricia Arquette as Frankie

Stigmata reminds me that, even when everything is going up in flames, you needn’t be afraid. Even when unexplained stuff is happening all around you–spontaneous wounds appearing on arms, a woman writing in strange languages on walls, that same woman throwing you through the air as though you are a piece of paper–you needn’t be afraid. There is an answer. There is a solution. There is a reason.

That is a very comforting and consoling bit of theater to appreciate.

Stigmata also reminds me that, though a woman might appear to be a victim, she need not be. Though it would seem she has lost control of her life and her destiny, that need not be true. And, even though it might be true, it is no reason to collapse in fear, slide into madness, or throw oneself from the window. There is strength. There is courage. There is faith in oneself.

Gabriel Byrne as Father Andrew Kiernan and Patricia Arquette as Frankie

Again, a very comforting and consoling–and heartening–bit of theater to appreciate.

So, I watch Stigmata every year to be scared and to be strong. To be frightened by the unknown and to stand steadfastly before it. To dance to the music, to treasure life, and to hope for love and redemption.

It’s a great movie. For Halloween. For anytime.

Now. What is YOUR favorite Halloween Byrne!?

Stigmata fan video

This very imaginative and beautifully-made fan video by xXWhisperOfDreamsXx uses the music of Hozier to lovely effect.

Dress up your desktop for Halloween

Father Andrew Wallpaper
Stigmata Halloween Wallpaper
Stigmata Blue Wallpaper
Required nod to End of Days. wink


  1. Verónica

    Stella: Did I already tell you that you are VERY funny sometimes? Well this is that time. I laughed with your mention of “Hereditary” or “woman throwing you through the air as though you are a piece of paper” or “throw oneself from the window” ( I tell you, you should write a book, in this case, a comedy). People need to laugh and you have talent to make it come true.
    Now, what will I watch on Halloween. I don’t know yet but it is very possible I will imitate you and watch “Stigmata”. I love Father Kiernan, with or without collar :-)
    The other possibility is “End of Days”, yes, but not “Hereditary” LOL
    To dress up my desktop, I choose “Stigmata Halloween Wallpaper”
    (Gabriel is looking down <3 )

    • Glad you liked it, Verónica! ;-)

      I thought you would pick the Stigmata Blue Wallpaper. He’s looking down there, too. <3

      Next year, I will write about Hereditary. It is on my list of goals for the Year 2020. LOL!

  2. Verónica

    Well Stella I wouldn’t assure you, if you’ll publish pics, I would do any comment about. Hope you will excuse me then.
    But… that means you will watch it. As a year has 12 months, the question is in which of those 12 month will you watch it, maybe in December 2020? LOOOL

  3. That’s a great Halloween post, Stella! For sure Stigmata and End of Days are the best films to watch these days. I’m also thinking of chilling Ghost Ship or ruthless and cold Assault on Precinct 13 ❤

    • I have not watched Ghost Ship since the first time I saw it, I think. Same with Assault on Precinct 13. I should revisit these movies! <3

  4. What a great essay about Stigmata. Thank you Stella. You always make me think more deeply about these films. Must watch it again.

    • Thanks, Angelle. It took me years to understand why I found this odd film so intriguing and memorable. At first, I was just taken with the performances, the ambience, the music. It was a rather wild ride! Later, though, I began to understand the quiet strength of both of the characters. Their determination. Their lack of fear. Anyway, that is what stays with me now, though I still love that intense Billy Corgan score and Wainwright’s heightened direction. Critics really hated this movie. People really like it. Ha! <3

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