Welcome to Mercy tells the story of Madeline, a single mother who seeks out the help of a local priest and nun when she starts getting signs of the Stigmata. She soon learns that there is much more about herself and her history that she does not understand. After an incident attributed to her affliction causes her to accidently hurt her daughter, she is taken to a convent on an island where she is all but cut off from her family. She slowly starts to piece together answers but they only lead to more questions. In the end, Madeline must come to terms with her past in order to move on to her future.
I love movies about Catholic mysticism: the Stigmata, demons, scary nuns, and exorcisms all really get my motor running. So, when a movie about Stigmata going awry came through, I got pretty excited about it. I mean, I don’t think Stigmata ever goes well but in the trailer it appeared to be going very wrong. Turns out, that wasn’t really a major plot point but I still wasn’t disappointed. The story is really interesting and well told. The actors give solid performances across the board. I was hooked after about the first twenty minutes. Welcome to Mercy is heavy on atmosphere and tension and it allows you to become truly invested in the story and trying to puzzle out the questions that Madeline is faced with.
Along with being well written, I thought Welcome to Mercy was really well shot. It was just nice to look at. This movie contains the best CG I’ve seen in a horror film in I don’t know how long. The scene is partially in the trailer and it’s the basis of the poster art: Madeline falls into a well. As she falls, the water rushes up to meet her and it is damn near perfect. I don’t remember the last time I saw a CG scene and thought “Holy shit, that was amazing,” so this scene was a real treat. If all CGI was this good, I don’t think everybody would bitch about it all the time.
All in all, would I recommend Welcome to Mercy? Definitely! It’s a well crafted film with a story that goes from spooky to touching to heartbreaking and back again. It’s out today, just in time for a pre-Halloween watch!!