A deft variation on themes previously explored in The Omen and Rasputin, director Simon Wincer's fantastical, politically slanted thriller follows the mystery that unfolds when the terminally ill son of a prominent politician is miraculously saved by a mysterious faith healer who appears literally out of nowhere, and may just be the Devil incarnate. The story unfolds at a brisk, satisfying pace, starting out on a grim note and slowly pulling back to build the mystery as the viewer attempts to discern whether the mischievous new arrival at a prominent senator's mansion is simply a skillful charlatan or something far more sinister. Robert Powell is mesmerizing in the role of the flamboyant magician with a knack for dramatic entrances, and though David Hemmings and Carmen Duncan may not be at their strongest here, young Mark Spain makes a convincing transformation from near-death leukemia victim to precocious magician's protégé. Having previously penned such Aussie cult classics as Patrick and Long Weekend, screenwriter Everett De Roche once again displays his steady hand for storytelling that relies strongly on subtlety, and smartly allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the origins and motivations of the story's compelling central figure.
by Jason Buchanan review