With its renegade priests, heretical sects, demonic children, an arcane mystery and a papal conspiracy, this has all the ingredients of a scary religious horror movie. But fans of The Exorcist or The Omen will choke on its metaphysical pretensions. After the death of his mentor, an ex-communicated heretic, rebel priest Alex (Ledger) is tempted by the 600-year-old Sin Eater (Fürmann), who literally 'consumes' the sins of those beyond the limits of the Church's teaching. This involves swallowing bread and salt (together with a lot of computer-generated tentacular ectoplasm) off the dying penitent's body. Now jaded and corrupt, the Sin Eater wishes to pass on his mantle, and considers the intellectually curious Alex to be his heir apparent. But what links the Sin Eater to the dodgy ambitions of wannabe Pope, Cardinal Driscoll (Weller)? Helgeland's track record has been very patchy: for every LA Confidential script there's a written and directed clunker like A Knight's Tale. The mess here is as insubstantial as a Communion wafer and as boring as a four-hour sermon.