As a veteran member of a South Bronx precinct, NYPD Sgt. Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) has seen more than his share of dark and horrifying events -- so many that they have begun to poison his soul. Sarchie further finds his beliefs and understanding pushed to the limit when he and his partner investigate a particularly bizarre incident. He forms an alliance with a renegade priest (Edgar Ramirez), who tries to convince Sarchie that real evil -- and demons -- do exist.
What starts as a poignant medical documentary about Deborah Logan's descent into Alzheimer's disease and her daughter's struggles as caregiver degenerates into a maddening portrayal of dementia at its most frightening, as hair-raising events begin to plague the family and crew and an unspeakable malevolence threatens to tear the very fabric of sanity from them all.
Documentary filmmaker Michael King (Shane Johnson) does not believe in God or the Devil. When his wife dies, he sets out to make his next movie on religion and spirituality, hoping to prove those things are just myth. But in allowing demonologists, necromancers and various practitioners of the occult to try the deepest, darkest spells and rituals on him, he unleashes a horrifying force.
The Rev. Moore (Tom Wilkinson) is prosecuted for the wrongful death of a girl thought to be demonically possessed, because he administered the church-sanctioned exorcism that ultimately killed her. Prosecuting attorney Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott) contends that the young woman, Emily (Jennifer Carpenter), suffered from schizophrenia and should have been medically diagnosed. Meanwhile, defense lawyer Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) argues that Emily's condition cannot be explained by science alone.
Priest Father Andrew Kiernan from the Vatican is sent to Sao Paulo, Brazil to investigate the appearance of the face of the Virgin Mary on the side of a building. While there he hears of a statue of the Virgin Mary bleeding tears in a small town outside of the city. Meanwhile, Frankie Paige, a young woman in the U.S. begins to show signs of stigmata, the wounds of Christ. The priest from the Vatican links up with her and cares for her as she is increasingly afflicted by the stigmata. Her ranting and raving finally begins to make sense to the priest who starts to question what his religion has stood for for the last 1900 years.