Anita Crane
Let ‘Nefarious’ scare the Hell out of you
By Anita Crane
May 31, 2023

Few movies have made me scream, but I screamed a few times as I watched the movie Nefarious. Every moment of this fictional drama gripped me while I watched it and every moment of the movie helped me to better understand a profound reality.

The movie Nefarious helped me to realize why we should abolish the death penalty, in my opinion. The main problem with the death penalty is that it requires some people to work as executioners.

Nefarious the movie is based on Steve Deace’s novel A Nefarious Plot. I haven’t read the book, but I watched the movie and it is superb.

The villains in Nefarious are so terrible that I want them gone – and, at first, I wanted them gone in the wrong way. I wanted them gone starting with the execution of a man who murdered six women.

Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon wrote the screenplay to Nefarious and they directed the movie as well.

In this feature film, serial killer Edward Wayne Brady is scheduled for execution at 11pm in an electric chair and there’s only one way for him to escape the death penalty. Brady must undergo a psychiatric evaluation so that prison officials can determine whether he was sane when he murdered his victims.

In comes Dr. James Martin, the psychiatrist hired by the government.

Brady deserves the opportunity to repent before he dies, but Dr. Martin is an atheist.

To Dr. Martin’s surprise, a scary voice bursts out of Brady. The voice claims that its name is Nefarious. The voice tells Martin: “Before you leave here today, you will have committed three murders.”

Martin, startled, replies: “Why would I do that?”

Dr. Martin watches Brady try to fight the voice coming out of him. The real Edward Brady can interrupt the demons and he pleads with Martin to rescue him before he goes to the electric chair, where he will be awake and fried alive.

As it happens, Dr. Martin the atheist medical doctor thinks some human lives are inconvenient and expendable.

I grieved for Brady and wanted a Catholic priest to help him choose eternal life with Christ. I wanted the same thing for Dr. Martin and all the characters in the movie.

It seems Steve Deace wrote the Edward Wayne Brady character as a Catholic because in comes Father Louis, the third main character in Nefarious. Father Louis comes to offer Brady the last rites and I was greatly relieved to see him, but I was worried as soon as Father Louis revealed his rainbow stole. The rainbow stole implies that Father Louis might seek sexual conquests instead of the salvation of souls.

To avoid confusion, I tell you that in the rules for priestly vestments published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, there is no permission for Catholic priests or deacons to wear rainbow stoles. You may search the entire book to read Chapter 6 on The Requisites for the Celebration of Mass.”

Some rogue Catholic priests wear rainbow stoles—rainbow sashes—but these days rainbow stoles symbolize so-called lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights.

The Catholic Church recognizes human rights for all human persons, and she is the greatest champion for those rights. That’s why she preaches and teaches divine revelation with The Holy Bible and The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

That’s why she teaches that God created sex and it is sacred and it is beautiful. That’s why she teaches that sex is reserved for couples of one man and one woman who make their vows to live the sacrament of holy matrimony. The Bible reveals that the first models for matrimony were Adam and Eve, the first two human persons, and the human parents of the whole human race. I add that sex is private and not something to display because that would make it pornography.

Again, I emphasize that some Catholic religious ministers believe in so-called LGBT rights and they wear rainbow stoles. Thus, I emphasize this is against all formal Catholic teachings on sex and marriage.

I tell you this because in Nefarious, Father Louis brags to Brady about his rainbow stole and it looks like he, as a dissident priest, might not help Brady to die in peace.

Regarding the death penalty, in 2018 Pope Francis and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith updated The Catechism of the Catholic Church to a stricter rejection of it.

Doctrine No. 2267 in The Catechism now says:

    “Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

    “Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

    “Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that ‘the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,' and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

To those who favor the death penalty, which is also called capital punishment, could you work as an executioner?

I asked myself that question and the answer is No.

Some people must use weapons for emergencies of self-defense or to stop maniacs from committing mass murder. Still others, especially officers of the law, typically need to use weapons to capture and jail kidnappers and murder suspects.

No matter what you think about the death penalty, I recommend that you watch Nefarious and do your part in working for the salvation of all people. At the very least, we can pray for the salvation of the entire human race. At the very least, we can pray for the salvation of the entire human family. Thanks for your consideration.


The cast of Nefarious

John Wayne Brady and Nefarious: Sean Patrick Flanery

Psychiatrist Dr. James Martin: Jordan Belfi

Assistant Warden Anderson: Eric Hanson

Corporal Mendez: Sarah Hernandez

Detective Russo: Stelio Savante

Dr. Fischer: Mark De Alessandro

Dr. Stewart: Robert Peters

Father Louis: Daniel Martin Berkey

Gate Guard: James Healy Jr.

Maura Corsini: Melanie Carter

Officer Campbell: Jeremy Miller

Officer Grady: Darrin Merlino

Officer Wilson: Jarret LeMaster

Prison Guard: John Cann

Prison Warden Moss: Tom Ohmer

Renee: Tina Toner

Sergeant Wilborn: Grifon Alden

Trustee Styles: Cameron Arnett

© Anita Crane


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Anita Crane

It is with great sadness to report that Anita Crane passed away on November 10, 2023, at age 62. We offer our prayers to her family at this time, and want to express our appreciation to her for the many years she wrote for RenewAmerica.

Her obituary can be viewed here.

Anita Crane is a writer and editor with B.A. in Catholic Theology from Christendom College. She defends human rights in the light of Christ.


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