The Last Sin Eater is a weak attempt at recharging the batteries of the drowsy, unsophisticated message machine of today's Christian evangelical set by augmenting it with a few misguided stabs at old-world Tolkien-style mysticism. Set back in olden-times, in the woodsy wilds of North America, the plot revolves around a clan of rough-and-tumble Welsh immigrants, although based on the accents in the film, I have to assume that a few Irish people (and modern-day Americans) climbed into the boat as it was shoving off from Cardiff. When a creepy, bug-eyed grandmother kicks the bucket in the first reel, her simple funeral prompts the arrival of a hooded figure whispered about as the 'sin eater.' This gentleman turns out to be something of an Edward Jesushands who is forced to live a shunned existence on a nearby mountain, but must also occasionally trek down the mountain to perform a ritual whereby he physically removes sins from a person's body. Intrigued by the stranger, young Cadi (Liana Liberato) determines to learn more about him.
The most interesting thing about Cadi is that she has a pre-teen angel for an everyday companion, which might be good grist for a film that was literate in Philip Pullman or other modern religio-fantasy writers who are trying to do the hard work of making dogma fresh and intriguing. The Last Sin Eater, however, is a film that's barely competent in things like camera set-ups, let alone interested in creating a project that's actually meant to be intellectually stimulating. The plot structure builds rapidly towards a Twilight Zone-style payoff, when we learn that this isolated clan of Zeta-Joneses are actually suffering by not knowing -- I guess this would actually occur to the film's target audience -- that this 'sin eater' must be a fraud. A bible-toting preacher arrives somewhere near the one-hour mark to let young Cadi and her clan know that the only real 'sin eater' is a man who ate sins two thousand years ago, and whose record-holding status as heavyweight sin-eating champ is uncontested.