For his feature film directing debut, actor Mark O’Brien couldn’t have chosen a weightier subject.

“I’ve always been interested in stories of damnation and God and the devil and your soul because that’s the ultimate stakes,” he said in a Zoom interview. “There’s nothing bigger than that.”

He not only directed but wrote and co-stars in “The Righteous,” which opened in Canadian theatres Friday, an intense psychological thriller that deals with sin, faith, penance and retribution.

O’Brien is a Newfoundland native whose face would be familiar if you’ve watched shows like “Halt and Catch Fire,” “Republic of
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