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Saint Maud

 
 
Film Information
 

Plot: Maud is charged with the hospice care of Amanda, a retired dancer who is terminally ill with cancer. As well as attending to her medical needs, Maud feels it is also her duty to save Amanda's soul, believing she has been appointed to do so by God.
Release Date: Out Now
Director(s): Rose Glass
Cast: Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle, Lily Knight
BBFC Certificate: 15
Running Time: 83 mins
Review By: Samuel Love
Film Genre:
 
Film Rating
 
 
 
 
 
5/ 5


 

Bottom Line


Pray at the altar of Saint Maud, a modern horror masterpiece fronted by two flawless performances and mesmerising direction from first-timer Rose Glass.


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Posted October 14, 2020 by

 
Film Review
 
 

In a year where all the big, flashy blockbusters are being held back in anticipation of a greater profit in 2021, independent films have an opportunity to dominate UK cinemas – the ones that are still open, at least. Director Rose Glass’ utterly mesmerising debut feature Saint Maud has crept its way into multiplexes up and down the land to shake up cinema, and good grief does it do just that.

Morfydd Clark stars as the titular private carer Maud, a troubled young woman with a mysterious past who believes she has been sent to her newest patient Amanda (a career-best Jennifer Ehle) with a purpose – to rescue her from damnation. Is Maud’s mission no more than delusional fanaticism, or is there something divine happening in Amanda’s dusty old home…

Saint Maud is an incredibly difficult film to review, because it is one that is best experienced with as little prior knowledge as possible. Even watching the trailer is not advisable, as it certainly reveals some horrors that are more shocking when unexpected. Beyond discussing the performances of Clark and Ehle – both utterly electrifying, with Clark in particular delivering something so intense and harrowing that it is nearly impossible to look away – and phenomenal craft of the film, there’s not much one can say without giving away any of the film’s twisted secrets.

The film certainly has all the hallmarks of modern so-called prestige horror – a slow, uncomfortable delivery with haunting sound design and bleak visuals that get under your skin without relying on the more flashy clichés of the genre such as jump-scares and overt gore. The film is an absolute masterclass in slow-burning dread that, thanks to Ben Fordesman’s cinematography and Adam Janota Bzowski’s distressing score, is one of the most uncomfortable experiences you can have in the cinema this year. And when that horrifying final shot has cut to the end credits, you will be sat in stunned silence and horrified shock as you attempt to process what you have seen. But one thing is for sure – you will know you loved it.

Who needs James Bond, Wonder Woman and Black Widow when Saint Maud is here to save us from cinematic damnation? This is a film that truly lends itself to the cinema experience, just make sure you take something with you to hide behind…

Pray at the altar of Saint Maud, a modern horror masterpiece fronted by two flawless performances and mesmerising direction from first-timer Rose Glass.


Samuel Love

 


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