The most terrifying moment of this slow burning horror is in its final seconds

Written and directed by Rose Glass in her directorial debut, Saint Maud is a 2019 psychological thriller film that combines physical horror with themes of religion and mental illness. A critical success, the film was nominated for two BAFTA Awards and took home Best Debut Director and Best Cinematography at the British Independent Film Awards. Distributed by A24, Saint Maud on the list of independent companies (The death of a sacred deer, Midsommar, Lamb); As with these horrors, it is a deeply disturbing watch that plays like a feverish dream.


For the most part Saint Maud, the audience is always at hand – never really knowing what’s real or not. However, the curtain is forced to be removed in its terrifying final seconds when the protagonist’s delusions are confirmed with a grisly accusation.

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Maud (Morfydd Clark) going insane is a slow and steady process. In the audience’s first look at the character, she’s covered in the blood of a dead patient. The movie then switches to the present where she is living as a devout Roman Catholic. With her bags packed, she’s ready to move to the British seaside town of Scarborough, where she’ll start a new job as the palliative carer for Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), a former dancer/ choreographer has stage four lymphoma. Extroverted and hedonistic, Amanda couldn’t be less than Maud; Yet despite their differences – or perhaps because of them – the two develop an eerie and sensual relationship that causes the latter to become obsessed with the former.


Finding out that Amanda is an atheist, Maud believes her aim is to save her patients’ souls from an eternal curse, and she stops at nothing to achieve this. Maud tells Amanda that she can feel and hear God and it seems she passed this gift on to Amanda when, during their first prayer together, they experienced spirits (a word) was laid out by Glass in a The vulture interview). Soon after, Amanda calls Maud “Saint Maud:” a title that caregivers take very seriously.

But Maud was not always devout. In fact, she wasn’t always “Maud”. As her former colleague Joy (Lily Knight) revealed, Maud took the birth name Katie during her last job. Reluctant to discuss her new job, Maud looked offended when Joy asked “And they [Amanda] Know what happened? “The answer is no; neither Amanda nor the audience knows at this point, although right from the opening scene, the worst is expected. Killing? Manslaughter?

Finally, the truth is revealed in a painful recollection: Maud is attempting CPR on a dying patient when the person’s chest collapses from the pressure. From Joy’s question “What happened before wasn’t your fault, I know it, you did the right thing too?” and Maud are unresponsive, implying that Maud hasn’t forgiven herself for the accident and probably can’t until she saves Amanda and thus redeems her past. This explains her extreme reaction when Amanda promptly fired her, halting her mission. Maud questions her outburst of faith and the audience catches a glimpse of Katie when that night she hangs out at a pub and comes home to a stranger: two events that both end tragically. As Katie, Maud struggles to make friends and her relationship ends in rape.

Talk about this sequence Regards Elle, “The whole night and the scenes leading up to that moment, the intention at that moment [is that] She has a divine mission to save Amanda being pulled from her feet… For me, it’s important for people to realize what her life is like without faith and behind it. this strange shell that she created for herself. It’s someone who is on the verge of bursting and desperately needs interaction, communication, and support but doesn’t know how to ask for it and ends up falling into a self-destructive pattern. “


Desperate and frustrated are the right words to describe Maud, who is clearly mentally disturbed. Not only did she practice asceticism — sticking pins in her shoes and setting herself on fire — but she also saw and heard things that weren’t there, such as swirls in the sky and the voice of God. Sure, audiences are never sure of Maud’s madness until the very end. Amanda reveals that she never felt the presence of God seem confirmed enough, but then she (Amanda) became possessed and Saint Maud seems to be walking down a clichéd road. (In retrospect, it’s clear that Maud embodied this image of Amanda to match her own distorted view of reality.)

Bonafide’s confirmation came the morning after Maud confronted and stabbed Amanda. In her final act of faith, she donned a makeshift robe and rosemary beads on the beach and set herself on fire in front of an audience. This sequence is played from two angles: that of Maud and of reality. The first depicts Maud growing biblical wings as the viewer kneels in adoration, while the second, which can only be described as gruesome, sees Maud’s flesh melt as she screams. a piercing voice. Lasts all two seconds, then yes effect similar to a jumpscare – although its effects are felt long after. As the credits roll up and the audience thinks about the fact that they slipped with Maud, a lingering sadness is felt. After all, Maud is not a Saint, but a lonely young girl who, after traumatic events, has lost her mind along with her identity. And that is the true horror of Saint Maud.

Saint Maud available to watch on Amazon Prime.

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