Review: Saint Maud (2020)

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British psychological horror film Saint Maud has been a hit with audiences since it came out in the UK in October and now it’s finally available to watch from the comfort of your home on DVD. If you dare.

Saint Maud follows the quiet young nurse Maud, played brilliantly by Morfydd Clark, who works as a private carer for Amanda, a dancer played by Jennifer Ehle. The audience watches as Maud, who has recently turned to God for guidance, realises that she must save Amanda’s soul from her hedonistic lifestyle. As the film develops, we realise that much of Maud’s past is obscured by mystery. We begin to question if Maud is who we think she is, and why she’s devoted herself to Christianity. Shortly after a steady first act, in which we see Maud take care of Amanda, things take a significant turn and the film starts builds an effective sense of dread.

The film’s intrigue builds up until to the final scene and last twenty-five minutes are terrifying – it will shock you to your core. The final shot is sure to leave you with a haunting image that will linger long after the credits stop rolling. Saint Maud is a slow burn, but if you stick with it right the way through, you’ll be rewarded for your patience. It’s a film that you won’t be able to get out of your head for weeks after you’ve seen it.

Saint Maud is the first feature film from director Rose Glass and what an impressive debut it is! Glass shows such expertise and skill in her directing and in crafting such a great film about obsession and illness and faith. It’s one that will fill you with anxiety and angst right the way through until the film’s shocking and unforgettable conclusion. Glass will definitely have a bright future ahead of her as she goes on to make more films.

One of the reasons why the film works so well is because of the fantastic performances. Jennifer Ehle is excellent as the patient in palliative care that Maud is caring for but it’s really Morfydd Clark that stands out so sharply in this film. She gives such an understated and incredibly nuanced performance but as the film goes on it’s Clark’s performance that helps to build that sense of unease. The cinematography is also great, with some truly beautiful and eerily chilling shots that really makes the film stand out.

Saint Maud is an excellent directorial debut from Rose Glass with a fantastic performance from Clark that will have you on edge for the entire runtime and leave you exhausted by the end.

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Jed Wagman

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