Reely Bernie Horror Fest: Saint Maud – 2019

Origin/Director: United Kingdom/Rose Glass

Viewings Tally: My first viewing! I watched it on Prime.

Synopsis: Having recently found God, self-effacing young nurse, Maud, arrives at a plush home to care for Amanda, a hedonistic dancer left frail from a chronic illness. When a chance encounter with a former colleague throws up hints of a dark past, it becomes clear there is more to sweet Maud than meets the eye...” [Letterboxd]

Reely Bernie’s Take:

Derivative of Carrie (1976) but with a dependable edge of horror only A24 entertainment can conceive. Is Maud (or, is it Katie?) a saint, a demon, or a case of schizo-religious hoopla while she nurses an ex-dancer in hospice? The movie is less about finding the answers and more about experiencing the brooding development of confused religious dogma, imagery, and sexual shame. 

Have we seen similar sexual temptation and exploration between two co-dependent females before? It’s impossible to not recall Black Swan (2010). And, if this is homage to the claustrophobic setting in Bergman’s Cries and Whispers (1972), that’s fine too. Where Saint Maud lacks in originality, it makes up for in haunting atmosphere, alluring ambiguity, and strong performances. The beach walks and seaside town of Scarborough are effectively eerie.

The Shot that Won’t Let Go:

Scarborough is scarred for good.

Final Score:

3 out of 5 Depeche Mode “Personal Jesus” afterthoughts…

7 thoughts on “Reely Bernie Horror Fest: Saint Maud – 2019

Add yours

        1. The creepiness, claustrophobia, unhealthy, co-dependent relationship, and the shroom trip were highly effective! Then, those two old bags fall off a cliff, and all logic, believability, and horrific realism fly out the door. Too bad. Ari’s movies tend to do that…

          Liked by 1 person

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