- “Saint Maud” focuses on a younger nurse who’s fixated on saving her dying affected person’s soul.
- Maud’s spiritual mania quickly turns into one thing darker, resulting in a chilling and violent conclusion.
- A24’s new horror movie premieres on Epix on February 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Catholic “mortification” of the flesh — or wounds inflicted on oneself as a method of penance and punishment — is a follow that goes again 1000’s of years, starting with several Catholic saints, and continuing on up through the 1950s.
Enter “Saint Maud,” the brand new horror movie from Welsh director Rose Glass that focuses on a religious younger lady named Maud (the great Morfydd Clark) partaking in vicious self-punishment whereas caring for — and subsequently being affected by —Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), a former dancer dying from most cancers.
Along with rising increasingly more dedicated to her religion, Maud can be making an attempt to avoid wasting Amanda’s soul earlier than she dies from her sickness.
Taking the archaic spiritual follow to a complete new stage of depravity, the movie is each a gory psychological horror movie and an exploration of religion — and the disasters that may happen when devotion reaches new heights.
The movie attracts inspiration from a weird, real-life Catholic custom
Whereas the idea of self-flagellation appears proper out of the Center Ages (which is when it’s believed to have originated), it is nonetheless one thing that is practiced by a few ultra-devout Catholics today, although the practice has grown increasingly rare.
Whereas Maud by no means expressly identifies herself as a Catholic within the movie, her tendency to self-punish (together with kneeling on grits) appears rooted within the follow of self-flagellation, though Maud undoubtedly takes it to the intense.
As she turns into increasingly more religious in her religion, nonetheless, Maud begins to lose contact with actuality and her sense of self — culminating in a brutal finale that features sexual assault, homicide, and self-immolation.
‘Saint Maud’ presents a compelling commentary on the harmful impacts of unadulterated religion
“Saint Maud” is certainly not for the faint of coronary heart.
Though the film begins sluggish (very similar to 2018’s “Hereditary”), it rapidly picks up and delivers some spine-chilling moments of true terror that made me bounce out of my seat.
A lot of the horror comes from Maud, who turns into more and more dedicated to her mission of saving Amanda’s soul — even after she was cruelly teased and rebuked for her religion by Amanda throughout a celebration.
However as Maud’s dedication to Amanda’s spirit grows, so does her devotion to her faith. Whereas earlier within the movie, Maud was content material with prayer and good deeds, she rapidly graduates to violent situations of spiritual self-harm, together with burning her hand on the range and later ripping off the burned pores and skin in a very squirm-inducing sequence.
Probably the most cringeworthy scenes comes after a determined Maud resumes her previous “sinful” conduct, together with getting drunk and having intercourse with strangers.
The subsequent morning, nonetheless, Maud’s spiritual zeal returns — and after putting a card filled with thumbtacks in every one among her sneakers, she places them on, and spends the remainder of her day strolling round in agony. The sound mixing right here is especially disturbing, as every squish of the tacks in Maud’s ft are heard clearly.
However whereas the movie has loads of gory moments, an exploration of spiritual devotion varieties the center of the story. Maud, it is implied, was a troubled get together woman who often picked up males at bars, and was even fired from the hospital she labored at for (inadvertently?) killing a affected person.
In her newfound spiritual zeal, nonetheless, she’s no higher, resorting to self-harm and, ultimately, homicide, all within the title of her religion. And through her last confrontation with Amanda, Maud’s religion is put to the take a look at — in the end leading to a number of grotesque deaths.
The film, general, is unbelievable — however those that are squeamish would possibly need to keep away.
In case it wasn’t clear already, “Saint Maud” is a reasonably gory film — but it surely’s much less pure gore, as within the “Noticed” films, and extra slow-building physique horror like in Takashi Miike’s “The Audition.”
Seasoned horror followers should have no bother stomaching Maud’s more and more deranged types of corporal punishment, however those that are particularly delicate to blood-and-guts sort of horror movies would possibly need to try one thing else.
The underside line: ‘Saint Maud’ is a terrifying and authentic movie that does not shrink back from exhibiting the darkish facet of faith.
It takes so much to scare me (a reasonably seasoned horror fan), however I used to be sleeping with the lights on after watching “Saint Maud.”
That being stated, it is simply the most effective movies I’ve seen prior to now 12 months — and the very best new horror film I’ve had the pleasure of watching since 2019’s “Midsommar.”
Gory, grotesque, and gripping suddenly, “Saint Maud” is a strong exploration of the impacts of blind religion — and the lengths one lady will undergo to show herself to her creator.
Anchored by stellar performances from Clark and Ehle, it is an eerie however altogether absorbing movie by one among horror’s most promising new administrators. Do not miss it.
“Saint Maud” premieres on Epix on February 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. You possibly can watch the trailer beneath.