Saturday, 10 October 2020

Saint Maud

d./w. Rose Glass; p. Oliver Kassman, Andrea Cornwell; cast: Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle, Lily Knight, Lily Frazer

A rare theatrical release during lockdown, Saint Maud consequently received a level of promotion – and hence hype – that it doesn’t really warrant and cannot possibly live up to. It’s a well-crafted psychological horror with powerful religious motifs and a superb lead performance by Clark. But it’s not the great white hope of British horror and certainly not the scariest film of the year. Maud/Katie is a home carer employed by an agency apparently unaware that she lost her nursing job after something appallingly bloody happened (glimpsed in a momentary flashback). A devout Catholic, Maud is sure God has a purpose for her, which might be saving the soul of her charge, a disabled, bisexual, wine-swigging ex-dancer. As her grip on reality dissipates – God literally speaks to her (in Welsh!) – our concern for Maud’s fragile mental health increases. But despite some wince-inducing moments of self-harm, there’s no real horror till the end when debut writer-director Glass suddenly throws in blood, violence and unnecessary VFX. A FilmFour/BFI production, Saint Maud feels very mainstream and restrained, lacking the punch of a true low-budget indie.

No comments:

Post a comment