Saint Maud is one of those horror films that settles in, sinking deeper into your bones long after it’s finished. Maud is a private carer who is posted to look after terminally ill choreographer Amanda. However, inspired by her devout relationship with God, Maud has bigger plans; she’s going to save Amanda’s soul. This brilliant feature debut from writer-director Rose Glass keeps you on the edge of your seat as the film twists into unexpected directions.

Key to the film’s success is the atmosphere Glass creates. Stories of violence and death can be heard almost constantly, but they come from radio or television sets off-screen as though creeping in from the edges of the frame. At the heart of this unpleasantness is Maud, who measures life out in terms of pleasure and suffering – but what’s so unsettling about her behaviour is that it’s never clear if she does this in the name of God, herself or something else entirely.

Morfydd Clark, as Maud, is a fascinating screen presence. Her voice and her physicality change from judgmental sternness to naïve innocence and – quite often in a single scene – Maud will be equal parts beguiling, unsettling and genuinely funny.

By the end of its tight 80-minute run time, Saint Maud has expertly achieved its goal: an elusive character study, with big ideas and themes all contained within tense and shocking moments. At its centre is a story of human loneliness which, if you don’t leave the film scared, will leave you heartbroken.

An experiential film that will shock you throughout and leave you unsettled long after, this is a very real horror story that deserves a lot of attention – bolstered by a fantastic lead performance and an exciting new voice in cinema.

RATING: 4/5


INFORMATION

CAST: Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle, Lily Knight

DIRECTOR: Rose Glass

WRITER: Rose Glass

SYNOPSIS: Private carer Maud is content with her life knowing God has big plans for her. When she’s posted to care for a terminally-ill woman Maud realises that saving her soul might just be the opportunity she’s been waiting for.