A24 | Release Date: January 29, 2021
7.0
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Generally favorable reviews based on 87 Ratings
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8
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7
MattBrady99Feb 7, 2021
"My Little Saviour"

Last movie I watched in cinemas before it closed again. Bloody corona! Anywhere... ‘Saint Maud’ is a new horror movie from A24 that was unfortunately advertise as something else. New horror film A24 Praised by critics
"My Little Saviour"

Last movie I watched in cinemas before it closed again. Bloody corona! Anywhere...

‘Saint Maud’ is a new horror movie from A24 that was unfortunately advertise as something else.

New horror film
A24
Praised by critics
Hated by audiences

I think we all know the routine by now. I am aware that film is subjective, am just pointing out a familiar pattern.

While I wouldn’t say I was scared by Saint Maud, but it really did unnerve me to the point it felt kind of overwhelming. It builds up on the sinking dread rather than the next scare. So don’t just write this off as a simple horror movie, because it’s so much more than that. You could easily view this whole movie as a character study on Maud, the loneliness girl in the world. The fact that this is Rose Glass feature debut is more surreal than the movie itself.

For whatever reason, this reminded me of Brian De Palma’s 1976 film ‘Carrie’. Both movies are drama heavy character studies with a female lead, which so happen to be labelled as horror. And not forgetting the religious undertones throughout both films and the psychical effects it can have on you. A wild comparison, so let me leave it there.

This is a female driven movie, while all the men are a bunch of one note jackasses used only for sex. With this being a horror movie, it was a nice reverse in tropes.

Morfydd Clark delivers an excellent performance as Maud. Shifting between a wide range of emotions, such as delight, hopeless, and pain. Clark really made me feel sorry for the character. Jennifer Ehle, who is the type of actor that would always appear in everything and would often been mistaken for Meryl Streep, also delivers a great supporting performance.

The setting of the movie, taking place in England’s North Sea coast of Scarborough, where everything looks so damp, cold, and unkind. Despite all that, the cinematography from Ben Fordesman made use of the lighting by making the whole thing visually appealing, not only in colours, but lights and shadows.

The frightening score by Adam Janota Bzowski made the tense scenes feel incredibly claustrophobic than it already was; sometimes the music will play in sync with the scene thanks to the great editing.

Religion plays a principal theme in the movie and relies heavily on psychological horror. Muad herself is extremely religious to a point it becomes unhealthy and alienating. To her, God is everywhere. He is around us. And if you’ve been a good little saint, you might feel him move inside of you. Or maybe if you pray hard enough, he will finally speak to you. But what will he sound like? If it’s your own voice that you can hear, does that destroy years of dedication worshiping a biblical character? Is religion another form of mental illness? Some many questions that will never get a straightforward answer. That’s life though. Don’t think about it too much, because it will drive you nuts!

The last frame of this movie was the most haunting thing I have seen this year. And it was only 1 second of frame.

Overall rating: Thank god for Morfydd Clark and Rose Glass.
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3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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7
moviemitch96Jan 29, 2021
This psychological horror thriller sees a young Catholic nurse, Maud (Morfydd Clark) tasked with caring for a stubborn terminally ill woman (Jennifer Ehle). Maud is seemingly willing to risk everything (her sanity included) in order to helpThis psychological horror thriller sees a young Catholic nurse, Maud (Morfydd Clark) tasked with caring for a stubborn terminally ill woman (Jennifer Ehle). Maud is seemingly willing to risk everything (her sanity included) in order to help her see the light and save her soul. This film and its premise seemed intriguing enough to me, and A24 rarely disappoints with the films that they choose to distribute. And while there are plenty of genuinely chilling and squeamish moments throughout, there were also times where the film seemed to become somewhat redundant, with some of its scenes feeling drawn out and repetitive and relying a little too heavily on shock and distortion effects. Even so, Morfydd Clark shines as the titular young nurse, with a mysterious and often times chilling and unpredictable performance, as does Jennifer Ehle, who's always been a rather underrated character actress in my opinion. Thankfully, the film doesn't overstay it's welcome too long at all, clocking in at a brisk runtime of only an hour and 24 minutes, giving it just the right amount of time to showcase everything it needs to so that it doesn't drag too much. And lastly, it may only be January, but it without a doubt delivers the year's first WTF ending in true haunting fashion. Overall, in addition to the solid performances from Clark and Ehle, despite some lag and repetitive moments in only a few select spots, it's a chilling religious experience filled with imagery that will undoubtedly stick with me for some time. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
1stReviewsFeb 26, 2021
Saint Maud packs a rather large punch in its short runtime. I was expecting a straightforward horror film about a woman possessed to do evil deeds, but Saint Maud is much more than that. It is a rather new psychological horror that focuses onSaint Maud packs a rather large punch in its short runtime. I was expecting a straightforward horror film about a woman possessed to do evil deeds, but Saint Maud is much more than that. It is a rather new psychological horror that focuses on the danger of mental illness left unchecked.

Maud is a troubled young woman who suffers PTSD from a very traumatic event with a patient while working at a hospital. Maud turned to faith for guidance and now dedicates herself to God in an effort to cleanse herself of the traumatic event. Now working in hospice care, and longing for something or someone to connect with, Maud is given her first patient to care for. Amanda is a cancer patient who requires 24-hour care but she has a past that does not align with Maud's religious beliefs. Like any good horror film, you spend most of your time watching tensely for something to happen, but Saint Maud isn't as giving as most. The pulse-pounding soundtrack keeps you on your toes, constantly implying something petrifying will happen only to make each scene as gruesome as possible. The lighting and cinematography do their part to add unsettling mystery to each moment. Maud is not one for many words but this is important not only to her character but to the flow of the story, we only truly get to understand her as bits of information begin to come out. In some cases, we even get the full story just through a few short visual flashbacks which is more impactful than her telling us anything at all. Morfydd Clark delivers an exceptional performance filled with tension, anxiety, and sorrow. I really felt sorry for Maud, as you could feel her loneliness and longing for any human connection throughout the film. There are a few scenes in the movie where she does try to connect with others but she knows her troubled past is a barrier to any further human contact.

One particular scene that stood out to me was when Maud was at a bar having a drink. For a moment, I let my guard down but it was a turning point for me that showed just how far gone Maud was. Even just a casual scene of people drinking made me disgusted. This bar scene showcases the incredible execution behind the scenes using lighting, music, and visuals to make even the simplest of moments grotesque.

This is the first feature-length film for Rose Glass who also wrote the screenplay. She delivers to show us a very vulnerable time in Maud's life that many people go through after trauma but it is how you cope with the events in your life that will dictate your future. People often turn to religion after near-death experiences or traumatic events and as long as it is bringing you comfort and helping you cope, that is the most important thing. As someone who has thought about my faith a lot over the years, this film showcases the danger of religion when radicalized to do something in the name of God. Saint Maud is worth a watch if you are a fan of horror or psychological horror films. It is a great addition to the genre and also goes into depth about the importance of mental health.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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5
JLauAug 23, 2021
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Private care nurse discovers religion after death of patient and tries to save the soul of her next patient but kills her instead, then, sets herself on fire on the beach. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
jpz1990Feb 2, 2021
A brilliant mix of religious terror, potent character study, and possible mental illness. Saint Maud is a fully formed and faultless debut film from Rose Glass. With an incredible lead performance by Morfydd Clark which is as chilling as itA brilliant mix of religious terror, potent character study, and possible mental illness. Saint Maud is a fully formed and faultless debut film from Rose Glass. With an incredible lead performance by Morfydd Clark which is as chilling as it is heartbreaking. Jennifer Ehle is also outstanding as the devilish patient Maud is caring for. At once frightening, bleak, cathartic, and heartbreaking, Saint Maud is as scary as it is exhilarating. I'm not sure how Glass will top the bar she has set for herself, but I look forward to whatever she does next. What would have been the best film of 2020, is now the first great film of 2021. Unmissable and unforgettable. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
PanchogulFeb 4, 2021
A24 es garantía de buenas películas y Saint Maud no es la excepción siendo la única película que de verdad me fascina desde que todo esto del Covid empezara. Es una película de Thriller psicológico con toques siniestros entremezclados con laA24 es garantía de buenas películas y Saint Maud no es la excepción siendo la única película que de verdad me fascina desde que todo esto del Covid empezara. Es una película de Thriller psicológico con toques siniestros entremezclados con la religión, un oscuro pasado y la desesperada redención de la protagonista que está tan cegada en sus creencias al borde de la locura con tal de volver a su tétrico pasado, sin duda es una excelente película para los que disfrutamos las películas de carácter psicológico. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
JLuis_001Feb 5, 2021
Part of me feels that my opinion of this film should be mixed with some hypocrisy on my part.
I always say don't judge based on expectations, but mine were huge, and this story unfortunately didn't surprise me in the least.
Religious
Part of me feels that my opinion of this film should be mixed with some hypocrisy on my part.
I always say don't judge based on expectations, but mine were huge, and this story unfortunately didn't surprise me in the least.

Religious fanaticism is nothing new, especially in film, but I admit that I find it interesting with the horror mixture. But and although I'm aware that this is a filmmaking debut; Saint Maud resorts to simplistic errors in its eagerness to create a provocative aura that in my opinion fails to conjure.

The atmosphere is very good, I liked that a lot, but there's very little to rescue in terms of the protagonist's journey, because from very early on, the story suggests that there will be no ascent for her, but only a downward spiral. Therefore considering the narrative is supposed to be supported by suspense, there's very little of it that feels crucial.
Its own glacial pace gets in its own way a lot, and causes the tension to melt away.

The best attributes are the atmosphere and its outstanding tone, and of course the music. The lead actress felt kinda detached. There's certainly well-executed horror in some rewarding passages, but as I said, the story stops itself from exploiting to the fullest and taking advantage of its best qualities, and when the ending comes, it's violent, but it cannot inevitably feel late.

I liked Saint Maud, although perhaps in my review it doesn't seem like that, but as I said, I had certain preconceptions of what it would deliver, and although I'm judging the end result, I cannot manage to put aside part of my disappointment.
But that's just about me, so I can actually recommend it.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
frequentFeb 7, 2021
This is film is great, but A24 REALLY needs to stop mismarketing these psychological thrillers as straight up horror movies. It just ends up with half the audience spamming negative reviews because they feel cheated and lied to about whatThis is film is great, but A24 REALLY needs to stop mismarketing these psychological thrillers as straight up horror movies. It just ends up with half the audience spamming negative reviews because they feel cheated and lied to about what kind of film they end up watching. Expand
2 of 9 users found this helpful27
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0
imthenoobMay 26, 2021
Right off the bat, I will say that it's an 84-minute movie that could easily have been cut to an hour. There are lengthy scenes that do nothing but play out trivial actions that do nothing for the plot, to establish characters or featureRight off the bat, I will say that it's an 84-minute movie that could easily have been cut to an hour. There are lengthy scenes that do nothing but play out trivial actions that do nothing for the plot, to establish characters or feature dialogue. You could skip chunks of this movie at a time and still not miss anything. The pacing is slow, The entire final act is a nightmare to sit through, and by the end of it all, it simply isn't worth it. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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9
Bertaut1Feb 11, 2021
Emotionally ambiguous, thematically complex, aesthetically daring

Is religious fanaticism a form of mental illness? Certainly people such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett would argue it is. However, from the perspective of the fanatic,
Emotionally ambiguous, thematically complex, aesthetically daring

Is religious fanaticism a form of mental illness? Certainly people such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett would argue it is. However, from the perspective of the fanatic, such fanaticism is often not only logical, it's unavoidable. The disparity between what a fanatic believes and what other people believe is the main issue examined in Saint Maud, the stunning debut feature from writer/director Rose Glass. Part-horror, part-psychological thriller, part-character drama, part-ecclesiastical treatise, Saint Maud can be read in a variety of ways – an analysis of the interaction between faith and self; a threnody for the life of a young woman suffering a mental breakdown; a drama about loneliness; a tale of possession; a tragedy about the frailty of the human body. Told mainly (although not entirely) from the perspective of a fanatical Christian, the story makes room for the possibility that, however unlikely, such fanaticism isn't mental illness at all and that God really is communicating with this person. And this magnificently handled ambiguity is the film's trump card.

In a thoroughly depressing English seaside town, Maud (an incredibly physical performance from Morfydd Clark) is a devout recent convert to Roman Catholicism, who believes she might be mankind's saviour, as God has told her He has very special plans for her in the near future. Meanwhile, Maud is working as a private palliative care nurse, and the story begins as she arrives for her first day with Amanda Köhl (the always brilliant Jennifer Ehle); a former dancer now suffering from end-stage spinal lymphoma. She and Maud get on well – Maud admires her zest for life, whilst she wants to help Maud loosen up. However, there are elements of Amanda's life of which Maud does not approve; specifically the frequent visits from Carol (Lily Frazer), Amanda's lover. When catastrophe strikes and a dark secret from Maud's past threatens to resurface, Maud decides to prove to Amanda, God, and everyone else just how far mankind has fallen and just how sanctified she really is.

Although Maud is a hard-line fundamentalist, Glass refuses to dismiss her, arguing instead that such individuals genuinely believe they really are communicating with the Divine – Maud may be mentally ill, but even if that is the case (and the film is in no rush to confirm that it is), then surely she deserves compassion and kindness, so completely has her mind bent reality to support a delusion against which she is powerless.

The relationship between Maud and Amanda forms much of the film's narrative backbone, with neither woman allowed to occupy the moral high-ground. Amanda is profoundly bored with her illness, and she seizes on this strange, ultra-serious young woman who has come to look after her. Amanda is not a villain any more than Maud, but she does regard Maud as a plaything, not with the intention of hurting Maud, but with the intention of amusing herself.

The film's strongest element is its aesthetic design, and crucial to this design is how Glass handles perspective; most (although, crucially, not all) of the film is told from Maud's perspective, so we encounter her visions as she does. So, when she sees a small whirlpool spontaneously appear in a glass of beer, we see the same thing; when a towel placed near a crucifix falls to the ground for no obvious reason, we see it as she does; when God talks to her (in Welsh, no less), we hear His voice just as she does.

Along the same lines, there are the many shots of Maud with windows or lights in the background that create a halo effect and the shot of her walking on the beach, with a thin layer of water covering the sand, which is framed in such a way that it looks like she's walking on water. One particular scene near the end of the film, which I won't go into as it would be a spoiler, is especially important here – what we're seeing couldn't be real, yet the film has given us very little to confirm this reading. Is the scene confirmation that Maud's mind has irreparably snapped, or is it confirmation that she was sane all along? Constructing a scene based on two literally inverse interpretations can't be easy, yet Glass does it so smoothly, you won't even realise the sharp dichotomy until it's all over.

Running only 84 minutes, it's extraordinary how much Glass squeezes into the film; from the arresting performances by Clark and Ehle to the thematic complexity to the extraordinarily well-handled perspectival ambiguity to the haunting aesthetic design. Either a depiction of the mental collapse of a young woman or a study of the supernatural, the film is built on ambiguity. One of the best directorial debuts I've seen in a long time; by half-way through, I was already looking forward to whatever Glass does next. Saint Maud probably won't break any box-office records, but we are going to be hearing a lot more from Rose Glass.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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7
bertobellamyFeb 16, 2021
Rose Glass' debut is a great mix of body horror, religious obsession, and mental illness. A great and ambiguous performance from Morfydd Clark is the best part of 'Saint Maud', a film that proves the indie horror boom it's anywhere from over.Rose Glass' debut is a great mix of body horror, religious obsession, and mental illness. A great and ambiguous performance from Morfydd Clark is the best part of 'Saint Maud', a film that proves the indie horror boom it's anywhere from over. The story may take some time to get you hooked, but the final act is gratifying. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
Brent_MarchantMay 28, 2021
As an atmospheric psycho-spiritual thriller, writer-director Rose Glass's debut feature ambitiously attempts to tell a chilling cautionary tale about the dangers religion run amok as seen through the mind of a pious yet troubled palliativeAs an atmospheric psycho-spiritual thriller, writer-director Rose Glass's debut feature ambitiously attempts to tell a chilling cautionary tale about the dangers religion run amok as seen through the mind of a pious yet troubled palliative care nurse. After a carefully constructed opening act, however, the film never seems quite sure where it wants to go from there, flailing about in a sea of exotic imagery and left-field plot developments that don't quite mesh. Fine performances by Morfydd Clark and Jennifer Ehle, along with superb cinematography, intriguing (though underdeveloped) references to the theology of William Blake, and a menacingly ominous soundtrack, make for intriguing and visually dazzling (albeit sometimes puzzling) viewing, although that combination never quite culminates in the payoff that its buildup seems to promise. In the end, the gravity of the material here would appear to be beyond the grasp of a first-time feature filmmaker, despite the potential revealed in a number of aspects of the production. Better luck next time out. Expand
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10
DeanomiteAug 2, 2021
this was the best movie I have seen this year. The best horror movie since Hereditary, and this the better of the 2. Excellent script, acting, photography, music. It never ceases to amaze me how first time directors can be capable of such work.
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5
Mauro_LanariMar 31, 2021
(Mauro Lanari)
Incredibly futile exploration of mental health and religion, seasoned with stunning directorial skills (Jonathan Glazer? If anything Gaspar Noé) and a very surprising song in the score ("At Home He's a Tourist", Gang of Four 1979).
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5
DawdlingPoetMay 12, 2022
This film has quite a looming feel to it throughout, though I'm not sure it really worked for me. There are one or two creepy moments but it felt a bit empty overall. It is somewhat atmospheric I suppose but I didn't feel especially 'reeledThis film has quite a looming feel to it throughout, though I'm not sure it really worked for me. There are one or two creepy moments but it felt a bit empty overall. It is somewhat atmospheric I suppose but I didn't feel especially 'reeled in' as it were and I wouldn't say its got a strong sense of mystery either - its curious but little else. I felt there wasn't much in the way of context or character development given really. The cast give alright performances but its a little cliched, there are relatively few jumpscares and it certainly didn't grip me but its watchable and somewhat curious nevertheless. An ok film. Expand
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9
Gooch-HamiltonFeb 19, 2021
Rose Glass has created a masterpiece with her directorial debut. Definitely looking forward to seeing more from her in the future.
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6
risonyeongJul 23, 2021
decided to watch it on netflix after reading the good reviews that it received and also the fact that it was NOT a devil show.
this movie is very thought provoking and would b highly controversial but nevertheless highly probable. i am sure
decided to watch it on netflix after reading the good reviews that it received and also the fact that it was NOT a devil show.
this movie is very thought provoking and would b highly controversial but nevertheless highly probable. i am sure this theme has been explored before and a tough subject to film. it's more a mixture of rosemary baby, carrie all mixed tog.
being a devout Christian, i did watch this movie with much sadness because the protagonist is not a typical sister in Christ because she obviously suffered from mental illness. her condition was not treated and the previous hospital let her back out into the world when she is clearly ill.
As a christian we witness to people and share with them the good news of Christ's salvation but we are not the one saving one's soul. It's God that will convict their hearts eventually.
Hopefully this review will throw some light into discussion about this highly controversial movie.
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8
ItsyourdoomJun 8, 2021
Beautifully shot, fantastic acting. Only a few plot holes but still a strong vision, portraying the darkness inside and mental health issues after trauma.
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7
dario12Sep 3, 2021
Saint Maud is one of most bizarre and most weirdest horrors that I saw in my recent memory and such thing tells something since I saw some really crazy ones.
This film isnt actually full blown horror ,it is more psychological film where faith
Saint Maud is one of most bizarre and most weirdest horrors that I saw in my recent memory and such thing tells something since I saw some really crazy ones.
This film isnt actually full blown horror ,it is more psychological film where faith of young lead girl is put on test and we are witnessing will she suceed or not.
Story here had that artsy vibe around it and such a thing was used in a ok way.
Characters were little disposable and not so investing but I didnt mind that to much.
Look of movie was solid expecely final scene.
Saint Maud is one weird but solid work
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7
BarrowBeaconNov 2, 2021
Stylistically great, but I didn't fully connect with it thematically. Still, a good watch.
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9
ChanekeCholoDec 13, 2021
It deserves the title of the Horror Movie of the year. The end blow my mind.
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8
sanctuarydecineDec 25, 2021
An engaging and atmospheric psychological horror with brilliant performances, cinematography, score and pacing, Saint Maud is a slow burn that doesn’t bore you for a single minute of it’s 83 minute runtime. This movie is kind of a crossAn engaging and atmospheric psychological horror with brilliant performances, cinematography, score and pacing, Saint Maud is a slow burn that doesn’t bore you for a single minute of it’s 83 minute runtime. This movie is kind of a cross between The VVitch and Servant on Apple TV+. Religion has always been a frightening topic to me and Saint Maud just makes it even more scary. This movie will not be for everyone but it definitely one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in the past few years. Expand
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