Saint Maud

A disturbed carer (Morfydd Clark) sets out to save her dying patient’s (Jennifer Ehle) soul in the British horror flick they should have called Evil Med.

The Cardigan Sins

Not so much a Jesus Creeper as a sacra-mental offering, Saint Maud is told from the perspective of a religious zealot but its setting is downright godforsaken (the English seaside). Debut writer/director Rose Glass has her Communion bread and eats it too, packing the picture with palliative scares without anything supernatural actually happening. Far from gratuitous, the perfectly executed frights occur when the Welsh nurse’s worldview suddenly collides with (or gives way to) reality.

Clark is scarily good as the Uncanny Valleys girl, her past hinted at in just the right dosage. A traumatic event has forced the hellraiser-turned-hallelunatic to leave the NHS, find Jesus and go private under a false identity, like some unholy cross between the Stig and a martyr. Glass shoots Scarborough at crooked angles that reflect Maud’s self-flagellating mindstate, reading every homoerotic suggestion and voice in her head as a sign from God, a kind of Catholic Confirmation bias.

Despite her Messiah complex and more disorienting baggage than an airport carousel, the film has great compassion for Maud – and nurses and caregivers in general, highlighting their strain even back in 2019. This makes the movie a must for horror fanatics and kitchen sink enthusiasts alike; story, direction and acting skillfully sutured together for 84 intense minutes that put the scar in Scarborough.


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