“Saint Maud” was actually one of my most anticipated films of 2020 before the coronavirus came and effectively curb-stomped the films release until two weeks ago and with A24 quickly becoming one of my favorite film studios in recent times, avoiding this one was simply impossible. And as I FINALLY come to terms with the wonderful unbridled madness that they continue to bring to the silver screen.....I’m wondering how the hell they keep doing it. Yet another film of the year contender for me and rightfully so.
This type of narrative is not new: a continuum of stories that reflect religious mortification, obsession, and torment but since Glass keeps the focus primarily on being a character study, it more or less reflects how Maud’s loneliness, obsession and religious fanaticism gives birth to such an unholy abomination.....and holy shit, is it both extremely difficult but immensely satisfying to watch. Every actor gives out 110 percent, cinematography and editing are morbidly discombobulating to a fault, limited budget creates a haunted, ominous atmosphere with a very controlled color scheme, I can gush over the simplistic but haunting musical interludes for hours on end, the pacing is glacially slow and fanatic all at once, it mixes devoted religion with unstable mental health and displays it really well and once more, they succeed in freaking me the freak out better than any one-note, cookie cutter jumpscare-fest. Not knowing just how far gone Maud is within her own delusion anchors much of the blistering film's intended terror and tension, once again solidifying how well A24 has mastered the unheralded reigns of what makes a psychological horror/thriller so impactful.
Such a deeply disturbing introspective of a women who's losing her grip on reality and clings obsessively onto religion in a darkly cataclysmic way. It's a slow burn with a screenplay that's predictable at times but has confidence on where and how to divert itself as well as some shocking scenes that will stick with you after the credits roll. The message here is balance in all things.....even religion.