A mysterious nurse becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient in Saint Maud, British writer-director Rose Glass’s superb debut: a darkly humorous, insidiously creepy, gothic-tinged psychological horror that has won rave reviews at film festivals around the globe.
Having recently found God, self-effacing young nurse Maud (a brave and brittle performance by Morfydd Clark) is untiring in her spiritual devotion. Landing a job as full-time private carer, she arrives at the plush home of Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), a dancer who’s frail from chronic illness. While they couldn’t be more different – Amanda’s taste for excess is the antithesis of Maud’s pious values – the mismatched pair slowly build a brittle bond of co-dependency. But when a chance encounter with a former colleague hints to a dark past, it becomes clear there is more to Maud than meets the eye…
Glass tenderly captures the relationship between the two women with an empathetic gaze that first assumes an ethereal, dreamlike atmosphere but it isn’t long before Maud’s fervent beliefs prompt her mind into a suffocating whirlwind of creeping doubt and paranoia. Subtle references to religious horror forerunners like William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, add to Saint Maud’s increasingly dread-filled malaise. When this insidious fever climactically breaks, the consequences are devastating and terrifying in equal measure.