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The Next Reel Film Podcast, Horror Debuts series, Saint Maud, 2019, directed by Rose Glass

Saint Maud

"We don’t need anyone else.”

The release of Rose Glass’s 2019 film Saint Maud was cut short due to the pandemic. That being said, the film still garnered enough attention from festival play and the awards circuit to become a talking point in movie circles as the newest horror film worth seeing. Glass received a lot of the praise as a new director who clearly has a sense of vision and story with this, her debut feature. And the performances of both Morfydd Clark and Jennifer Ehle were discussed as true highlights. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Horror Debuts series with Glass’s 2019 film Saint Maud.

We are a bit split on Saint Maud.

Despite the fact that the trailer for this was selected for a Saturday Matinée episode in December 2019, Pete didn’t remember watching it so had no idea what to expect when he started this movie. When the story shifted at its midway point, that disappointed him. The story in that first half engaged him so strongly that he was never able to really connect with the film after that point. Andy, on the other hand, remembered the trailer. While he didn’t feel the trailer changed his opinion of the film, he was able to move along with the shift in the story.

So does that matter? Or does it end up becoming a point in the story where you just have to go along with the shift? Some people seem to be able to go along with that better than others but there certainly is a contingent of people online who seemed to connect more to the first half of the story.

Despite our split, there’s a lot to love about Saint Maud.

Outside of that, though, Glass has a sense of story clearly. We both firmly connected with Maud’s journey, particularly as it relates to her time with Amanda. Both Clark and Ehle are perfect in their parts. The exploration of obsession, possession, and mental breakdowns are handled well.

Glass crafted a difficult but affecting journey with Maud. We discuss the way she works through Maud’s descent into madness and religious fervor. Maud’s self harm comes up. Maud also uses sex as a tool when she is trying to get out of her personal nadir before reconnecting with God.

Then there’s the conversation with Joy. If Joy had agreed to hang out, would all of this have gone away? Or would it have gotten there eventually? It’s hard to say but interesting to think about.

It’s a powerful film that didn’t affect us equally but is still a strong one worth looking at. So check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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