Faith and Guilt Collide in Spine-Tingling Saint Maud Now Streaming Prime
The horror movie Saint Maud tells the story of Maud (Morfydd Clark), a young hospice nurse with a newly discovered religious zeal. Not the type of religious zeal that makes somebody stand on a street corner and preach about Armageddon, but a deeply personal desire to cleanse yourself of sin and follow God’s path evermore. What “sin” Maud’s was, we are not initially told. All we know is that whatever it was, it was enough to make Maud abruptly leave her job at a hospital, join a hospice service, and act like a nun from the 12th century. Her hair is dry and always kept back in a ponytail, her clothes seem conservative (even for a nurse’s uniform), and she barely brings her voice above a whisper. Sometimes she even whips herself.
Maud is assigned to care for Amanda Köhl (Jennifer Ehle), a “minor celebrity” in the dance community, now in the final stages of a terminal illness. Confined to a wheelchair and stuck in her dark old mansion atop a hill, Amanda has become a difficult patient for nurses to deal with. Maud remarks (to God) that she has never cared for “self-centered creatives,” and Amanda thinks that Maud is naive, but both begin to form a bond as the days go by. Amanda, touched by Maud’s genuine compassion, begins to call the young nurse “my little Savior” and even agrees to pray with her. Maud thanks God for this breakthrough, and begins to experience almost orgasmic states of religious ecstasy in her delight. However, as Amanda’s friends and lovers begin to visit, their artsy, bohemian lifestyles seem to threaten Maud’s progress. Which is, of course, God’s progress…
This is a movie about a deeply troubled person who has turned to religion as a means of redemption, but a redemption that is not a cure; she may be God’s vessel (and she might be crazy), but she is still a human being in deep pain. Director Rose Glass never gives us a forced moment where Maud stares absently at a cross and then all is well. When Maud prays, we can see the gears in her head turning, her mind searching for connections between what she believes and what she knows.
Saint Maud is a beautifully told, eerie horror film that is often more understanding of its subject matter than many religious movies are.
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Directed by: Rose Glass
Starring: Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle, Lily Frazer, Marcus Hutton
Streaming on: Prime Video, Hulu