Maude served as a cautionary tale about the nature of faith and religious belief, but also the dangerous impact of isolation, something that we’ve become all-too-familiar with over the past year.
Rose Glass' Saint Maud, now streaming on Amazon Prime, ends with a fiery bang that stays with you long after the credits roll.
after a February release on Epix) so compelling is that it takes place in a world of surrealist horror. We’re experiencing actions both as they are actually unfolding, but also as Maud perceives them through her increasingly vivid religious faith. Having recently converted to Catholicism after a traumatic incident with a patient led her to abandon her old life — and even her birth name, Katie — she feels called to serve God in increasingly zealous ways. But unlike other religiously-centered horror films, there is no haunting to exorcise, or ghost to expel. The devil is in Maud’s mind — and so are we. The movie is immersive, and trippy, and you often don’t quite know where reality ends and hallucinations begin. That is, until the very end, when Glass pulls back the curtain and reveals the truth in a moment of absolutely terrifying clarity.
Maud’s relationship with Amanda is both intensely sensual and full of mutual disgust. The former judges her charge as a sinner, to be prayed for and saved, while the latter perceives her caretaker as an oddity, to be toyed with as a twisted form of final amusement. And yet, they’re completely fascinated with each other in a way that becomes increasingly toxic. Maud tries to isolate Amanda from her friends — including the companion she pays for sex — but she’s also drawn to her hedonistic world. Amanda, who’s angry about her illness, cruelly transfers her emotional pain onto Maud. Eventually, it all backfires, and Maud finds herself alone once more, craving connection with a force bigger than herself. Or, does she just want to be seen in the real world?
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