Saint Maud. 2019. Great Britain. Written and directed by Rose Glass. With Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle. 84 min.
Rose Glass’s astounding debut feature pivots the horror away from the traditional monster, the devil, and locates its source in religion. Maud, a newly devout hospice nurse, becomes obsessed with saving her dying patient’s soul—but sinister forces, and her own sinful past, threaten to put an end to her holy calling. Repression, psychosis, and a perceived relationship with God spin Maud out onto a path of good intention, but her actions continue to go terribly wrong. Glass employs Catholicism as a useful passageway to explore whether Maud’s divine experiences are real (for the believers) or delusional (for the skeptics) and Saint Maud teeters along this line until making its point at the (very shocking) end.