Author Topic: Saint Maud  (Read 4034 times)

Saint Maud
« on: October 11, 2020, 08:01:31 PM »
Just been to see this new British movie, billed as 'horror', though genre fans should be aware that all the horror elements could be excised from the film with no impact on story, mood or themes.

It's very well made, makes good use of its setting in a run-down seaside town and has several great scenes of women just nattering away to each other that are reminiscent of Victoria Wood without the punchlines, but as it goes on the thinness of the premise begins to make itself felt, and all the horror trappings come to be seen as merely means to hype-up the material.

However, the last half a second (not a typo) is genuinely frightening and an excellent choice by the director.

And as someone who has spent nearly all his life in and around Cardiff, I was delighted to learn that God is indeed a Welshman.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

  • Conker-hard and big as a saucepan
Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2020, 04:59:11 PM »
We took possibly the last opportunity to see this at the cinema last night and both thought it was horrifying as fuck. It is a very slight story, true, but I wouldn't agree at all that the horror elements are gimmicky padding. And the horror was really well executed, unlike Midsommar, for example, which slapped discordant music over long stretches of nothing much and tried to pass it off as terrifying.

I'm not sure what, if anything, it's saying about the nature of mental illness and religious faith. I could imagine finding it rather offensive if I were a member of either group, although the film hedges its bets on the latter with the line about rejecting organised religion. A cautionary tale about NHS cuts, perhaps?

The leads were excellent. Morfydd Clark is amazing and will hopefully go on to bigger things. It left me wondering why Jennifer Ehle didn't become a bigger star after Pride and Prejudice.

The horror was slightly undercut when I realised it was set in Scarborough (or filmed there anyway - I don't recall hearing a single Yorkshire accent). My gran used to live there, when my gran used to live. I let out a little squeak of delight when I spotted the amusement arcade in which I spent many hours and 10p coins as a nipper.

Nobody Soup

  • ephedrine and orange juice... and also ket
Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 01:56:48 AM »
I felt this was just ok, there was a moment, which if you've seen it you'll know, where it looked like it was going to flip on it's head and to be quite honest, I wish they'd doubled down on that and it had a properly mental ending instead of just being a bit sad.

I thought the actual ending felt like something the director thought was far cooler than it actually was,

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2020, 01:20:52 PM »
I loved it, It gripped me definitely and the performances were strong, characters felt real to me. Properly spooked me at the end as well. It was rather slight but was short enough for that not to matter.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

  • Conker-hard and big as a saucepan
Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 05:44:44 PM »
I felt this was just ok, there was a moment, which if you've seen it you'll know, where it looked like it was going to flip on it's head and to be quite honest, I wish they'd doubled down on that and it had a properly mental ending instead of just being a bit sad.
Interesting. Which moment are you referring to? If I had to make a complaint, it would be that Amanda turning into the devil at the end was over the top. Then again, maybe I just think that because it was uncannily similar to a short story I wrote for GCSE English, that I can only assume would be embarrassing to read now.

Otherwise, I thought it was excellent and I look forward to seeing what Rose Glass writes and/or directs next.

There was one shot in particular that has stuck with me; when Maud stumbles down a dank dark staircase and the camera is tilted on its side, so it looks like she's doing some freaky spider walk. It's a simple technique, but I thought it was a really striking image.

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 08:24:55 PM »
I was presuming that Nobody Soup was actually referring to Amanda turning into The Devil, and agreed that that would have lead towards a much more interesting, bonkers ending. However by the ending of the film it was pretty clear that Amanda turning into The Devil was all in Maud's head . Decent film though, well worth a watch

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2020, 08:09:02 PM »
I was presuming that Nobody Soup was actually referring to Amanda turning into The Devil, and agreed that that would have lead towards a much more interesting, bonkers ending. However by the ending of the film it was pretty clear that Amanda turning into The Devil was all in Maud's head . Decent film though, well worth a watch

Watched last week and really enjoyed it in a taxing way. I realised I hadn't seen any films for ages. Nothing with any weight anyway. Thought it had a wonderful sense of dread from the beginning that it kept just under boiling point all the way through to the end.

Couldn't place Jennifer Ehl for some reason all the way through but good performance. And is the lover the girlfriend from Ladhood? I could look it up - I am just musing.

The shoe bit though. Fuck's sake. Not going to unsee that. Ever.

Felt incredibly sad after I got home thinking about it. Surprised me.

Nobody Soup

  • ephedrine and orange juice... and also ket
Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2020, 09:45:40 PM »
I was presuming that Nobody Soup was actually referring to Amanda turning into The Devil, and agreed that that would have lead towards a much more interesting, bonkers ending. However by the ending of the film it was pretty clear that Amanda turning into The Devil was all in Maud's head . Decent film though, well worth a watch

sorry, I totally forgot commenting on this thread and never checked any further replies.

Yes, that was the moment I was referencing. It's probably partly that I've now got 25-30 years of movie watching experience behind me but I do find films that take unusual twists and turns to be more interesting these days. I'd have liked the unashamed embrace of campy horror ideas in an otherwise very grim film, especially introduced so late in the film as it would have been a real structural risk.

see Kermode voted this number 1 film of the year, call me a walking cliche, but I think the Parasite hype was pretty spot on and would rather watch that again than this.

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2021, 10:08:47 PM »
This is available now.

I liked it. Creepy rather than scary. When she first felt the Lord’s presence on the stairs, I liked the subtle stretching of her face that got more noticeable with each subsequent Jesus tingle.

I did spend quite a few scenes waiting for something awful to happen, like when her old colleague came to her bedsit.

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2021, 01:24:49 PM »
Going to watch this tomorrow night, I think. Maybe do a double bill with Relic.

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2021, 10:47:33 PM »
Thought it was brilliant but upsetting. Really liked the shot of the bubbling tomato soup at the start.

Ham Bap

  • I’m a ham bap.
Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2021, 01:43:30 AM »
A solid film. Well made but wouldn’t be in a rush to watch it again.
Interested to see what the director does next though.

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2021, 10:02:51 PM »
I think of myself as a fairly unshakeable person when it comes to entertainment, and maybe this one caught me at an odd time, but I found it unusually bleak and horrible. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as it was no doubt intentional to some extent. It's very well-made, and I think it achieved everything it sets out to do. I can't quite put my finger on why I found it so miserable. I think someone earlier in the thread pointed out that, despite its conclusions, it's ultimately sympathetic to neither of the protagonists' possible drives: religious belief or mental illness (which are all but equated in the film). That might be it, for me - it's not just that it's grim or hopeless, it's also utterly, utterly cold and uncaring. I think I would have appreciated that more ten years ago, but I feel less need for that kind of thing in my life these days.

On its merits alone, though, it's one of the better horror films to come out in recent years. Some of the camerawork is brilliant, and it uses its limited CGI very tastefully for the most part. Between this and A Dark Song (which is well worth a watch, if you haven't already), I'm very hopeful that identifiably British horror might be seeing something of a resurgence.

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2021, 10:14:24 PM »
A solid film. Well made but wouldn’t be in a rush to watch it again.
Interested to see what the director does next though.

Yeah, felt this way too. Pretty good but felt more like a promising debut. The short runtime made it feel a bit slight and underwhelming. Felt like it needed more.

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2021, 10:54:33 AM »
Yeah, felt this way too. Pretty good but felt more like a promising debut. The short runtime made it feel a bit slight and underwhelming. Felt like it needed more.

I liked it's brevity and the way it made you have to put things together.

The hints of her previous life (when the fat man who rapes said “You shagged my friend”) and the nurse saying “It wasn’t your fault” fill in a lot that would be more broadly laid out in a bigger film with more flashbacks.

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2021, 02:22:48 PM »
Did anyone notice her accent change slightly when she met her old friend? Or was that just me?

shagatha crustie

  • Hung a star in the book of liars by your name
Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2021, 05:58:32 PM »
Between this and A Dark Song (which is well worth a watch, if you haven't already), I'm very hopeful that identifiably British horror might be seeing something of a resurgence.

Funnily enough I watched these both on the same night, and much preferred ADS. Actual character work, proper dialogue, a sense of building to something.

Something really aggravated me about St Maud stylistically - everything edited to shit, tons of extreme face close-ups to imply InSaNiTy during otherwise normal bits of dialogue, everything happening in some sort of dark smeary liminal space, flashing backward and forward like nobody's business. Just TELL THE FUCKING STORY PROPERLY. The end was effective and sad for what it implied, but not nearly as effective as it could have been because I didn't feel like I knew Maud the character/tragically mentally ill person at all.

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2021, 06:45:16 PM »
Funnily enough I watched these both on the same night, and much preferred ADS. Actual character work, proper dialogue, a sense of building to something.

The end was effective and sad for what it implied, but not nearly as effective as it could have been because I didn't feel like I knew Maud the character/tragically mentally ill person at all.

I agree with that. ADS had a far greater impact on me, and I must have seen it four or five times already. More than any horror film I can think of in recent years, that one made you genuinely care for its characters, flawed and sometimes downright unlikable as they were. It's a very thoughtful and clever script, which reveals itself more with each viewing. Saint Maud definitely coasted a bit on its atmosphere, which was effective enough, but I have absolutely no desire to watch it again.

Shameless Custard

  • PAUSE FOR THE JET
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Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2021, 09:44:53 AM »
Thought this was very good. Great performance from the central actress. The ending is nasty and haunting. That very last split-second shot.... oof.

Definitely one of the better horrors of recent times

4 bags

Ptolemy Ptarmigan

  • Far away is close at hand
Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2021, 03:33:07 PM »
Did anyone notice her accent change slightly when she met her old friend? Or was that just me?
Didn't notice that, but will add that I didn't rate her acting (the friend's), especially as the two lead performance were so brilliant. It was like a middle class actress's idea of how a working class woman would speak (and smoke), sub-Mike Leigh. (Trivia, she was one of the Denton twins in LoG.)

It didn't surprise me to find out afterwards that Kermode had given it 5 stars and watched it at least three times.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

  • Conker-hard and big as a saucepan
Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2021, 03:36:21 PM »
Trivia, she was one of the Denton twins in LoG.
Bloody hell. That's one for the "When Did You Become Old?" thread.

Re: Saint Maud
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2021, 11:07:03 AM »
Bloody hell. That's one for the "When Did You Become Old?" thread.

She was one of the older twins from the 2017 specials.

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