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A24's Saint Maud Delivers Rapturously Good Horror That Lingers

The elevated horror film bends religion and inspires fear.

a24 saint maud feature
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  • Photo Credit: Escape Plan Productions

A24's latest, Saint Maud traces the clash between a devoutly religious home nurse and her dying patient. As her terminally-ill patient nears her death, the young nurse feels called upon to redeem her soul and prepare her for the afterlife– a mission made challenging by her patient’s lack of belief. 

The new film comes from director Rose Glass and the studio A24, known for horror films like Hereditary, Midsommar, and The Witch, that draw in similar themes of dark and overpowering forces. Building up powerful and wicked energy, Saint Maud depicts a twisted take on religion that grows into a raging fervor. 

A recent convert, the nurse, Maud, has come to lead a stark and austere life, entirely centered on her newfound faith. While her patient Amanda, at first humors Maud’s attempts to steer her toward prayer and redemption, her religious fanaticism quickly becomes sharp-edged and aggressive. 

Related: Hell Hath No Fury: 16 Best Female Horror Villains 

As the conflict between the two boils over, Maud cracks toward sin. A sense of darkness and past horrors emerge, and Maud dives even deeper into her religious realm. Her sense of purpose is reignited with a burning desire, and she becomes all consumed by her mission from a higher power, leading to piercing scares and fiery twists.

The trailer below shows the film’s crackling tension and its mounting terror and fury.

The film stars Morfydd Clark in the role of Maud and Jennifer Ehle as Amanda. Though it has faced challenges and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been praised as “the first great movie of 2021.” Already it has received many award nominations, including from the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards and the British Independent Film Awards. 

Related: 15 Best Horror Movies of 2020 

Saint Maud will open in the US to a limited theater release January 29, and will be available on Epix beginning February 12. 

Featured still from Saint Maud via Escape Plan Productions.