Daniel Kaluuya talks with USA TODAY's Rasha Ali about playing Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in the new movie "Judas and the Black Messiah." USA TODAY
Spoiler alert! Contains major details about the final scene of horror movie "Saint Maud."
She was blinded by the light.
In A24's piously petrifying "Saint Maud" (now streaming on Epix), a lonely hospice nurse named Maud (Morfydd Clark) strives to spread the good word to her reluctant new ward, the cancer-stricken choreographer Amanda (Jennifer Ehle). What transpires is a devoutly demented trip into Maud's psyche, as she goes to bloody extremes to try and prove her faith in God.
In the movie's first half, Maud endeavorsto save Amanda's soul through prayer an almost sexual sensation for the solemn young caretaker. She continues her mission by trying to drive a wedge between Amanda and her hedonistic lover(Lily Frazer), but is swiftly fired after overstepping her boundaries.
Following a harrowing night out that ends in rape, Maud thinks she hears the voice of God, who urges her to further show her devotion. She returns to Amanda's house and spoiler alert! proceeds to stab herto death, convinced the sick womanis actually the devil.
Horror movie preview: 15 films that'll scare your pants off in 2021, from 'Saint Maud' to 'Halloween Kills'
What to stream this weekend: 'Judas and the Black Messiah,' Netflix's 'To All the Boys 3'
Maud (Morfydd Clark) is a hospice nervous on the verge of a breakdown in A24's latest horror movie "Saint Maud."(Photo: Courtesy of A24)
Now sporting radiant angel wings, Maud walks onto a beach in white robes and rosary beads, and douses herself with propane. "Glory to God," she utters, lighting herself on fire as onlookers kneel before her.
"It's her ascension," writer/director Rose Glass says. "She thinks she's going to finally be connected and reunited with God. She's operating on a slightly different plane by that point. She's conscious enough to physically be (setting herself on fire), but in terms of what the real-life consequences are, I don't think she has any real grasp of what they are. She's badly in need of help."
Glass envisioned Maud as a sort of female Travis Bickle, whose desire to "purify" the world results in a murderous rampage in Martin Scorsese's 1976 classic "Taxi Driver." Like Robert De Niro's iconic, Maud struggles to socialize with people and process past trauma.
"The film in my head was always a tragedy," Glass says. "Essentially she gets what she wants at the end, which is to be recognized. For the first time in the film, people are finally noticing her but it'stoo late."
"It's very clear to her by the end that the world (rejects her), and no matter how much she tries, she can't be a part of it," Clark adds. "The thing I find tragic about Maud is the striving and conviction. That conviction at the end is the worst part of it."
Maud (Morfydd Clark) tries to connect with others but is frequently mocked. "The film really amplified the effects for me of the tiny things you do," Clark says. "It's made me want to go forward with more kindness."(Photo: Courtesy of A24)
The most horrifying moment in "Saint Maud" comes in the movie's last few seconds. After a long shot of Maud serenely basking in the heavenly flames, the movie suddenly cuts to her frightening reality, as Maud screams in agony while her flesh violently burns.
Glass knew very early in the writing process that she wanted to end the film with a major shock.
"It's done deliberately in a way that's meant to take you aback," she says. "It'sa fun one to watch with audiences. Before the lockdown, there were quite vocal reactions at the end, which is very gratifying for a nervous filmmaker. Not many people shared their theories with me, but I'm sort of happy to just leave it up to the individual. I always think it's very unambiguous."
Clark has seen the film three times and it's "shocked me every time," she says. The actressrecalls one screening in Auckland, New Zealand, when "a guy came up to me afterwards and was like, 'You know, that split moment at the end when she's actually burning in hell?' And I was like, 'What?! No!' It's really interesting seeing how other people see it. I was thinking, 'Oh my gosh, she really might be.' "
In actuality, the scene was much less terrifying to shoot. They initially used a stunt woman who lit herself on fire, before Glass decided on a closeup ofClark's face with added CGI flames. But the water Clark poured on herself (as a stand-in for propane)was all very real. Shooting on a windy beach in England, it got extremely chilly after a few takes.
"I think the physical uncomfortableness helped during filming, because Maud is in huge discomfort constantly," Clark says. "The whole thing was so exciting that I didn't really care about those things, even though my feet were so cold."
- 13 Movie and TV Adaptations of Horror Books and Where to Stream Them - Book Riot - May 21st, 2021
- Creepy New Horror Movie Is Terrifying Amazon Prime Users - We Got This Covered - May 21st, 2021
- Charlie Clouser on scoring horror films, the early days of industrial rock, and his love of the unusual - MusicTech - May 21st, 2021
- Stay Home, Watch Horror: Five 2021 Horror Movies You Can Stream This Week That You Might've Missed - Bloody Disgusting - May 21st, 2021
- Tony-winning actress to debut horror film at Hamilton festival - TheSpec.com - May 21st, 2021
- 50 Horror Movies With the Worst Ratings on Rotten Tomatoes - Newsweek - May 21st, 2021
- Seance movie review a smart and twisty horror movie - Assignment X - May 21st, 2021
- What to Know About Spiral and the Saw Franchise - The New York Times - May 21st, 2021
- As Movie Theaters Reopen, a Sense of Relief - Hollywood Reporter - May 21st, 2021
- Game Of Thrones Alum Nathalie Emmanuel And Garrett Hedlund To Star In Screen Gems Horror Pic The Bride - Deadline - May 21st, 2021
- Review: Same-sex slasher The Retreat is a horror film several cuts above - The Globe and Mail - May 21st, 2021
- Initiation review campus horror is more bore than gore - The Guardian - May 21st, 2021
- Tony Todd and Tobin Bell Face an Alien Invasion in Sci-fi/Horror Movie 'The Bunker' - Bloody Disgusting - May 21st, 2021
- Fantasia 2021: Check Out Images From All the Horror Films Playing This Year's Virtual Fest - Bloody Disgusting - May 21st, 2021
- 'Chain Saw Confidential' Movie Will Be a Dark Comedy About the Making of 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' - /FILM - May 21st, 2021
- 'Army of the Dead' and more of the all-time greatest zombie movies - Wonderwall - May 21st, 2021
- The 30 Best Horror Movies on Netflix, According to Critics - Newsweek - May 8th, 2021
- Best Shudder movies: the essential horror films to watch on the streamer - Gamesradar - May 8th, 2021
- Review: 'Initiation' into this horror movie isn't worth the effort - The Detroit News - May 8th, 2021
- Over 20 New Horror Movies and Shows Releasing in May 2021! - Bloody Disgusting - May 8th, 2021
- Pastor and Wife's Eyes Gouged, Ears Bitten in 'Out of Horror Movie' Attack - Newsweek - May 8th, 2021
- The 17 Best Horror Movies To Watch On Hulu Right Now (May 2021) - GameSpot - May 8th, 2021
- Ben Wheatleys In The Earth finds horror in fungi - The Verge - May 8th, 2021
- You'll Die Laughing at the Hilarious New Trailer For UNTITLED HORROR MOVIE - Available on iTunes and Amazon June 15th - We Are Movie Geeks - May 8th, 2021
- Exclusive: DC's 'The Conjuring' comic writers on what it takes to bring the horror world from screen to page - SYFY WIRE - May 8th, 2021
- The Horror Movie You Didn't Know Was Based On A Greek Tragedy - Looper - May 8th, 2021
- Stay Home, Watch Horror: 5 Heavy Metal Horror Movies to Stream This Week! - Bloody Disgusting - May 8th, 2021
- Netflixs Horror Movie Things Heard And Seen Is Dividing The Internet - ScreenGeek - May 8th, 2021
- The Tom Cruise Lovecraftian Horror Movie We Never Got To See - Looper - May 8th, 2021
- A Filipino cinematographer is behind the powerful images in this thrilling and timely American horror - ANCX - May 8th, 2021
- WARMINGTON: In this real-life horror movie, there's no sports or fun legally allowed - Toronto Sun - May 8th, 2021
- The Movie Like The Invitation That Horror Fans Need To Watch - Looper - May 8th, 2021
- 10 Most Terrifying Vacation Horror Movies - WhatCulture - May 8th, 2021
- 9 Eco-Horror Movies That Will Remind You to Be Nicer to the Earth - Vulture - April 23rd, 2021
- The Best Horror Movies of 2021 (So Far) - Thrillist - April 23rd, 2021
- Take a hike into terror with the Pittsburgh-shot horror film The Boonies - PGH City Paper - April 23rd, 2021
- 'In the Earth' Is the First Must-See COVID Horror Movie - The Daily Beast - April 23rd, 2021
- The Father is the Greatest Horror Movie that I've Ever Seen - Prescott eNews - April 23rd, 2021
- Movie review: Pandemic adds extra layer of threat to folk horror film 'In the Earth' - theday.com - April 23rd, 2021
- The Cher Post-Apocalyptic Horror Movie We Never Got To See - Looper - April 23rd, 2021
- Scream 3 is a brilliant horror movie that warned us about Harvey Weinstein - Polygon - April 23rd, 2021
- Netflix Producing Horror Movie The Last Will and Testament of Charles Abernathy - What's on Netflix - April 23rd, 2021
- There Are 12 Near-Perfect Horror Movies According To Metacritic - Looper - April 23rd, 2021
- Mortal Kombat Reboot Writer Wants To Make A Scary BioShock Horror Movie - We Got This Covered - April 23rd, 2021
- Fear of Rain review lurid horror film takes aim at mental illness stereotypes - The Guardian - April 23rd, 2021
- Movie Review: The Unholy | Lewiston Sun Journal - Lewiston Sun Journal - April 23rd, 2021
- The Hidden (1987) - Best Horror Movie You Never Saw - JoBlo.com - April 23rd, 2021
- A singer turned werewolf, and Alien on Stage. Two directors dig into their movie inspiration - CBC.ca - April 23rd, 2021
- Death Note 2 Will Reportedly Be More Horror Than The First Movie - We Got This Covered - April 23rd, 2021
- New On Shudder In March 2021: Exclusive Horror Movies, TV Shows, And More - GameSpot - February 20th, 2021
- The Main Reason to Watch I Care a Lot Is Rosamund Pike - Vulture - February 20th, 2021
- Alexandre Aja Producing Feature Version of Short Horror Film 'Mr. Thisforthat' - Bloody Disgusting - February 20th, 2021
- The Best Unintentionally Funny Horror Movie Scenes, According To Reddit - Looper - February 20th, 2021
- Brittany Snow & Jenna Ortega Have Been Cast In a Horror Movie Together! - Just Jared Jr. - February 20th, 2021
- Gurmeet Chaudhary will be seen in horror film, The Wife - The Tribune - February 20th, 2021
- Creepy Trailer For The Supernatural Horror Film THE TOLL GeekTyrant - GeekTyrant - February 20th, 2021
- Why Aliens Best Movie Future Brings The Xenomorphs To Earth - Screen Rant - February 20th, 2021
- 6 Bollywood horror movies full of spooks and gags coming up in 2021 - GQ India - February 20th, 2021
- Zee5s horror film 'The Wife' to release on March 19 - The New Indian Express - February 20th, 2021
- Keke Palmer joins the cast of Jordan Peele's new horror movie - Shelbynews - February 17th, 2021
- A Horror Movie Targeting the Ugliness of Influencer Culture - The Daily Beast - February 17th, 2021
- How To Watch Nicolas Cages Wild New Horror Movie Online - We Got This Covered - February 17th, 2021
- 5 Women Centric Horror Films That Are A Must-Watch - SheThePeople - February 17th, 2021
- Now Scream This: Have a Spooky Valentine's Day With These Streaming Horror Movies - /FILM - February 17th, 2021
- The Most Anticipated Scary Movies Premiering on Netflix This Year - Flickering Myth - February 17th, 2021
- Rick & Morty: The Obscure Horror Movie Referenced In Never Ricking Morty - Screen Rant - February 17th, 2021
- Zee5's horror film The Wife to release on March 19 - Cinema Express - February 17th, 2021
- Charles Dance faces a tense standoff in British horror movie The Delivered - Wiki Of Thrones - February 17th, 2021
- What Happened To The Cast Of The Original The Amityville Horror? - Looper - February 17th, 2021
- Jayro Bustamante's Horror Movie 'La Llorona' Has Made the Oscars Shortlist for Best International Film - Bloody Disgusting - February 10th, 2021
- School's Out Forever review gloriously gory adaptation of YA sci-fi horror - The Guardian - February 10th, 2021
- Autism Within Horror: 'Come Play' and the Next Steps for Representation - Bloody Disgusting - February 10th, 2021
- The Invasion (2007) Nicole Kidman - WTF Happened to This Horror Movie - JoBlo.com - February 10th, 2021
- 'The Vigil' Watches Over a Dead Body This Month; Watch Creepy New Trailer for the Supernatural Horror Movie - Bloody Disgusting - February 10th, 2021
- After Midnight, or horror as couples therapy - The Spool - February 10th, 2021
- 10 Horror Movie Monsters That Shouldnt Work - But Do - WhatCulture - February 10th, 2021
- 'Horror movie' dog attack sees poor little Chihuahua have third of its lung removed - Daily Star - February 10th, 2021
- 'Valentine' Director Jamie Blanks Hosting a Live Commentary and Q&A for the Film's 20th Anniversary - Bloody Disgusting - February 10th, 2021
- The 50 Best Horror Movies on Netflix, According to Critics - Newsweek - February 9th, 2021
- 'The Lair': Neil Marshall Getting Ready to Film His Next "Full-On Monster Movie" - Bloody Disgusting - February 9th, 2021
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero