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REVIEW: Saint Maud

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Saint Maud

Personally speaking, Rose Glass’ debut horror film ‘Saint Maud’ was one of the films I was most looking forward to in 2020. Then, the pandemic happened which pushed the highly anticipated film back until late January, where it debuted in theaters, and then later on streaming services that aren’t the most commonly used.

Regardless, when I dove into ‘Saint Maud’ last night I was excited to see the latest offering from A24, who had built a solid reputation for delivering solid horror offerings such as ‘Hereditary’ and ‘Midsommar’.

The original approach to telling the story of the unraveling of a disturbed young nurse was both unsettling and captivating. Maud, who was brilliantly played by Morfydd Clark, seemed to be trying to distance herself from her unsavory past for the new, overly-devoted believer who seems intent on saving those who she believes are in sin, or more eloquently, mirrors who she was.

Maud latches on to the dying Amanda, a former famous dancer who is withering away due to cancer, and obsessively re-living her glorious past. Maud gravitates towards her weak condition, and tried to alleviate her sin. Through this, Maud believes it will bring her close to God, and give her the positive meaning she lacked in a former life.

However, Amanda’s flippant approach to Maud’s idea of faith, and Amanda’s lack of it, drive a wedge between the two, and escalate Maud’s psychosis. Maud dives back into her old habits of hard drinking, random sex, and social detachment, which only fuels her rapid loss of grasp on reality.

‘Saint Maud’ drives down a road that is horror story telling at it’s best. Glass’ depiction of Maud’s sense of reality versus reality, especially in the final scene, really hit home. It’s easy to connect with Maud as a person who struggles with self-image, and coming to terms with her past as she tries to hold others to a standard she once struggled to achieve.

While Saint Maud won’t be full of jump scares, there is plenty of horrific imagery and tones that will leave a lasting impression, while also giving horror fans something new and juicy to sink their teeth into.

 

Anthony DiMoro is the leader writer and founder of 'Fright Nerd'. DiMoro has written for popular websites such as Forbes and The Huffington Post. DiMoro cites Friday the 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween among his favorite horror movies of all time.

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REVIEW: Halloween Kills

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Halloween Kills

David Gordon Green returned with the second installment in his Halloween trilogy when ‘Halloween Kills’ officially arrived on Peacock and in theaters around the country, a perfect fit for the Halloween season.

But the movie, was far from perfect, or anywhere close to it.

“The nightmare isn’t over as unstoppable killer Michael Myers escapes from Laurie Strode’s trap to continue his ritual bloodbath. Injured and taken to the hospital, Laurie fights through the pain as she inspires residents of Haddonfield, Ill., to rise up against Myers. Taking matters into their own hands, the Strode women and other survivors form a vigilante mob to hunt down Michael and end his reign of terror once and for all.”

Green’s ‘Halloween’ in 2018 did plenty good at the box office, despite the movie being so-so. I wrote in my review that the movie went off the rails as soon as Myers made his return to Haddonfield, more specifically when Dr. Sartain went crazy, which I thought was a blip. However, after watching ‘Halloween Kills’ that blip turned into a number of warts that completely sent ‘Halloween Kills’ down the shitter.

Green did a marvelous job with the nostalgia of the 1978 original, as he did in the first film, with the return of Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace, and Tommy Doyle’s return (played by Anthony Michael Hall), but really hit it home with the returns of Dr. Loomis (CGI Donald Pleasence), Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) and Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers) who were all pivotal characters in John Carpenter’s 1978 classic.

Aside from that, the movie was a complete dud.

Lost along the way was the essence of what made Michael Myers, and Halloween, uniquely terrifying. The plodding, stalking, slow build of Myers going after his victims was exchanged for a nothing more than a man in a mask who was capable of taking on entire gangs at once.

Myers stalking was essentially swapped out for Matrix fight scenes. And it was horribly ridiculous.

In Green’s 2018 version, Myers still had elements of his 1978 self (which was where Green’s Halloween picked up from) but were lost entirely in the 2nd entry, leaving Myers a hollow, disappointing shell of what made the character iconic.

When it was all said and done, I found myself just waiting for the movie to end, instead of bracing for how the film would lead into the 3rd and final film.

The ending was horrible, unimaginative, and simply ridiculous, which is hard for me to complain about when reviewing a slasher film.

One can hope that Green’s final entry into his version of Halloween is far superior, which will be needed to save this trilogy from being nothing more than barely memorable and easy to forget over time.

Fright Nerd Score
28.5 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
A cluster of nonsense and a disappointing departure from what made Michael Myers iconic. Green got away with some of this in 2018's film, but Halloween Kills died with his poor direction and handling of the Myers character.
Fright Nerd Score28.5
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‘Halloween Kills’ Clocks Over $4.9 Million from Thursday Night Previews

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Halloween Kills

Michael Myers is making a killing once again during the the Halloween season, but this time ‘Halloween Kills’ was fueled by the film’s increased availability on the Peacock streaming platform in it’s Thursday night previews last night.

According to Deadline, the film clocked $4.98 million during it’s Thursday opening and it’s now on track to “open to mid-to-high $30Ms”, which is a major drop off from the 2018 ‘Halloween’ film that banked a $76 million domestic opening, but still impressive given the current state of theaters and the world.

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Shudder Drops Trailer for ‘Horror Noire’

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Horror Noire

Shudder has released a brand new trailer for ‘Horror Noire’ which is set to arrive on the streaming platform on Thursday, October 28th before heading to AMC at a later date.

The six stories featured in the anthology, which focuses on Black horror stories from Black directors and screenwriters, are: “Daddy,” “Bride Before You,” “Brand of Evil,” “The Lake,” “Sundown” and “Fugue State.”

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