HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
Chess of the Wind
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Scream
All I Can Say
You Are Not My Mother
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Last Thing Mary Saw, The Thou Shalt Not
Year: 2021
Director: Edoardo Vitaletti
Stars: Stefanie Scott, Isabelle Fuhrman, Rory Culkin, Carolyn McCormick, Michael Laurence, Judith Roberts, Shane Coffey, Philip Hoffman, Dawn McGee, Sebastian Beacon, P.J. Sosko, Tommy Buck, Daniel Pearce, Elijah Rayman, Stephen Lee Anderson, Matthew Stannah
Genre: Horror, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mary (Stefanie Scott) doesn't see much of anything now, because she has been imprisoned by the authorities and blindfolded, though the blood on her face suggests she would not see very much even without the bandage. The year is 1843, and in this town in New York State, the rule of law is a puritanical one, with everyone subject to the tenets as interpreted from the Bible; this proved a hindrance to Mary's increasingly close friendship with the maid of her household, Eleanor (Isabelle Fuhrman), and as they began to conspire, the locals noticed and wondered if they were going too far. The subject of witchcraft was bound to arise where the schemes of women were suspected, and so Mary and Eleanor grew trapped...

Bordering the genre of folk horror was this austere horror drama with a historical setting, though there was not a whole lot taking place in the woods as the locations veered closer to a claustrophobic series of interiors to offer the sense of events closing in on the two heroines. Writer and director Edoardo Vitaletti was making his first feature here, and appeared to have been taking notes from the similar - but not identical - The Witch, which had sparked a renewed interest in reserved yet uncanny chillers, often within an isolated community. This was all relayed in an atmosphere that gave the impression the cast were almost afraid to speak their lines for fear of breaking the spell Vitaletti was so careful to spin across an often candelit collection of darkened rooms.

Now, as you might have anticipated for a film made in the twenty-twenties detailing a close female friendship, the influence of Peter Jackson's cult classic Heavenly Creatures was in the background, though going further and stating outright that Mary and Eleanor had commenced a lesbian relationship. We see this in rather coyly shot kissing scenes - again, anything more explicit would have overbalanced the reserved tone - but this did risk turning the movie into one of those countless "lesbians punished for falling in love" tales that had proliferated since the likes of The Children's Hour back in the sixties and had been extremely difficult to reform from that basic template. We already know the affair has not ended well, as we have watched Mary in practically the very first scene with her eyes lost and held at gunpoint by the committee to recite The Lord's Prayer.

This recital is proof of whether the Devil is present in Mary, as if she could not manage the whole thing she would have been executed on the spot (though she doesn't say "Amen", oddly). But elements of the plot indicate she may have some supernatural powers, not to say too much, but the elderly matriarch of the family (Judith Roberts from Eraserhead) could be pulling some strings which get the girls into deep trouble, intentionally or otherwise. Again, there was a problem there as with many fictions dealing with witch trials as they preferred to empower the victims by giving them actual paranormal powers, which had the unwanted side effect of fully justifying the victimisation from the puritans: the bad guys had been right all along, essentially. This kind of undercut that by shading everyone here with a moral ambiguity so we were unsure of whose motives to support, and Rory Culkin was skulkin' around in the background to complicate those matters even further. If you were not wholly convinced these were authentic nineteenth century citizens - it felt a little "off" - and the pace was punishingly slow, that sinister mood was what kept you watching. Music by Keegan DeWitt.

[Shudder Original Film Premieres Exclusively on Thursday, 20th January 2022.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 412 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: