Film Review: The Last Thing Mary Saw

Mary and Eleanor

When the Mayflower landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, it would set the religious tone in New England for centuries to come. The Pilgrim Fathers brought their brand of puritanism to the New World and started a movement which would eventually sweep through the region. Building the foundations for the socio-political outlook of colonial life for generations of settlers. It’s within this ecosystem that The Last Thing Mary Saw exists.

Southold, New York, 1843. Blindfolded and bleeding from her eyes, Mary (Stefanie Scott) is being questioned about the death of her grandmother (Judith Roberts), who was the matriarch of their puritanical family. She has been brought up in a staunchly pious household and has found her only joy in the embrace of their maid, Eleanor (Isabelle Fuhrman). Her family have taken it upon themselves to purge this evil from under their roof.

The Last Thing Mary Saw is a beautifully made period horror which conjures up an atmosphere of repression and religious intolerance. This is the great strength of writer/director Edoardo Vitaletti’s feature debut. Immersing his audience in a world which feels both constricting and claustrophobic. The devil is in the detail and The Last Thing Mary Saw there is skilfully crafted. Creating an eerie and tense slow-burning chiller.  

The Last Thing Mary Saw joins Shudder on 20 January.

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