The Last Thing Mary Saw (\N)

Winter, 1843. A young woman is under investigation following the mysterious death of her family's matriarch. Her recollection of the events sheds new light on the ageless forces behind the tragedy.
  • 5.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2019-02-14 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Edoardo Vitaletti, Director:
  • Harrison Allen, Maddie Schumacher, Producer:

Trailer:

8 / 10

Problematic but highly enjoyable psychological effort

After a tragic accident at her family house, a woman recounts the events of what happened to her rescuers about how her relationship with the family maid started a string of events leading to a terrifying ordeal with a terrifying encounter with deadly forces aroused by their actions and how it went down.

This was a rather impressive and enjoyable effort with a lot to like about it. One of the strongest factors present here is the highly impressive setup that manages to bring about old-school Puritanical values and superstition with fantastic supernatural genre leanings. The central premise for the way of life shown here, with the strict religious bringing and outright disgust at the thought of lesbianism or other such signs of affection taking place for fear of reprisal from the elders creates quite an impressive counterpoint to the religious paranoia experienced by the rest of the villagers. Shamed into following the will of their law and brutally tortured for failing to comply, the mindset featured here to live in the village is one of oppression and religious persecution that flies in direct contradiction to their freedom living in sin against their wishes. Likewise, once they set the plan in motion to flee their setup and live a more open, freer lifestyle, the persecution and oppression has given way for outright intolerance as the hints of what they're doing start to take shape. The stranger's arrival and almost immediate sketchy behavior and presence that start to interrupt what's happening during the silent funeral being carried out at the same time, signaling a sign of what's to come later on. When they bring upon the plan to cut everyone off and attempt to sneak away for their own lives, this one generates some dark and chilling aspects that become quite fun with the poisoning attempt coming off with some fine twists as to who gets the drugs and who doesn't, a surprise appearance from an unwelcome party and the final reveal which manages to be highly unexpected and satisfying finale which all makes for a lot to like here. There are a few issues to be had with this one. The main issue here is the strangely unneeded reasoning for why the guy comes back at the end of the film for no purpose which is quite weird and unexplained. The idea of it happening is quite confusing considering the treatment afforded to him that initially caused him to leave, and with the return later on to the house, his arrival means absolutely nothing. He does nothing important that couldn't have been accomplished by something else so his arrival means something. On top of that, he just disappears from the film as a whole without any acknowledgment or punishment, making this part of the film quite questionable and confusing. While not a true outright flaw, the films' really sluggish pace and drama tempo over shocks, scares, or thrills might leave some questioning its genre placement overall with the potential of it being seen as dull, can hold this one back for some.

Rated Unrated/R: Violence and Language.

3 / 10

Like watching paint dry in the dark.

This movie is dark, I mean literally dark. It's shot almost entirely by candlelight and the few scenes shot in daylight are dull and washed out which seems to be en vogue at the moment. I have a real problem with this. If you want to make a B&W movie then make a B&W movie, not a colour movie with no colour in it.

The story revolves around a pair of young girls getting all hot and bothered in 1840s America and the inevitable religious opposition to this. An open criticism of Christianity. Stunning and brave, I'm sure. But instead of 1840s America how about setting this in present day Saudi Arabia? No, I didn't think so.

As for the movie itself, it's an excercise in creating atmosphere but there's nothing of substance here so I reached for the remote.

8 / 10

Religious persecution and the ilk of the past

Nothing terrifies me more in the real life than deep, dark water and religion.

Wirh that said--- this movie sows the seeds that instill this fear with its roots firmly imbedded in the ignorance with the persecution of the "unclean" and the hypocrisy of violence that becomes the the undoing of the cult that is Christianity, especially in its earliest form.

The atmospheres are that of a "larger" films with a score that sets a sense of dread throughout. What a debut for writer and director Edoardo Vitaletti, who works with so little to make, indeed, that larger film.

Fans of folk horror from the likes of Eggers and Ari Aster will find much to love in this one. Files nicely next to Saint Maud, The VVitch, Black Death and yes even The Green Knight with its supernatural elements that are very prevalent throughout.

5 / 10

Missed Opportunity

COULD have been a great film if they'd used some lighting, but they didn't. COULD have been a great film if they'd thrown in a bit of action instead of plodding along, but they didn't.

COULD have been a great film if they had kept the story clear instead of muddying it up, but they didn't.

What they DID do was manage to toss in the obligatory LGBTQ sub-theme in the hopes that would get them a few pats on the back and some great reviews. It didn't.

8 / 10

Beautiful Movie

This one caught me by surprise. Good acting, good cinematography, good direction in a different but dramatic story. In a time where forbidden love in an small community could get dramatic consequences this characters live their own dreams in a limbo of sin. A beautiful but dramatic movie.