This low-budget horror and feature-length debut by screenwriter and director Edoardo Vitaletti is another example of how a solid film can be made even when you have minimal resources at your disposal. The success of this eerie, uncomfortable and stylized combination of psychological drama and horror is all the greater because “The Last Thing Mary Saw” is set in a historical period and it is shown extremely well even though the whole film takes place more or less on a property in New York. 1843. The story is set in a conservative Puritan community ruled by primitivism and stupidity, and this society is not too different from the Islamic State or Taliban team 160 years later.
And it is quite clear that a love story between two girls in such a community cannot end well, and with that the author introduces us right at the beginning. The title character, Mary (Stefanie Scott), is imprisoned and questioned about her misdeeds by a local Puritan Gauleiter. She is blindfolded during that trial and has a hunch that she killed someone, and then we go back in time and find out how this daughter of community members got into a relationship with maid Eleanor (Isabelle Fuhrman from “News”). When her parents realize that Mary is in a relationship with a girl, neither of them will have a good time, and she will take them to the re-education of the creepy old grandmother Matriarch (Judith Rogers).
Kneeling on rice will be only the least cruel part of the re-education technique practiced by this grandmother, and all this torture will lead to a massacre in the end, which will be further sponsored by the arrival of the mysterious slob (Rory Culkin). Definitely “The Last Thing Mary Saw” is a film with a head and a tail, a wisely rounded subversive story that perfectly balances between drama, thriller and horror. It is a film that shows what can happen when a society is run by religious fanatics and fundamentalists, sick and complex sadists and what happens to those who do not fit into their narrative. Vitaletti achieved an extremely creepy and uncomfortable atmosphere from beginning to end, and this film also stands out with its convincing acting performances by the entire ensemble.
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