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DVD Review

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The Last Thing Mary Saw


Starring: Stefanie Scott, Isabelle Fuhrman, Judith Roberts and Rory Culkin
Distributor: Acorn Media International
RRP: £15.99
5 036193 036910
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 19 September 2022

Set in 1843 at Southold, New York, a young woman has been raised in a repressively religious and eerily claustrophobic household. She finds brief happiness in the arms of the family maid, Eleanor. However, when her actions are witnessed by family members who are convinced they are acting on God’s behalf, she is severely punished – along with Eleanor – over lengthy periods of time. These cruel acts are universally orchestrated by a wicked grandmother dressed in black. Desperation forces the two young women to take matters into their own hands with devastating effects, as the arrival of a stranger severely complicates the situation. But does the grandmother represent God or something entirely more evil...?

Acorn Media International releases the Shudder Original DVD release of The Last Thing Mary Saw. It features Isabelle Fuhrman (a horror regular) of Orphan, Rory Culkin of Signs, Stephanie Scott of Insidious 3, and Judith Roberts of Orange is the New Black and You Were Never Really Here. The film premiered at the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival.

The opening sees Mary, with her eyes put out and a cloth tied around her eyes, standing in front of a handful of men who question her and demand she recite holy scriptures. A rifle is pointed at her the entire time, as if the men are afraid of her. We are then thrown into the backstory of how Mary reached this point. It’s a slow burner and I’m not certain the balance is quite right, but it does have its set-piece moments. I won’t give anything away, though there is a death which should have been heart-breaking to one character and is virtually shrugged-off in one minute. The grandmother is a powerful figure; commanding, without having to do very much. A sort of demonic matriarch.

It's necessary to pick the plot out from the discarded bones, to realise what has actually been witnessed. This is not to say it is without merit, merely that some scenes are rather slow and tedious and others compelling. Only afterwards is it understood these scenes are actually required to complete the whole. The lovely Isabelle Fuhrman injects more character into the maid Eleanor than most of the rest of the cast put together – even though she says very little. So, it’s a mixed bag. But a bag worth opening and taking a peek inside.


Ty Power

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