The Last Thing Mary Saw Dir: Edoardo Vitaletti (Shudder)

The Last Thing Mary Saw will seep under your skin like blood from under a door.

Starring: Stefanie Scott, Isabelle Fuhrman, Rory Culkin

Dark, gothic, unsettling and foreboding are all accurate ways to describe this slow burning religious horror story.

The Last Thing Mary SawThis is director Edoardo Vitaletti’s debut feature and it is an overall success, but not without a few false steps.

Set in a small town in upstate New York in 1843 (pre-Civil War America), the film’s “story” such as it is revolves around a young girl, Mary, played by Stefanie Scott (Insidious), her uptight, repressive religious family and her “ungodly” relationship with Eleanor (Isabelle Fuhrman) the live-in maid.

The head of the house, Mary’s grandmother, is simply referred to as “the Matriarch”, though she is played brilliantly by the 87 year old Judith Roberts, who knows  thing or two about shock and horror, having made her screen debut in David Lynch’s Erasurehead way back in 1977.

Jumping back and forth in time from before and after Granny’s death, the film can be difficult to follow especially given the fact that the dialogue (when present) is often unintelligible and the lighting, such as it is, is almost non-existent…except for a few well-placed candles.

The Last Thing Mary SawThis is a film more about mood and atmosphere than plot and storyline. As such, the first half can be slow going, but those who stick with it will be rewarded with a lingering feeling of unease…which, I’m guessing, is exactly what the filmmakers were after.

There are a few scenes that will stay with you once the lights are up including a tense scene in which Mary is forced to recite The Lord’s Prayer while rifles are aimed at her head…one slip on the tongue and she’s off to meet her maker.

While the film does have its share of violence…eyes are gouged, digits chopped…most of the horror takes place in the viewer’s mind.

Watching The Last Thing Mary Saw is will almost put the viewer under an hypnotic trance…so there’s no telling what the last thing will be that you saw.

Marty Duda

Begins streaming January 20th on Shudder