The Last Thing Mary Saw is a 2021 American horror film about a young woman under investigation due to the death of her family’s matriarch.
Written and directed by Edoardo Vitaletti – making his feature debut – the movie stars Rory Culkin, Isabelle Fuhrman, Judith Roberts, Stefanie Scott and Shane Coffey.
Southold, New York, 1843: Young Mary (Stefanie Scott), blood trickling from behind the blindfold tied around her eyes, is interrogated about the events surrounding her grandmother’s death.
As the story jumps back in time, we witness Mary, raised in a repressively religious household, finding fleeting happiness in the arms of Eleanor (Isabelle Fuhrman), the home’s maid. Her family, who believe they are seeing, speaking, and acting on God’s behalf, view the girls’ relationship as an abomination, to be dealt with as severely as possible.
The couple attempts to carry on in secret, but someone is always watching, or listening, and the wages of perceived sin threaten to become death, with the tension only heightened by the arrival of an enigmatic stranger (Rory Culkin) and the revelation of forces other than the Lord at work…
“The horror creeps in ever so slowly, and the answer to the title question is a somewhat satisfying one. It’s a polished effort that perfectly encapsulates the doom of suffocating repression. But there’s not much there beyond the surface, and the filmmaker renders his mythology a little too imperceptive.” Bloody Disgusting
“There’s not a ton of explanation as to what’s occurring, and he ends the film on a single frame that doesn’t resolve or explain too much, sadly. That said, The Last Thing Mary Saw is a richly drawn, and beautifully acted period piece that mixes folk horror with very modern themes, and I hope it’s welcomed and embraced by the film community.” Cinema Crazed
“The Last Thing Mary Saw isn’t breaking new ground with its story, but it’s carrying off its brand of horror and tragedy incredibly well. What audiences will feel, as the film washes over them, is infinitely more important than any message the film may be trying to get across. Beautifully assembled, haunting, and cold, The Last Thing Mary Saw is highly effective horror.” Daily Dead
“[Rory Culkin] plays an intruder who twists the finale into a brutal standoff. It’s an odd feeling watching the end of The Last Thing That Mary Saw in that regard. The most memorable part of the film is seeing an embattled lesbian couple fight the epitome of male dominance.” Dread Central
“The Last Thing Mary Saw is unpretentious horror done right with a melancholic reflection of a bygone past mixed with obscure occult elements wresting life from already blinded grips consumed by hate and arrogance…” It’s Bloggin Evil!
“While it doesn’t do much to lift itself above traditional tropes or other stories like it that have come before, The Last Thing Mary Saw is a well-crafted commentary on religion and the ways in which fear holds us hostage. It probably won’t terrify you, but a tense atmosphere and some scene-stealing performances—including an uncomfortable turn from Rory Culkin—make this an eerie shocker well worth the watch.” Killer Horror Critic
” …throw in an excellent score by experienced composer Keegan DeWitt on top of the story and direction by Edoardo Vitaletti in his feature debut and you have a very atmospheric thriller, rather than a scream out loud jump out of your skin horror. Make no mistake, this is not a high adrenaline scream fest. What you have in The Last Thing Mary Saw is mountains of tension being built up slowly and evenly.” Run Pee
“Even if The Last Thing Mary Saw wasn’t told in flashback we know that this kind of evil done in the name of all things holy would not end well. And they don’t as the consequences of everyone’s actions come back to literally and figuratively haunt them in the film’s final act. Low on gore and jump scares but full of dread and unease, The Last Thing Mary Saw builds to a grim and chilling final half-hour.” Voices from the Balcony
The Last Thing Mary Saw will be shown at the Fantasia film festival on August 15th and 17th.
Shudder has also acquired the film, currently set for release sometime in “early 2022.”
Craig Engler, general manager of Shudder, commented: “We are excited to bring Edoardo’s chilling and unique directorial debut to Shudder. Full of twists and turns that will keep viewers guessing until the very end and featuring an immensely talented cast and crew, The Last Thing Mary Saw is a gripping tale we can’t wait to share with our members.”
“It is such an honor to join Shudder’s incredible slate of films. For years they have been raising the bar for thought-provoking genre storytelling, and I’m thrilled to partner with them in releasing The Last Thing Mary Saw”, said writer-director Edoardo Vitaletti.
“First-time feature writer/director Edoardo Vitaletti swiftly establishes an oppressive, intolerant milieu in which the inability to recite the Lord’s Prayer can be punishable by a rifle shot. Within this claustrophobic, starkly photographed environment, two actresses recognizable from contemporary genre stories – Insidious: Chapter 3’s Scott and Orphan and Cell’s Fuhrman – slip easily and compassionately into the skins of young women victimized by prejudices of a bygone era.
Appropriate for a story about “the love that dare not speak its name,” lengthy stretches of The Last Thing Mary Saw play without dialogue, the emotions conveyed by looks and gestures and atmosphere. Vitaletti, along with his first-rate craft collaborators and cast (also including Eraserhead’s Judith Roberts as the creepily imposing matriarch), has crafted an impressive debut film in which the horror seeps gradually into the artfully wrought picture, drawn out by the worst impulses of the human soul and exacerbated by supernatural malevolence.” Michael Gingold
Cast and characters:
Rory Culkin … The Intruder
Isabelle Fuhrman … Eleanor
Stefanie Scott … Mary
Shane Coffey … Eustace’s Son
Carolyn McCormick … Agnes
Judith Roberts … The Matriarch
Philip Hoffman … Deputy #1
Michael Laurence … Randolph
Daniel Pearce … The Interrogator
Dawn McGee … Ann
Sebastian Beacon … Deputy #3
P.J. Sosko … Theodore (The Guard)
Tommy Buck … Eustace
Matthew Stannah … Deputy #2
Stephen Lee Anderson … The Grandfather
Elijah Rayman … Matthew (as Eli Rayman)
There is currently no trailer available for The Last Thing Mary Saw.