A year of pandemic has stolen countless experiences from us—and one of them was seeing Saint Maud, the year’s most quietly unsettling horror film, on the big screen. After a planned theatrical rollout was waylaid last spring for obvious reasons, director Rose Glass’s profoundly creepy and compelling portrait of possession, religious fanaticism, and psychosis recently made its way to streaming platforms in the U.S.
The film centers around a devout catholic hospice nurse, Maud (Morfydd Clark), whose obsession with saving the soul of a terminally ill patient and ridding her of demons drives her to terrifying lengths. Impressively, the film isn’t just the debut feature from first-time director Glass—it’s also the first film score from Adam Janota Bzowski, a London composer whose groaning synths and mangled percussion helps set the mood of impending catastrophe. Bzowski’s Saint Maud music slots right in with notable recent horror scores such as Colin Stetson’s Hereditary score and the Haxan Cloak’s Midsommar soundtrack, so we Zoomed him up to talk about it.
(Warning: This interview contains some significant Saint Maud spoilers.)