A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Bleak drama-horror set in a strict religious community in New York state during the 19th century centers on a secret love affair between a teen girl and her maid, and the circumstances surrounding the death of the matriarch of the family.
Positive Role Models
Mary and Eleanor struggle to be true to themselves and their love for each other in the face of sadistic puritanical punishments.
Movie centers on a lesbian affair and the consequences the two lovers suffer.
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Violence & Scariness
A matriarch draws blood in the throat of a teen girl, resulting in her becoming unable to speak, and then later sticks her fingers into the eyes of the teen girl's lover, leaving her blind, with blood stained to her face below the blindfold she wears. One of the characters shoots and kills another character. Implied sexual assault. One of the character's cuts off the finger of another character. Characters poisoned to death, shown choking on their own blood as it flows out of their mouths. A guard who tries to escape from a strict religious community is hit with a stake in the leg and now has limited mobility due to the assault; in one scene he shows the graphic injury under his pant leg. Two young women whose love affair has been discovered by a strict religious community are forced to kneel on rice while reciting prayers.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing between two lovers. Stories from a primitive book of erotic stories are briefly read aloud.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Thing Mary Saw is a 2022 drama-thriller in which two young women in love with each other try to find a way to escape their strict Puritan community. It's set in the 19th century in a village in New York, and the women are forced to kneel on rice for hours while reciting prayers to atone for their "wickedness." One is made mute when the family's matriarch pokes her throat, and the other is later made blind when the matriarch pushes her fingers into her eyes. Characters are shown dying from poison -- choking then coughing up blood. Implied sexual assault. Finger chopped off. A guard who tries to escape the community is struck with a rod in the leg, resulting in a hobbling injury, graphically shown in one scene. The lesbian affair between the daughter and the maid is believed to have been started by a primitive book of erotic literature brought into the house by the father, with brief excerpts of the stories read aloud -- not graphic, but with implied stories of sex. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a haunting if slow-paced period drama that combines elements of thriller twists and horror imagery. The Last Thing Mary Saw is an appropriately dismal evocation of a dreary Puritanical village in 1843 New York state, where the men sadistically enforce the strict interpretations of Scripture, and an elder matriarch unleashes the harshest penalties on everyone. Against this backdrop and cinematography heavy on the browns and grays, young Mary has fallen passionately in love with her family's maid Eleanor. What follows are ugly forms of a kind of "conversion therapy," a primitive book of erotic stories blamed by the adults for what's transpiring around the house, and as Mary and Eleanor desperately plot their escape, an intruder with a scarred face and a lapsed moral compass shows up to make matters even worse.
In some ways, it's surprisingly good horror tale unless one is expecting a gory bloodbath with not much story. There is indeed a story here, but too much of it. It's trying to be so many things at once, but the central premise of a lesbian love affair amidst joyless austere Puritans is more than enough. The intruder character is as intriguing as any of the other characters if not more so, but in terms of the story, the character comes across as a little too convenient. The supernatural elements don't really heighten suspense that hasn't already been heightened. It's certainly not what anyone would call a lighthearted romp, but the movie is at its best when focused on Mary and Eleanor as they try to survive a drab reality in which their love is viewed by those around them as the workings of Lucifer.
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