Saint Maud is doomed for release date purgatory. A24 has pulled its religious horror movie from release once again, postponing the theatrical Saint Maud release date indefinitely after pushing it from its initial April release date for July 17.
A24 is very determined that its movies hit theaters. At some point. The distributor kept Saint Maud in limbo for months after pulling it from its April release date before finally announcing last month that the Rose Glass-directed horror film would hit theaters on July 17, apparently encouraged by a Tenet July release and the planned re-openings of theaters. But with coronavirus (COVID-19) cases spiking in the U.S. and the delays of both theater re-openings and Tenet‘s release (again), A24 has once again pushed Saint Maud back indefinitely, according to Bloody Disgusting.
Saint Maud was originally set to open in theaters on April 10, but the indie distributor moved its theatrical release to July after theaters shuttered across the nation amid the pandemic. A24 has long been touting the film as “the first horror movie back in theaters,” which is a curious marketing technique. The film has received critical raves since its premiere at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, but it’s hard to imagine audiences flocking to the theater for a small, buzzy horror movie. Theaters have been looking to blockbusters like Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s Mulan to revive ticket sales, but indie horror movies rarely make a splash at theaters even when there isn’t a pandemic.
But perhaps A24 is certain that Saint Maud will be that rare horror mega-hit that could draw major audiences. /Film reviewer Meredith Borders gushed about the film, writing, “Saint Maud is, in its uniqueness, always a pleasure, but it’s also, by the end, a very difficult watch. Glass keeps her audience on our toes, always surprising us, challenging us, provoking us. The film’s a marvelous thing in its own right but also a thrilling invitation to follow this filmmaker wherever she dares to take us next.”
It’s also likely that A24 simply wants to support the cinematic experience, as the beloved distributor has always proudly boosted the presence of indie films in theaters. But A24 would likely do best to keep its good reputation amongst cinephiles by not endangering their health and releasing Saint Maud to VOD like its equally acclaimed First Cow.
A24 has not yet given a new release date yet for Saint Maud.
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