Set in rural New York in 1843, The Last Thing Mary Saw is a moody, character-driven shocker that patiently takes its time revealing its secrets.

Mary (Stefanie Scott) is blindfolded, blood seeping from under the cloth over her eyes, accused of having something to do with a family death. She’s forced to recite The Lord’s Prayer, guns poised to bring her down if she’s unable to. We’re shown the tragic sequence of events that led to this in the form of ‘chapters’, each slowly revealing a little more of the tale. At the story’s heart is the forbidden relationship between Mary and the family maid Eleanor (Isabelle Fuhrman). The house is overseen by the matriarch grandmother (Judith Roberts), who dishes out punishment for sins against their religion.

The Last Thing Mary Saw is a stunning piece of cinema, beautifully filmed and seething with an oppressive atmosphere. Written and directed by Edoardo Vitaletti, this dark tale doesn’t fall into the genre’s trappings of seemingly similar entries. It’s less a story of witchcraft, supernatural, and more of feminine power and the power puritanical religion has to blind and control. David Kruta’s cinematography is much more important than the actors on screen; every shot is a thing of twisted beauty. There’s a palpable sense of dread and oppression as things unfold. The pacing is deliberately slow, almost painfully, but ultimately rewarding.

The Last Thing Mary Saw will be available on DVD from September 19th