Director Rodrigo Gudino—who grew up Catholic but is now an atheist—explained to NPR that he wanted to get away from using the Devil as the face of evil and instead “present a religious horror film where the religious horror is religion itself.”
It’s titled The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh, and it’s apparently a hit at the Cannes film festival. Gudino reported that no one left his screening there and that that “afterwards we were approached by distributors and festival programmers eager to spread the word.”
The plot, NPR says, involves a man whose “mother just passed away and for the first time in decades, he returns to her house. It’s cluttered with memorabilia that remind him of his mother’s strict and terrifying religious teachings. Statues of angels and the Virgin Mary watch ominously over Leon and he starts to feel a supernatural presence in the house.”
Further, as the man “confronts his childhood fears, he never turns to religion or faith for guidance. He looks to reason and science. So the film becomes an atheist’s take on Catholic horror,” NPR says.
Gudino’s Catholic upbringing took place in Mexico, where he says “the representation of Jesus as a suffering figure is quite extreme in some cases.”
“He’s bleeding and bruised and cut open and things quite grotesque…when you’re in other parts of North America, he’s a resurrected Christ. He’s very clean and respectable. But here, they don’t shy away from showing his suffering side.”
Says Gudino, “To this day I sometimes walk into churches and I feel the terror of that, the terror of being confronted with a god…and like this thing that might be there, like in that space that’s not human…”
Here’s the film’s official trailer #1:
And trailer #2:
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