Martha Marcy May Marlene is a 2011 American drama thriller film written and directed by Sean Durkin, and starring Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson, and Hugh Dancy. The plot focuses on a young woman suffering from delusions and paranoia after returning to her family from an abusive cult in the Catskill Mountains. The film contains several references to the music of Jackson C. Frank.
Early one morning, Martha flees from an abusive cult in the Catskill Mountains that is led by an enigmatic leader, Patrick. She phones her sister Lucy, eventually asking for her help. Lucy picks her up from a nearby bus station and takes Martha to her lake house in Connecticut which she shares with her husband, Ted. Martha only tells Lucy that she had been living with her boyfriend in the Catskill Mountains, leaving out all mention of the cult. During the following days, Martha continues to exhibit unusual behavior, with little regard for the norms of conventional American society.