Original title:Longlegs
Director:Osgood Perkins
Running time:101 minutes
Release date:12 july 2024
FBI agent Lee Harker, a talented new recruit, is assigned to the unsolved case of an elusive serial killer. The investigation, bordering on the occult, becomes even more complex when she discovers a personal connection to the ruthless killer she must stop before he takes the lives of more innocent families.

Mulder's Review

Longlegs, directed by Oz Perkins, offers an experience that is both deeply disturbing and artistically successful. From the outset, the film commands attention with a chilling prologue set in the 1970s, where a young girl encounters a bizarre figure, later revealed to be Nicolas Cage in an unforgettable role. This scene sets the tone for a story that deftly blends elements of supernatural horror and psychological thriller, maintaining a hold on the audience's senses throughout.

Maika Monroe stars as Lee Harker, a rookie FBI agent in charge of investigating a serial killer named Longlegs. The killer's method is particularly terrifying: he makes families kill each other without his physical presence, leaving behind only an occult letter. Monroe's portrayal of Lee is convincing, showing a character both haunted and gifted, his psychic abilities adding a layer of complexity to his relentless pursuit of the killer. Her performance anchors the film, creating a palpable connection with the audience as she navigates through personal and professional turbulence.

Director Oz Perkins creates a world of unrelenting dread, using a subdued color palette and haunting sound design that reinforce the film's sinister atmosphere. Aesthetic choices, from the grainy vintage look to the use of T. Rex's Bang a Gong (Get It On), amplify the sense of unease, making each scene visually and sonically immersive. Perkins' direction is meticulous, ensuring that every moment is charged with tension, whether through visual cues or soundscapes that keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

Nicolas Cage delivers an outstanding performance as Longlegs, hidden beneath heavy prostheses that transform him into a figure of pure malevolence. His performance is a masterpiece of controlled chaos, presenting a villain both charismatic and horrifying. Cage's performance is complemented by the film's structure, which deftly interweaves moments of intense dread with quieter, more introspective scenes, keeping viewers constantly captivated and in anticipation.

Longlegs excels in its ability to blend genres, drawing on elements of classic police procedural and supernatural horror. The film echoes the narrative complexity of Silence of the Lambs and the dark, atmospheric tension of Se7en, yet stands out for its unique voice. Fragmented narration and camera jumps add to the sense of disorientation, reflecting the process of investigation and the protagonist's inner turmoil. This approach reinforces the psychological depth of the film, which is no longer just a horror story, but a profound exploration of fear and evil.

The supporting cast, notably Blair Underwood as Lee's weary boss and Alicia Witt as his conservative mother, deliver solid performances that add emotional layers to the story. Blair Underwood's character brings a touch of realism, while Witt's performance as a troubled mother deepens the story by illuminating Lee's background and motivations. These relationships add richness to the film, making the characters' struggles and fears more understandable and impactful.

Oz Perkins' exploration of evil in Longlegs is both thematic and visceral. The film explores the nature of malevolence, suggesting that it permeates not just the actions of a serial killer, but the very fabric of society. The depiction of satanic elements and psychic phenomena is treated with chilling realism, making the supernatural aspects immediate and plausible. This approach makes the horror more tangible, as the film blurs the boundaries between reality and nightmare.

Longlegs stands out as a successful horrific thriller, offering a tale as intellectually stimulating as it is terrifying. The film's atmosphere, enriched by Andres Arochi Tinajero's cinematography and Eugenio Battaglia's sound design, creates a sensory experience that lingers long after the credits roll. The meticulous pacing and integration of visual and aural elements ensure that every scene contributes to a growing sense of dread and anticipation.

Longlegs is a film in a class of its own in contemporary horror cinema, combining atmospheric horror with psychological depth and genre-defying storytelling. With unforgettable performances from Nicolas Cage and Maika Monroe, and a directorial vision that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, Longlegs is a must-see for horror fans and cinephiles alike. Oz Perkins has crafted a film that not only frightens, but also provokes thought, making Longlegs a cinematic experience as rewarding as it is terrifying.

Written and directed by Oz Perkins
Produced by Dan Kagan, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Nicolas Cage, Dave Caplan, Chris Ferguson
Starring Maika Monroe, Nicolas Cage, Blair Underwood, Alicia Witt, Michelle Choi-Lee, Dakota Daulby
Cinematography : Andrés Arochi
Edited by Greg Ng, Graham Fortin
Music by Zilgi
Production companies: C2 Motion Picture Group, Traffic, Range, Oddfellows, Saturn Films
Distributed by Neon (United States), Metropolitan Films (France), Black Bear International (International)
Release date : July 10, 2024 (France), July 12, 2024 (United States)
Running time : 101 minutes

Seen on July 10, 2024 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 14 seat A20

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