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'Longlegs' Review: Nicolas Cage is Skin-Crawling

By Seb Jenkins July 8, 2024

Osgood Perkins’ Longlegs is the unsettling horror event of the year, with Nicolas Cage searing himself into the minds of shuddering cinema-goers across the world.

Skin-crawling. Unsettling. Nightmarish. Words used to describe literally dozens of horror films every single year – but all three should have been reserved exclusively for Longlegs. From the mind of Osgood Perkins and the nightmares of all who dare watch, Longlegs has quickly become the unmissable yet unwatchable horror event of 2024. Get your cold sweats at the ready for Nicolas Cage as you’ve never seen him before… and will never want to see him again.


Set in the 1990s, Longlegs follows FBI agent Lee Harker (Maika Monroe) as she finds herself thrown headfirst into an unsolved case involving a Satanic serial killer. On the surface, it seems like a string of murder-suicides, but the overhanging shadow of a mysterious calling card says otherwise. Longlegs claims responsibility – and has done so for decades. It is up to Harker to track him down before he strikes again, but a personal link throws up the gut-wrenching question of who is chasing who.


It opens with a squashed 1:1 aspect ratio for its home-video style introduction, before eventually stretching to a more modern and cinematic dimension. The film itself follows the opposite pattern – constricting you further into a claustrophobic mess of sweat and popcorn with each passing scene. Longlegs, unfortunately, is nothing short of a masterpiece. Osgood Perkins is a man who cares deeply about horror storytelling and each scene, shot, transition and lens is handpicked to an artisan level in order to create a disturbingly immersive experience.


Although Cage may not enjoy titular-character levels of screen time, his presence lingers in the most unnerving of ways. His eyes simultaneously vacant and hungry, the child-like rasping's of ‘hello, beautiful angel’ linger like a rotten smell. Longlegs is a masterful example of how you can toe the line between reality and fiction in horror. Despite his greasy locks and a face as pale as his victims, Longlegs is undoubtedly human and all too real for comfort. Nicolas Cage’s performance is both worthy of applause and a palpitation or two, just be prepared to see Longlegs’ face in your nightmares for at least a week after the credits roll.

Lee Harker is tasked with going head-to-head with the ghoulish killer himself, but Maika Monroe also goes toe-to-toe with Cage in terms of performance. Cold and emotionless, Harker drifts from scene to scene in an almost ghost-like fashion, but it’s Monroe’s deadpan humour that steals the show. The kind of humour that makes you chuckle, then instinctively makes you question: ‘If they’re making me laugh now… what’s coming next?!’ A special mention also has to go to Blair Underwood, whose expert portrayal of Agent Carter perfectly grounds the audience from start to finish, especially when Monroe seems to know more than she is letting on.


Having watched Longlegs four days ago (at the time of writing), I can safely say that Nicolas Cage’s dead eyes and shark-like lips remain imprinted on the inside of my eyelids. Of course, it doesn’t help that they handed out a business card at the press screening with a phone number which, when called, plays a haunting audio clip from Longlegs himself, deep breathing and all. It also doesn’t help that my birthday happens to be November 14th, a reference you will only understand if you dare book your ticket to a screening.

Good luck.

Star Rating

Rating Longlegs

Longlegs releases in cinemas July 12


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