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Quietly creepy, slightly crazy Nicolas Cage

Quietly creepy, slightly crazy Nicolas Cage

Some people find jazz music annoying, but there’s no place I’d rather be than jazz. Village Pioneers. Some people think cilantro tastes like soap, but don’t even bother with a bowl of chili unless you’ve chopped up some of that precious green herb. And some people scream and scream at the mere whiff of Nicolas Cage screaming and hissing and mincing and making bug eyes. I admit that I used to enjoy it, too, in small doses. But I’m at a point now where “crazy Nick Cage” feels like a cheap ploy to get the audience to react when it’s not the real thing.

This is particularly annoying Long legsAn otherwise effective horror film that falls to its knees when Cage’s untamed bray shatters its carefully constructed tone. But I know for many, Cage’s “let’s fart in church” approach will stand out. Thankfully, there’s not much of that in this film, so if you’re on my side of the argument, there’s still plenty here to be interesting.

Long legs (In theaters Friday) Written and directed by Osgood Perkins (Blackcoat’s Daughter, I’m the Beautiful Thing That Lives in the House) is at the tip of the spear of “flicker cinema.” On paper, there’s nothing particularly original about the film. Long legswhich combines satanism, cursed babies, a serial killer and an FBI investigation. But like the great Miles Davis albums of the late 1960s (see note above on jazz) it’s more ton is better than the melody.

Maika Monroe in the movie ‘Longlegs’.

NEON


After an eerie 4:3 aspect ratio prologue shot with curved corners reminiscent of an old photograph, we are transported to the 1990s (the absence of cell phones and photos of President Clinton clues us in) somewhere in the eternally gloomy Pacific Northwest. Lee Harker (Maika Monroe) is a young FBI agent given a job that the older agents are unwilling to do – go door to door to gather information about unusual murders in the area. For decades, entire families have been periodically wiped out with zero sign of an intruder. The father kills his wife and children with objects found in the house, and then himself. All that remains is a cryptic message signed “Longlegs.”

As Lee walks, he somehow senses where the newest killer is lurking; naturally, his partner leads this hunch into his own undoing. After an assessment, it is determined that Lee has some sort of ESP and is partnered with Carter (Blair Underwood), who has been on the case for a long time. By this point in the film, Perkins has already made an obtrusive use of short lenses—just enough to distort the frame, but not enough to make it look like a full-on Christmas ball—and slow zooms. When Lee places index cards on the carpet, the textures of each interior vibrate eerily, thanks to the high-contrast lighting and color scheme of clotted blood. Zigli’s original score occasionally Flare-esque synthesizers, in case you need something else to get you on edge.

As Lee browses microfiche and makes occasional phone calls to his religious fundamentalist mother (Alicia Witt), he and Carter follow the steps of a typical detective movie – but with something fundamental closedUnlike the lack of sleep in Christopher Nolan’s Al Pacino movie, there is no reason for this. Insomniaand it’s not played for cross-genre laughs like David Lynch’s Twin PeaksBut everything about the way these characters behave proves that this movie doesn’t exist entirely in our world.

Nicolas Cage and Maika Monroe star in the movie ‘Longlegs’.

Neon


As the investigation continues and Lee begins drawing diagrams on graph paper to predict when the next murder will occur, the stage is cleared for Nicolas Cage to make his grand entrance, complete with radical make-up reminiscent of Ron Perlman in the 80s. Beauty and the Beast If this were a TV show, Cage’s villain (the aforementioned Longlegs) would make it clear that he’s merely a representative of “Mr. Downstairs.” I’ll leave it up to you to figure out who that is.

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Cage screams and makes oooga-booga noises in a few of his scenes, and I’ve made it clear that I find it annoying, but I’ll give him and Perkins credit: no one is hiding anything in this movie.

As for the mystery itself, it’s nothing too shocking, but it all makes some sort of inherent sense. Adding to the overall air of unease is a solid amount of blood and some effective jump scares. I’m a bit tired of supernatural dolls at this point, but the ones seen here are disturbing enough. Maybe it’s because one of them is undergoing an autopsy.

Although there is a marketing campaign Long legs might make you think this is a thrill ride, but it’s not really one. It’s deliberately paced with lots of quiet moments and not many dead bodies on screen. There’s also plenty of dark clouds, rain and snow, which can be interesting during this hot summer. What’s most impressive is how Perkins pulls together the simple component parts and somehow manages to turn it into such an unnerving film. Long legs Definitely one step ahead of the rest. Level B