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Longlegs: A Pure Nightmare and Satanic Thriller

Longlegs: A Pure Nightmare and Satanic Thriller

Longlegs: A Pure Nightmare and Satanic Thriller

Long legs : a sensational film by Osgood Perkins

Since his debut as a director, Osgood Perkins (son of Anthony Perkins) was very skilled at provoking feelings of anxiety in the viewer. With February (2015), his first feature film, placed Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton in a disturbing and chilling thriller. However, we already sensed some screenplay limitations in the director, with the feeling of being faced with an empty shell. Osgood Perkins is interested to evil and is generally placed on the edge of the fantastic. If his atmospheres are up to par in terms of uneasiness, too often we leave his works perplexed about their real interest. And about the message (if there is one) that the director wants to convey.

Maika Monroe - Long Legs ©Metropolitan
Maika Monroe – Long Legs ©Metropolitan

Because Osgood Perkins’ cinema is not entertainment. He is an independent filmmaker who should therefore have something to say. But even then the simplistic aspect that results from his cinema rarely lives up to expectations. That said, placing oneself in this process of pure sensation, Long legshis fourth feature film heights of terror. A terrifying and nightmarish film that manages to haunt its audience. There is something extraordinary in Osgood Perkins’ ability to make us feel such pure and palpable fear, at a time when we thought we had seen it all.

Maika Monroe vs. Nicolas Cage

The film follows, in the 90s, Lee Harker, an FBI agent who investigates a serial killer (nicknamed Longlegs). A very peculiar killer, since he does not kill directly. He manipulates his victims by making them massacre their own families before committing suicide. This killer is Nicholas Cage who embodies him, unrecognizable behind a swollen face and white hair. For his first appearance, Osgood Perkins is careful not to show this antagonist completely. With the imposing Long Legs protruding from the frame (in 4/3 format at the beginning of the film), the director thus creates a mixture of irony (from his nickname) and anguish. An anxiety that will be maintained throughout with this fear of seeing this joyful monster with a shrill voice re-emerge (sort of monstrous version of Michael Jackson).

Nicolas Cage - Long Legs ©Metropolitan
Nicolas Cage – Long Legs ©Metropolitan

If Nicolas Cage is, as always, brilliantly exuberant, the presence of Maika Monroe playing Lee was also a wise choice on the part of Osgood Perkins. The actress, revealed in Followsshe is one of those actresses made for genre and horror cinema (like the recent Observer). Although she never appears as a victim but as an active heroine (a more antisocial version of Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambsobvious reference), we tense up every time danger approaches.

A peak of terror

Of course, Osgood Perkins isn’t making this up. He’s even frustrating with the simplicity of his scenario and his predictable revelations. We can also criticize him for not being clear enough about his intentions. Too serious about Satanism with an element of inexplicable fantasy, the filmmaker demonstrates at the same time a certain irony, in particular by referring to the T.Rex rock band. The one with remains Long legsrarely has a work succeeded in provoking so much discomfort and fascination thanks to elements that are, in themselves, relatively simple. The effect is there, with a film from which we do not emerge unscathed. This alone is already a lot.

Long legs by Osgood Perkins, in theaters July 10, 2024. Above is the trailer.

Source: Cine Serie

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