Longlegs: A New Standard in Serial Killer Horror Films

“It legitimately had me on the verge of tears in terror,” shared one early viewer.

Early audiences are raving about Nicolas Cage’s latest film, Longlegs, calling it the best serial killer horror since The Silence of the Lambs hit theaters in 1991.

Directed by Oz Perkins (Gretel & Hansel, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House), the movie is set in the 1990s and follows FBI agent Lee Harker (played by Maika Monroe) as she delves into a series of murders linked to a Satanic killer known as Longlegs (played by Cage).

Oz Perkins, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Scheduled for release in the UK on July 12, coinciding with its wider US release, Longlegs has already garnered significant acclaim from early screenings. Matt Neglia, editor of Next Best Picture, praised the film on Twitter, describing it as “one of the best serial killer films in recent memory.” He highlighted its “psychologically scarring” nature and called it a “sinister and unnerving descent into hell that will haunt your mind and soul.”

Another viewer confessed that the film left them “on the verge of tears in terror” and advised against watching it alone. Fans have lauded Perkins for infusing dread and terror into every frame, with Monroe delivering a hypnotic performance and Cage’s portrayal expected to haunt viewers’ nightmares.

Audience members have reported lingering fear long after the credits rolled. One person remarked, “Saw Longlegs this morning and now I’m just supposed to… carry on with my day? It’s like Osgood Perkins saw Silence of the Lambs and thought, ‘Nah, not f***ed up enough for me.’”

Cage’s transformation into the killer is only hinted at in the Longlegs trailer. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cage likened this approach to “driving people towards a freak show at a circus tent.” He explained, “We’ve got the thing behind the curtain, and when there’s enough people gathered around, we’re going to pull the curtain.” This strategy, he said, is akin to “putting a warning label on a jar of nitroglycerin.”

Describing his character, Cage warned, “The monster is a highly, highly dangerous substance. The way it’s moved, unveiled, deployed has to be treated very carefully. Forget about the movie theater blowing up; the whole city could blow up, nay the country, maybe even the world. He is going to change your reality. Your doors of perception are going to open, and your life is not going to be the same.”

Following the intense reactions to early screenings, Perkins expressed surprise at how deeply his film has disturbed viewers.

Longlegs promises to be a gripping and terrifying addition to the genre, leaving an indelible mark on those brave enough to watch.


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