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Longlegs
While still a solid film that horror fans should enjoy, this is a film that has perhaps been overhyped.

Longlegs

Release Date: July 12, 2024
Runtime: 01:41
Synopsis:
In pursuit of a serial killer, an FBI agent uncovers a series of occult clues that she must solve to end his terrifying killing spree.

Table of Contents

A young female FBI agent is assigned to track a Satanic serial killer in . Agent Lee Harker () is a young FBI agent with a strong intuition and possible psychic abilities. As a result of her unique abilities, her superior Agent Carter () assigns her to a serial killer case the FBI has been tracking for three decades. In each mass murder, an entire family is killed by the father in a murder-suicide, with the only connective element being code letters signed Longlegs. As she begins investigating the case, Harker is contacted by the serial killer (), who puts her right in the middle of his Satanic game.

Longlegs Synopsis

Longlegs is a procedural horror film written and directed by Osgood Perkins (The Blackcoat's Daughter, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House). The film stars Maika Monroe (It Follows, The Guest, God is a Bullet) as Lee Harker, a possibly autistic and psychic FBI agent, who has a complicated relationship with her mother Ruth (). After Harker can capture a killer based on intuition alone, she is assigned to the 30-year case of the serial killer known as Longlegs, played by a completely unrecognizable Nicolas Cage.

Calling Longlegs a serial killer is a bit of a misnomer since each murder is performed as a murder-suicide by the patriarch of various families. The only clue to Longlegs' involvement is the letters left behind written in a coded cypher. Harker discovers a pattern to the murders and discovers that it is only a few days before Longlegs will kill again.

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My Thoughts on Longlegs

Longlegs is the fourth feature directed by Osgood Perkins, the son of Psycho star Anthony Perkins, following 2015's The Blackcoat's Daughter (fka February), 2016's I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, and 2020's Gretel and Hansel. The plot is quite shamelessly ripped off from The Silence of the Lambs, with a dash of Zodiac, in how it involves a young, female FBI agents on the trail of a Satanic serial killer. This includes coming across some very grisly crime scenes and having frightening encounters at night, as Longlegs seems to be stalking Lee Harker from the shadows.

Probably the element of Longlegs that would make or break the film for viewers is the performance by Nicolas Cage as the titular serial killer. A conscious decision was made by Osgood Perkins to hide Nicolas Cage from all marketing materials, as the first half is spent obscuring Longlegs' face. When the big reveal finally happens, the killer is not all recognizable as Nicolas Cage, who is wearing prosthetic make-up for the role, to the point where it might have been better for Longlegs to follow the lead of Se7en and make Cage's casting a secret for the entire film. I ended up having a mixed reaction to Cage's performance in the film, an explanation of which is going to require SPOILERS.

SPOILERS Ahead

While never explicitly stated in the film that the character is trans, Nicolas Cage performs the character of Dale Ferdinand Cobble, aka Longlegs, in a very feminine manner. While this is likely meant to evoke the transexual antagonist of Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, it does not come off as particularly politically correct in 2024. While Nicolas Cage is indeed unsettling in the role, it might be for the wrong reasons.

As someone who watches a lot of horror films, and is somewhat desensitized to the genre, I did not find Longlegs to be as scary and disturbing as I was expecting. In some ways, Longlegs is a victim of being hyped that it is something that it is not. While still a solid film that horror fans should enjoy, I found myself not particularly affected by it.

Trailer for Longlegs

This post was proofread by Grammarly 

How to Watch Longlegs

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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