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  • Eddie Williams

Mandy - Written Movie Review

I'm reviewing the 2018 horror/ fantasy film, Mandy, directed by Panos Cosmatos and stars Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough , Linus Roache , Bill Duke, and Richard Brake. The peaceful lives of a couple living in a secluded Pacific Northwest forest are brutally shattered by a nightmarish hippie cult and their demon- biker henchman, sending a man into a spiraling, surreal rampage of vengeance. Man was this film a major trip, a very good one at that. Nicolas Cage gives us one of his best performances since his A-list status back in the 90s. In fact, this might easily be in his Top 5 best movies I've ever seen out of his filmography. While doing his typical Nicolas Cage craziness, we get some emotional scenes with him as well. Everybody else did an excellent job. Linus Roache's performance as the brutal hippie-cult leader was quite disturbing as hell (pun intended). The cinematography in this film is absolutely amazing. It has this red / purple psychedelic - noir feel to the visuals, like something from Pink Floyd The Wall. It's very gritty, 70s style , but also has a very clear-cut look with scenes of the forest landscape. I also thought that leaving the grain on the screen was a nice touch by the director. It brought me back to the good old days watching films on VHS tape. WARNING! You probably shouldn't take any type of Hallucinogens while watching this film. A lot of scenes in the movie are purposely trippy to make the viewer feel like they're on LSD. It had me thinking something was in my soda I was drinking. There are some scenes that are aiming for an artistic approach. For example: we get scenes in this film where it fades into animation; kind of similar to some scenes we got in Kill Bill, which I thought worked with the story. Some have brought up that this film feels like one big 70s/ 80s rock music video, which I can see that. You can tell the director was heavily influenced with rock music being apart of the plot. There are scenes where people are wearing Black Sabbath shirts and we see many classic rock band posters in background. Plus, the villain has a connection to a certain classic rock band which I won't spoil. While it does have a thin plot, I was heavily entertained with every bit of detail going on with the story. The score was absolutely beautiful and haunting at the same time. It was done by Johan Johansson and it would be his final score he did before his passing. The film is incredibly brutal, done with excellent practical effects. Now I do have some minor nitpicks. While I did like the revenge plot, I was a bit underwhelmed on how easily Nicolas Cage was taking out all the villains, especially the Hellraiser Cenobite-looking biker demons. Those guys look badass and they look like they were going to be a pretty tough match for Nicolas Cage. We also don't get much of a backstory of those biker demons and the crazy cult leaders, but that didn't bother me too much. I'm not going to go into anymore details. It's definitely criminal that this film got overlooked. I believe only a few hundred theaters got this for just one weekend, so there's still a large crowd that don't know this film exists. Given Nicolas Cage's bad track record, I feel like this film can be his potential comeback to stardom. I highly recommend it.

Final Grade:

What were your thoughts on this film? Leave me a comment below and I'll see you in my next review.

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