Ben Oliver

Now
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film

Mandy

You are a vicious snowflake.
20 October 2022

A man (Nicolas Cage) and his girlfriend (Andrea Riseborough) live in a secluded cabin in the woods. Their lives are upended when they are captured by a religious cult.

This is a tale of two halves; the capture and the revenge. Both are bathed in a surreal purple darkness that envelops every frame. The atmosphere is moody and quiet, which stands in strange contrast to the completely unhinged plot and characters.

I’m quickly wooed then quickly bored by overly stylised horror films but Mandy kept me engaged. On paper it’s half an hour too long yet Cosmatos keeps to a slow and trance-like pacing that makes time just melt away.

Say what you will about Nicolas Cage, there’s no one out there working in the same way he works, making the choices he makes. He’s a hand-in-glove fit for this film and puts in some of his best work.

This was one of the final films scored by the brilliant Jóhann Jóhannsson, whose work here plays a huge part in the success of the film.

Perhaps Mandy is a touch superficial but its ambition and creativity know no bounds and for that it’s very much worth a watch. Not for the squeamish.