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LONGLEGS: A PSYCHOTIC INVASION OF THE BODY & MIND

Oz Perkins's newest film drags us into the terrifying spiral of a madman hell-bent on coercion and murder and the FBI agent at the center of it all. 

By Mo Moshaty   July 8 2024

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"...and that has led to all of this." - Longlegs

It's not often that we see a film that pays homage to elements that have spawned generational adoration. Longlegs' A story has been positioned in similarity to Silence of the Lambs and the string theory dynamic of the predator/agent connection which Oz Perkins handles it so beautifully. 

The introduction to Longlegs hits you over the head with a creep factor that's off the charts. And you thought In A Violent Nature had great ASMR, well Perkins ups the ante with anxiety-ridden snow crunch. 

We're soon introduced to Lee Harker (Maika Monroe) a meek and closed-off 1990s FBI agent on the case of a serial killer with misogynistic partner Agent Fisk (Dakota Dauby) who asks her to "hang back" as he proceeds to try to play the hero. Lee is sparked by a certain sensation, a call from the universe so to speak, that they're barking up the wrong tree and she's right. A shootout occurs and Harker becomes the hero. This sets Lee on the path to chasing the ultimate Svengali, the murderer with clean hands, Longlegs. 

Longlegs has a habit of being involved with several murders without being present, or so it seems and the further Harker digs, the more she finds herself, and all the sick and sordid things buried at her expense, sacrifice and sacrament. 

Maika Monroe is electric as the unassuming Agent Harker with secrets, ticks and habits that elude to her being merely held together by her powers of deduction, soggy cereal and trauma. An image she shatters with sheer prowess as the film goes on.

Blair Underwood takes a great turn as salty Murtaugh-esque Agent Carter, hoping to utilize Harker to her greatest strengths and unknowingly gets pulled deeper into Longlegs' danse macabre. 

Alicia Witt plays the quintessential hidden mother of Lee. A bible-thumping hoarder and helicopter parent extraordinaire, Ruth Harker is horrifyingly covert and overt in the same breath and her line delivery is chill-inducing. 

 

Longlegs is part circus clown, part homicidal maniac and I cannot imagine anyone playing this as astutely as Nicolas Cage. His calculation and spastic ire is stuff that nightmares are made of. This particular villain is a smooth concoction of many serial killers we've seen in our lifetime, built of charm, coercion, and psychopathy. Enough charisma to make their "word" obeyed, enough muscle and threat to spark fear, ensuring compliance and the manipulation of character - giving just enough for you to want more and pulling back enough for you to lean in, and Harker does, and that's where the wolf strikes.   

Harker's second sight proves all too arcane and her efforts to pull the "why" out of the murders explore the problem of the prodigal daughter, the permeative power of psychological control and cultism, the bruise of family dynamic blown apart by violence and the evil subjugation of those in fear of their lives. 

Longlegs is essential viewing for those who love an anxiety spiral, horrific family trauma and a gut-wrenching, mind-melting villain. So far the scariest film of the year!

 

Written and Directed by: Osgood Perkins

Release: July 12, 2024 

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Mo Moshaty is a horror writer, lecturer and producer. As a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and life long horror fan, Mo has lectured with Prairie View A&M Film & TV Program as a Keynote, BAFSS Horror Studies Sig  and The University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Mo has partnered with horror giant, Shudder Channel, to co-produce the 13 Minutes of Horror Film Festival 2021 and 2022 with Nyx Horror Collective and her literary work "Love the Sinner" was published with Brigid's Gate Press in July of 2023 and her two volume collection, "Clairviolence: Tales of Tarot and Torment" will be published in 2025. Mo is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of NightTide Magazine and Mourning Manor Media.

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