Mandy – USA, 2018: updated with more reviews

Mandy is a 2018 American action horror feature film directed by Panos Cosmatos from a screenlay co-written with Aaron Stewart-Ahn. The movie stars Nicolas Cage and Andrea Riseborough.

It is one of the last films scored by the late Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson.

Somewhere in the primal wilderness near the Shadow Mountains in the year 1983, Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) has fallen deeply for the deceptively charming Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough). However, the life he has made for himself comes crashing down suddenly and horrifyingly, when a vile band of ravaging cultists and supernatural creatures desecrate his idyllic home with vicious fury. A broken man, Red now lives for one thing only—to hunt down these maniacal villains and exact swift vengeance…

Reviews:

“Most surprising of all, Mandy isn’t solely about the carnage-heavy path for revenge. Cosmatos knows that the impact will be much greater felt if there’s an emotional backbone. Thus, one can feel the soul-churning passion behind every popping eye and crushed skull.” Jordan Raup, The Film Stage

” …the kind of cosmic wonderment that so animated H.P. Lovecraft’s prose, the late Jóhann Jóhannsson’s final haunting score and a main title card that appears an hour into the movie, and you have an expressionistic midnight movie that stirs its many influences into something startlingly unique.” Jamie Graham, Games Radar

“Tricky effects, like a drugged-out sequence shot with a CRT monitor’s gloss, the slowed-down voices as Red achieves his final form and a sublime use of fonts (and a main title card that doesn’t appear until one hour in!) are pure catnip for fetishists of this milieu. Either you are one of the devoted or you’re not. You won’t know what camp you’re in until you see it.” Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian

“As a horror-thriller, Mandy works. This is most likely because Cosmatos is in complete control of his vision. Unfortunately, that’s probably the same reason the film faulters a bit. This is evident in Mandy’s pacing. There are dull, bloated moments throughout that tarnish an otherwise awesome film.” Kenneth Seward Jr., IGN

Mandy is one of the most metal movies ever made. Superficially, it has roots twisting into fantasy novels and horror movies, fuelling the film’s heavy, strange “nightmare in the woods” aesthetic. The second outing from Beyond the Black Rainbow writer/director Panos Cosmatos shares visual elements with his debut: hyper-saturated colors, particularly red; oblique shots that emphasize tone and texture; a sense of experience rather than narrative.” Russ Fischer, The Playlist

” …for all of the endless feral performances that Cage has given, in movies good, bad and forgettable, Cosmatos’ style-driven, ‘80s-tastic passion for weird worlds and characters takes full advantage of Cage’s greatness, and then some.” Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

“In many ways, Mandy is to early 80s occult-horror psych what Anna Biller’s The Love Witch was to early 70s occult-horror psych. Running at 120 minutes each, both films provide a feast of visual delights but you need to accept them on their own plodding terms. However, if you can get into the creator’s headspace, then this film is a journey worth taking.” Noel Lawrence, Screen Anarchy

“Horrible and ludicrous, this is an all-time-great Nicolas Cage wig-out.” Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

Main cast and characters:

  • Nicolas Cage as Red Miller – Between Worlds; Mom and Dad; Pay the Ghost; The Wicker Man; Ghost Rider and sequel
  • Andrea Riseborough as Mandy Bloo
  • Linus Roache as Jeremiah Sand
  • Bill Duke as Caruthers – Predator
  • Richard Brake as The Chemist
  • Ned Dennehy as Brother Swan
  • Olwen Fouere as Mother Marlene
  • Sam Louwyck
  • Hayley Saywell as Sis

Release:

Mandy premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2018. It is scheduled to be released on September 14, 2018 by RLJE Films.

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Categories: 2018, action horror, supernatural

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