Movies at Halloween: Mandy (2018)

Movies at Halloween: In the build-up to Halloween, I will be looking back at a selection of movies worth checking out at this time of year. As I have already written about the best modern horror movies, I will focus on different films this time around that will get you in the Halloween spirit.

Some movies are meant to fill up cinemas and make millions of dollars. Sometimes those movies don’t work and instead find loyal cult followings on DVD. And then there are movies that are clearly not going to be box office smashes but seem destined at birth to be cult classics. Mandy is without a doubt one of those movies. This is a film in which Nicolas Cage wields a chainsaw and battles leather-clad biker demons. Whether you love it or hate it depends on how you feel about that premise.

The film is about a man named Red (Nicolas Cage) and his partner Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) whose lives are destroyed when they attract the attention of hippy cult leader Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache). One thing leads to another and Red embarks on a chaotic revenge spree against Sand and his servants, the aforementioned biker demons. If this sounds off the chain crazy, that’s because it is. What is unusual is just how slow the movie is and how it really takes its time getting to the bits people came to see.

For a movie that contains some of the craziest on-screen violence you can imagine, Mandy still gives its characters room to breathe. As a result, Cage gives one of his best performances in ages. He is equally believable whether he is sitting on a toilet crying in his underpants or brutally severing demon heads. Perhaps this is why it was one of the best reviewed movies of last year even though it features a cheddar cheese spewing goblin. Yes, you read that correctly.

It is worth mentioning that Cage is not the only reason you should watch Mandy. Director Panos Cosmatos creates some of the most distinctive imagery in recent memory with the screen often lit by neon pinks, purples and reds by cinematographer Benjamin Loeb. The rest of the cast around him also provide fine performances, especially Roache who proves after Vikings that he should get more roles. There is also a fun bit of 80’s casting with Bill Duke from Predator as Red’s confidante.

Mandy fulfils its promise in the last part of the film when Cage goes on the hunt for revenge. Each encounter with his enemies is crazier than the last and there is the distinct feeling towards the end that absolutely anything could happen. To mention specific details here would just spoil the fun but it does feature buckets of gore and ridiculous amounts of drug-addled madness. To put it simply, if you are looking to discover a future cult classic this Halloween then this is the movie for you.

Why you should watch this: Nicolas Cage wields a chainsaw and a scythe at various points. Enough said.

Best moment: Any of the moments mentioned above.

Also check out: Mom and Dad which is another OTT horror from recent years starring Nicolas Cage .

Image Credit: #Movie #Poster Mandy (2018) [1748 x 2480], junaidrao, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), some rights reserved.

Disclaimer Notice: Any thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely my own. Any images (copyrighted or otherwise) have been used according to Creative Commons and if needed, have been referenced to the best of my knowledge.

© 2020 Kelly’s Film Guide

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