The First ‘Longlegs’ Reviews Are Calling Nic Cage’s Chilling Performance An ‘Instant Classic’ That Might ‘Hijack Your Subconscious’

Longlegs is the upcoming horror slasher starring Nic Cage and before you think “Hey, I’ve seen that before” think again, because it seems like Nic Cage has once again completely transformed himself into a shell of what he once was in order to ensure a chilling performance in the film. It seems to have worked.

The movie, directed by Osgood Perkins (real fans know him as “Dorky Dave” from Legally Blonde) hits theaters this weekend and early reviews are confirming that this is not the National Treasure Nic Cage we all know and love: Longlegs Nic Cage is a whole new breed.

The film follows FBI Agent Lee Harker (Maika Monroe), who is tasked with tracking down the elusive serial killer. Through the course of the investigation, she learns that she might have her own personal connection with the killer, who is using the occult and some Zodiac Killer-style messages to lure his victims. When all else fails to scare an audience, throwing in some Satanic Panic is always a surefire way to haunt viewers.

While the story might have been done a few times before, critics agree that Cage gives a career defining performance in the film that will haunt your dreams. Here’s what they are saying:

Peter Debruge, Variety:

In the moment, it’s considerably less scary than the ecstatic early buzz — ginned up by Neon via whisper campaigns and strategic advance screenings — would have you believe. Less than 12 hours after seeing it, however, the demented Nicolas Cage character resurfaced in my nightmares, popping up out of nowhere to screech, “Hail Satan!” in that unnerving, high-pitched voice of his.

How many horror movies can claim to hijack your subconscious?

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter:

The film allows Nicolas Cage to add another Hall of Fame entry to his gallery of psychos, one that won’t soon be forgotten. If you cast Cage in genre material like this and then only hint at his presence in the trailers, it’s a given that he’s not going to be playing warm and cuddly. The fun in Longlegs is in discovering that Cage’s title character is just one part of the horrific reality behind a growing string of violent deaths.

Tim Grierson, Screen Daily:

Despite the fact that Longlegs dabbles in Satanism and psychic powers, Perkins brings a bracing realism which only makes the sometimes-graphic horror much more upsetting. In due course, Lee will unlock her past and deduce Longlegs’ plan, and the explanations are refreshingly airtight; an impressive achievement considering so many horror films struggle to explain their riddles. Perkins exerts an almost Fincher-ian level of tonal control over this material, and the supporting players — especially Blair Underwood as Lee’s weary boss and Alicia Witt playing her conservative religious mother — are expertly used. In Longlegs, Lee may solve the mystery, but she does not find any satisfaction along the way. Something wicked is still out there – and it is only getting closer.

David Gonzalez, The Cinematic Reel:

Longlegs is a masterclass in horror and storytelling. Prioritizing tension, characters, and atmosphere, it’s a masterful blend thought-provoking storytelling and “art house.” It’s unholy. It’s unnerving. It’s surreal. It’s Oz Perkins’ magnum opus.

Ian Sandwell of Digital Spy wrote:

It’s the bloody bow on proceedings that cements Longlegs as not just one of 2024’s best horror movies, but one of the year’s best movies overall. You are not ready for the unforgettable and chilling experience that is Longlegs.

Joey Magidson, AwardsRadar:

Longlegs is a horror masterpiece. It’s not just a crowning achievement for the genre, it’s the best film of 2024 so far. I loved it from start to finish, even if it left me with a pounding heart. They so rarely make movies like this anymore, so it’s more than an instant horror classic, it’s something that I’ll never forget.

Longlegs hits theaters on July 12.