Five Reasons You’ll Love It - October 11, 2018

Mandy: Five Reasons You'll Love It
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Mandy: Five Reasons You'll Love It

A new horror film from up-and-coming director Panos Cosmatos has been setting tongues wagging at film festivals throughout the summer, but this week Cosmatos' film is set to be unleashed on UK audiences as the film makes its arrival in cinemas on Friday (October 12th).

Mandy stars Nicolas Cage and Andrea Riseborough as a couple living a peaceful life in their woodland cabin near California's Shadow Mountains, but find their peace suddenly shattered after a chance encounter with a sinister cult named Children of the New Dawn, led by the duplicitous Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache).

Between the cult and an evil biker gang with a penchant for industrial strength LSD, the couple's lives are tragically torn apart, setting Cage's crossbow-wielding lumberjack on a rampage of bloody revenge.

With Mandy arriving on cinema screens this week we caught an early screening of the film and rounded up five reasons why we think you'll love it...

 

It's as stylish a horror movie as any you'll see this year...

Although the story is set in 1983, Mandy owes as much to the Italian horror films of the 1970s as anything that followed in the next decade and Cosmatos does a marvellous job of creating an eerily brooding atmosphere throughout. From the carefully crafted screen titles, through the austere dialogue, to the dimly-lit locations swamped in endless mist, this is one of the most brooding and atmospheric horror movies since John Carpenter was at the peak of his powers.

 

It's not afraid to turn the gore up to 11...

Mandy isn't the type of horror movie to rely on jump scares or other tricks to deliver a dose of horror, and while it perhaps isn't as outright scary as some films in its genre, it's certainly a psychological ordeal and punches well above its weight when it comes to blood-splattered violence. It's not for the faint-hearted, that's for sure, but scenes such as the one featuring Cage and a demonic biker gang member engaged in a brutal chainsaw fight are thoroughly nerve-jangling.

 

Nic Cage delivers the most Nic Cage performance ever...

Cage has expressed some frustration recently with the 'Cage rage' memes which have been doing the rounds on social media in recent years, but, all joking aside, there can't be many who seriously doubt his considerable acting talent and if he's worried about being portrayed as one-trick pony, it certainly doesn't show here.

Much of the film hangs together on the back of Cage's ability to project extreme ranges of emotion and his manic performance here, particularly during the film's blood-soaked second half, is utterly magnetic and an absolute joy to behold.

 

The supporting cast are on point too...

While the cast isn't exactly bursting with A-list names, each and every character here is impeccably well portrayed and particular credit should go to the supporting roles of Andrea Riseborough and a superbly evil Linus Roache, the latter's delivery of menacing preacher Jeremiah being one of the film's most grippingly unhinged performances.

 

The soundtrack is immense...

Cosmatos dedicates the film to the memory of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who provided the soundtrack for Mandy before his tragic death in February this year at the age of just 48. If any further proof were needed of why Jóhannsson's passing is such a huge loss to the world of cinema, then you'll find plenty of it here.

Given the film's 1980s setting, the obvious choice might have been to create a soundtrack awash with retro synthesizers in manner similar to Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein's work on the soundtrack to Stranger Things, but instead Jóhannsson has done almost the exact opposite. Opening with a carefully chosen deep cut from King Crimson, Jóhannsson takes inspiration from heavy metal and conjures an atmospheric maelstrom of thunderous guitars and slow, pounding drums to create one of the most dense and claustrophobic experiences you'll witness in a cinema this year.

 

 

Mandy arrives in UK cinemas on Friday (October 12th) and will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and exclusively as a special edition 'VHS Range' Blu-ray on October 29th - you can pre-order your copy here in our online store.

Mandy - VHS Range (hmv Exclusive) Limited Edition
Mandy - VHS Range (hmv Exclusive) Limited Edition Panos Cosmatos

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