Mandy is a 2018 action/horror film starring Nic Cage and Andrea Riseborough. Nic Cage is Red, a logger living in the wilderness with Riseborough who plays Mandy. They live a good life until one day Mandy catches the eye of a psychotic cult leader, setting in motion a gruesome revenge story as Red rampages through the cult.
The acting in Mandy is excellent. There are no cheesy or over the top performances in this one. My favorite performances are those of Cage and Roache, who plays the cult leader Jeremiah Sand. Cage delivers a solid performance as he portrays a broken man consumed by a hunger for revenge as he slaughters hellish demon bikers and crazed cult members to avenge his wife Mandy. There was one scene that takes place in a bathroom that can best be summed up as “classic cage.” Roache on the opposite end portrays Sand as a manipulative, psychotic fanatic who I’m pretty sure is on LSD the entire time. He manages to control everyone under him through intense psychological manipulation to the point where they would die for him or sacrifice each other at his will. He’s also a failed musician who doesn’t take too kindly to criticism, hence his reaction to Mandy laughing when he plays his music as he tries to impress her.
The presentation of the movie is excellent. Sound is slowed down, distorted and manipulated to help lend to the sinister feel of the person speaking or the events taking place. For some characters their speech comes off as though they were underwater or as if it were coming from all around you. The cinematography of this movie is amazing. Scenes look like something painted by a skilled artist. The use of color and combined with blackness in certain scenes gives more of a feel for whats going on rather than the actual spoken lines. The movie also uses good-looking psychedelic animation when showing what a character is dreaming about. This movie is all over the place artistically but in a good way.
The story is a fairly predictable revenge movie. Red violently carves his way though all obstacles to get revenge on the man responsible for Mandys death. There were a couple of more unique parts to the story though. For instance, the biker gang that kidnapped them for the Sand. They were supposed to be demons I guess. They looked like cenobites from Hellraiser and I wish there had been a bit more focus on them as they were pretty interesting. The movie also had an amazing fight scene with two guys battling it out with chainsaws of all things. Also towards the end we see imagery indicating that the events occurring aren’t taking place on earth. Perhaps Red died or he’s hallucinating everything taking place, we did see him use LSD earlier in the movie.
Overall Mandy is a great movie, for certain people. Its one of those rare really artsy horror films that’s an homage to eighties b-movies. The story is a predictable revenge flick, there’s nothing surprising about it but the way its told is what makes it special. The unoriginal story is more than made up for by excellent production and great acting. Mandy is one of the best horror movies released this year and it’s definitely worth a watch.