It’s not too late to go see Panos Cosmatos‘ Mandy. This inspired horror film will no doubt keep those wanting for a visceral experience sated.
When Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) is critical to the plot, the sequence of events that happen will no doubt lead one particular lumberjack (not Paul Bunyan) to a brink of madness. This woman is a very forlorn soul. Riseborough is the perfect choice in the role, offering pathos to a very troubled character. Because of events that occurred in the past, she prefers to live a life in isolation; her feelings for Red (Nicolas Cage) runs deep. The two are soul mates. One day, on her walk home, a priest of sorts takes a liking to her and orders his minions to her kidnap her.
In the Shadow Mountains of California, the locals whisper amongst themselves about various occult activities rumoured to take deeper in the woods. Amusingly, the namesake of one particular spot where the couple lives, Crystal Lake, foreshadows this couples’ fate. From demon biker gangs to secret lodges, the mysteries of Mount Shasta may well have a rival. People disappear; I fear they are prisoners of the said cult, enslaved to build their holy sanctuary to the devil. One individual invokes the name of Christ in vain, and his disciples … saints they are not.
The first act is a slow burn. None of these aforementioned details are known as it is a montage of Bloom and Red’s life set to the music of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson and by Act two, Stephen O’Malley of the group Sunn O))). Top metalhead Randall Dunn helped produce, hence giving this film’s eclectic score of Pink Floyd meets Rammestein. This film is a gonzo acid trip of the senses because of this mash up.
Ultimately, this movie is a revenge cum horror fantasy. When Mandy’s story is over, Red takes charge. Her spirit persists in a dream-like Ralph Bakshi animation as he is out to avenge her. He is entering Sauron’s world now, and there is no looking back to the Shire. Cage is terrific in this work. When he has to look deep into himself to bring out the beast, he better be feared! He gives life to the idiom, never piss off an angry lumberjack welding an axe. Just what happened to Red may well spawn a new urban legend.