Longlegs currently has a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, but will it live up to the hype?

As Longlegs is being dubbed the scariest film of the year, with some even calling it the scariest of the decade, we're all wondering - will it be as good as they say?
Secret Screening of NEON's LONGLEGS at the Aero Theatre co-presented by Beyond Fest
Secret Screening of NEON's LONGLEGS at the Aero Theatre co-presented by Beyond Fest / Leon Bennett/GettyImages

Set to release on July 12, Longlegs follows the classic horror formula of an FBI agent on the hunt for a twisted serial killer. Its setup is comparable to The Silence of the Lambs, a cat and mouse race to catch a murderer. But unlike the 1991 masterpiece, Longlegs incorporates the supernatural and takes the story in the direction of the occult. The killer, who goes by the terrifying title Longlegs, leaves a series of confusing clues and puzzles that the agent must solve to stop the killing spree. If you've seen any content relating to the film, you already know you're in store for a scary ride.

There has been a lot of hype for Longlegs, even before the critics got to add their two cents. Neon laid the groundwork for excitement when they began releasing short teasers for Longlegs on their YouTube channel beginning in January. These teasers were expertly creepy, with dark sound design and a slow introduction to the puzzling imagery of the film. The title of each teaser is unsettling, with foreboding phrases like “Every year there is another” and “You’ve got the teeth of the Hydra upon you.”

Neon released their official trailer for Longlegs on May 20, and just like they did with their teasers, they managed to avoid major spoilers (which is a huge problem with trailers today). The trailer is just as scary as the teasers, and if you aren’t hyped after watching it, are you really a horror fan?

Nicolas Cage and Osgood Perkins at the secret screening of Longlegs at the Aero Theatre
Secret Screening of NEON's LONGLEGS at the Aero Theatre co-presented by Beyond Fest (Nicolas Cage, Osgood Perkins) / Leon Bennett/GettyImages

The creator of Longlegs, Oz Perkins, has contributed to the movie's hype, as his style is already beloved by a large subset of horror watchers. Perkins has previously written and directed I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House and The Blackcoat's Daughter, and although I don't personally consider those films to be gems of the genre, Perkins has certainly shown his ability to create a thick and dreadful atmosphere in his movies. Perkins is not the only notable horror figure of Longlegs; Maika Moore (It Follows, The Guest, Watcher) stars as the leading lady. Moore has a talent for being the strong center of horror movies, and I believe this role will further skyrocket her reputation in the horror community.

You know I have to talk about Nicolas Cage, after all, he is the titular Longlegs. The fanfare around Cage has played a role in getting hype around the film. When he steps into a role, he tends to be magnetic as well as perplexing (in the best way). While he's been deemed an overactor, I say, why is that a bad thing? He goes all in when he becomes a character, and it's always interesting to watch. Think of him in Vampire’s Kiss. He adds an overwhelming complexity to his performance, making the film even more impactful to its audience. From what I've already seen from critics, Cage is perfectly disturbing and sickening in this movie.

Speaking of critics, the verdict is in - Longlegs is indeed living up to the hype. As of July 1, it has a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, alongside an 8.4 out of 10 on IMDb. If you’re familiar with IMDb, you’ll recognize that score as substantially high, especially when it comes to horror movies, which are generally only rated between a 5 and 6. I can’t predict exactly where the audience score will land, but I imagine it will be high, as critics on Rotten Tomatoes have called Longlegs “macabre,” “mesmerizing,” and “a nightmare.”

I delved into some critic reviews to get a taste of what's to come. Bloody Disgusting claims that Longlegs offers "no shortage of grotesque and shocking violence" as it explores the "repulsive, discomforting nature of evil." A critic at Screen Anarchy says, "Rarely has there been a horror film so completely drenched in anxiety and terror." An IGN review compares the horror of Longlegs to the dread we feel with liminal spaces, as it "combines grisly true-crime aesthetics and uncanny Satanic horror." It's been glowing reviews all around. If you ask me, Longlegs is destined to live up to the hype.

Check out the gripping official trailer below for a sneak peek of the film!

See Longlegs in theaters on July 12.

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