Longlegs Review: Osgood Perkins’ Masterpiece Is The Most Terrifying Horror Movie Of 2024 – SlashFilm


One aspect of “Longlegs” that is most exciting is the way it conflates ’70s glam rock with the occult. Again, this isn’t a new phenomenon; square parental figures have long associated rock n’ roll (and, later, other forms of popular music that dared to be transgressive) with dirty deeds, backed up by evidence such as the Manson Family making Beatles references during their crimes. “Longlegs” has a particular fixation with the band T. Rex and their 1971 single “Bang a Gong (Get It On),” as the lyrics to the song not only turn up as a prologue title card but are also referenced in the film’s marketing materials.

While horror and rock have a long history together, with everything from supposed backwards Satanic messages showing up on albums to the Bosch-like artwork adorning the sleeves for records by bands like Judas Priest, Metallica and others, “Longlegs” using glam rock in particular (instead of, say, heavy metal or industrial rock, which tend to be more closely associated with Satanic or Gothic imagery) speaks a little less to rock n’ roll’s historical relationship to the occult and a little more to its transgressive attitude.

To wit: “Longlegs,” like the best of rock n’ roll, is all about a spirit, an attitude that not only does anything go, but that the usual restrictions of form and taste won’t apply here. Perkins isn’t making a “shock rock” horror film to gross you out, nor is the movie some work of adolescent rebellion. Instead, he makes “Longlegs” a guitar-lick blast of cinematic lightning to the brain. After it’s over, you won’t soon forget what you’ve seen and heard. Even if you try, it’ll come back — whether in your fantasies, your nightmares, or both.

/Film rating: 10 out of 10

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