Longlegs Will Be Nicolas Cage’s Greatest Role Of All Time, Here’s Why

By Robert Scucci | Updated

Nicolas Cage Longlegs

The promotional content for Nicolas Cage’s Longlegs has been as mysterious as it has been enthralling, and die-hard fans of the “Cage Rage” are excited to see what all of the hype is about after the Osgood Perkins film received tremendously positive early reviews ahead of its theatrical release. We’re now approaching Longleg’s July 12 release, and I’ll just go ahead and confidently say that this horror thriller will be Cage’s best role of all time. If you’ve been following the Nouveau Shamanic actor’s career closely (why wouldn’t you?), it’s obvious that our greatest national treasure has spent a considerable amount of time exploring increasingly unhinged roles, building up to what I believe will be a culmination of all the psychotic characters he’s portrayed over the past decade.

Playing The Good Guy In Similar Contexts

Nicolas Cage The Frozen Ground

Starting with 2013’s The Frozen Ground, Nicolas Cage brilliantly portrays detective Jack Halcombe against John Cusack’s Robert “Hunts Humans For Sport” Hansen. Though he plays it straight in this film, Cage’s character in The Frozen Ground puts him on the right side of the law as he tries to track down the elusive serial killer in the Alaskan wilderness. Longlegs sees Nicolas Cage taking on the role of the movie’s titular Satanic serial killer, and I can’t think of a better way for an actor to prepare for portraying a villain of this caliber than walking a mile in the good guy’s shoes.

Unhinged Explorations Of The Human Condition

Nicolas Cage Mom and Dad

Moving forward, Nicolas Cage continues down the dark path that ultimately leads to Longlegs with Dog Eat Dog, an ill-fated heist film that plays out like a Quentin Tarantino fever dream with Willem Dafoe taking on a psychotic supporting role. In this context, Cage portrays an ex-con named Troy who is looking for one last big score so he can go legitimate, but runs into trouble because he and his crew are all slaves to their impulses in the worst kinds of ways.

The real turning point for Nicolas Cage, in my opinion, comes in the form of 2017’s Mom and Dad, a black horror comedy about parents suddenly becoming infected with a rage virus that makes them want to murder their offspring for reasons unexplained. While the promotional content for Longlegs suggests that Cage will be a little more menacing and calculating in the upcoming movie, Mom and Dad sees the Leaving Las Vegas actor ramping up as he chases his teenagers around the house with various found weapons so he can systematically murder them.

Good Guy Gonzo Films Pave The Way

Nicolas Cage Mandy

Jumping forward to 2018, we’re now getting into the “gonzo” territory that Nicolas Cage has become best known for in recent years with films like Mandy; a territory that will presumably be fully explored in Longlegs. This bloody odyssey is an exploration of grief to the highest degree, as his Red Miller character seeks revenge against a Satanic cult who brutally murdered his wife. Armed with a chainsaw (and a healthy amount of hallucinogens), Red exacts revenge in the most insane way imaginable while a Johann Johannsson film score pulses through your bloodstream in way that’s equal parts unsettling and satisfying.

Ramping Up In The Best Kind Of Way

Nicolas Cage Willy's Wonderland

One of Nicolas Cage’s most physical roles in recent years can be seen in 2021’s Willy’s Wonderland, a film with no spoken dialogue on the actor’s part. Communicating primarily through his facial expressions, Cage unrelentingly beats the life out of possessed animatronic restaurant mascots between rounds of pinball and slugging down several highly-caffeinated soft-drinks. Sure, he’s technically the good guy in this movie, but his ability to say so much through body language without uttering a single word of dialogue is an invaluable skill that I hope to see explored further in Longlegs.

Last Year’s Outings

nicolas cage sympathy for the devil

Having recently watched both Dream Scenario and Sympathy for the Devil, I can confirm that Nicolas Cage is primed and ready to deliver the performance of a lifetime in Longlegs. The former title plays out like a subdued Nightmare on Elm Street with Cage’s Paul Matthews character being the source of terror for so many unsuspecting people who see him in their nightmares, while the latter features one of his most unhinged performances as he kidnaps a man without ever making his motives clear.

Primed And Ready


Its obvious that Nicolas Cage wasn’t aware of his participation in Longlegs 10 years ago, but given the direction his career has taken over the past decade it’s clear that he’s been ramping up for what I think will be the role that will cement his legacy as one of the greatest actors of our time. His experience playing the good guy, the bad guy, the grief-stricken widower hell-bent on revenge, and everything in between tells me that whether he knew it or not, Nicolas Cage has been preparing for Longlegs in the best kind of way before its screenplay was even written.