FOR those in the mood for cinema that absolutely does not hold back, settle in for this hypnotically nightmarish, unashamedly brutal cinematic fever dream that puts its own brutal stamp on the revenge movie and feels destined for cult status.

It’s set in 1983 and we follow Red (Nicolas Cage), a relatively placid lumberjack who lives a peaceful life in his woodland home with his beloved, ethereal artist/store worker girlfriend Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). Their lives are turned upside down after Mandy catches the eye of psychotic, drug-addled Charles Manson-like cult leader Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache) who, along with his band of equally deranged followers, sets his sights on the couple’s idyllic existence. When tragedy strikes, Red finds himself set on a vicious path he never thought possible.

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The phrase “it’s not for everyone” was invented for this kind of film and that’s OK. But if you’re willing to take the leap into its crazy waters,

it makes for a rewarding, heady descent into Grindhouse cinema of old, one that delights in transporting you to an unsettling yet enrapturing world unto its own.

There’s something hypnotic about the film as it grabs you by the throat and slowly drags you along its claustrophobic, often jaw-dropping, journey. As with his previous film Beyond The Black Rainbow, director Panos Cosmatos showcases his knack for eye-catching imagery, often bathing the screen in hues of nightmarish crimson, electric azure or darkly magical emerald.

His film wears its influences on its sleeve – from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Hellraiser and beyond – but makes it old, horror-dipped ideas feel fresh, distinctive and memorable, from the hyper-real atmosphere that cloaks the entire narrative down to stylistic flourishes of hand-drawn animation dream sequences.

Adding to the pin-sharp sound design that makes tangible the bloody reality of a situation that continues to unfold in macabre fashion, it also greatly benefits from the magic of the late, great composer Johann Johannsson. His score of bewitching 1980s synth, thudding drum beats and oppressive, elongated drones makes up much of the building blocks of this otherworldly world.

In a fittingly unusual cast that also includes an unnerving Roache and captivating Riseborough, Cage underlines the insanity. We have a one-of-a-kind actor on delightfully unhinged form; whether he’s literally forging a giant axe or duelling with a chainsaw against a crazy cult member, the film delights in letting Nicolas out of the Cage.

He’s a good enough reason alone to embrace the madness of a powerfully disquieting, disorientating film that gets so much right to feel so wrong.