Arcadian movie poster
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Arcadian
Arcadian movie poster

Arcadian Movie Review

In the horror-thriller Arcadian, Nicolas Cage battles angry night monsters, his son attempts to hook up with the one hot female left in the world, and the other son plays MacGuyver. It’s a surprisingly effective combination. 

I almost dismissed Arcadian sight unseen. I had only heard about it three days ago, it starred Nicolas Cage in what appeared to be yet another minor cash grab, and it essentially looked like a low-rent A Quiet Place rip-off. 

And it is A Quiet Place rip-off, a thriller about a family who hunker down on a farm to ward off ugly monsters—minus the “quiet” part (in reality, there are plenty of movies about monsters that only come out at night). But the great thing about horror is that it’s not always the ideas that matter as much as the execution, and director Benjamin Brewer executed this small, presumably low-budgeted horror flick well. 

Arcadian lacks the careful, drawn-out suspense of A Quiet Place and Brewer, with whatever he does next, would be wise to study what sets the splashiest horror-thrillers apart from the rest. But Arcadian is an entertaining, largely believable monster movie with some creepy, dangerous creatures, well-established and lived-in world building, and strong performances by all involved (while Cage headlines, Maxwell Jenkins, Jaeden Martell, and Sadie Soverall are arguably the leads). It’s a solid, straightforward flick about surviving a monster apocalypse. 

If anything, I would have like to have spent more time in this world. The 90-minute length is satisfying, though a little more fleshing out of the dynamic between the two farms and families could have made how everything gors down more impactful. There are a few other intriguing ideas at play that would have benefited from some further fleshing out. While the monsters didn’t need a full back story, it wasn’t always clear how intelligent they were or what their motivations were (or what triggered them to attack other than anger issues). 

Arcadian may not introduce anything new to the genre, but that’s OK. It’s fun, entertaining, and exciting, and is about angry night monsters. What more do you need?

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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