More Cage, please: ‘Arcadian’ fails because its star is missing for a large part of the film

Nicolas Cage is listed as the star of Arcadian, but this alien/monster movie makes the unfortunate choice of sidelining him for a substantial chunk of its running time.

This probably has to do with Cage’s busy schedule; you get the sense that his time on set was limited. Cage plays the dad of two boys living in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by mysterious creatures that hate daytime, look weird (yet somehow uninteresting) and want to consume humans for no explained reason. The film does little to explain what is really going on as the family tries to survive in the wilderness; it feels like lazy storytelling.

I actually had high hopes for this one, given the producers and Cage’s knack for good horror with the likes of Mandy and Color Out of Space. Those films qualify as modern classic horror; Arcadian feels more like A Quiet Place rip-off.

Jaeden Martell and Maxwell Jenkins are decent as the sons, as is Sadie Soverall as the love interest who wields a mighty shotgun.

Cage barely registers in the film; he’s acting in his reserved, somber mode, which is the last thing you want to see out of Cage in a horror flick. We want crazy, wide-eyed Cage in movies like this.

Somebody needed to throw a few more bucks at Cage to get a full film out of him, and somebody needed to tell him to do his crazy eyes. There’s no point in having him around in a monster movie if you aren’t going to let him go wild. He hasn’t been this boring since the Ghost Rider movies.

Arcadian is now streaming on various sources.

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