Maniac

Rated NR 89 minutes 2013

Elijah Wood looks for an image change in this sickeningly brutal, slightly irritating remake of the 1980 psycho-slasher flick. Shot almost entirely from a killer’s POV, this is the sort of stuff that really rubs me the wrong way. I suppose it should. It is about a dude with major mommy issues (Mommas, don’t let your kids watch you having three-ways!) killing and scalping women. That’s not the sort of thing that is supposed to give you a warm fuzzy. For me, this gets slotted away with the likes of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer as being a little too successful in achieving the level of depravity it is shooting for. I’ve never been one to shy away from horror films. In many ways, this is a well-made movie. For gore hounds, it features some first rate bloody effects. It’s the POV gimmick that does the movie in, and takes things into snuff film territory. It has no worth other than to show a director who is capable of the sort of nightmare none of us really needs to see. Wood remains mostly unseen because we are seeing the film through his eyes. There are some sequences involving mirrors, or the director just getting tired of obscuring Wood, where Frodo shows his face. He’s actually an effective psycho-stalker, with those fishbowl eyes getting put to deranged use. I can’t totally condemn it on a horror film level. It sets out to do something, and it achieves its goals. I just never need to see it again, and can’t recommend it to anybody who likes to have anything resembling a good, entertaining time when they watch a film.

Film Credits

Director: Franck Khalfoun

Producer: Thomas Langmann, Alexandre Aja, William Lustig, Daniel Delume, Antoine De Cazotte, Andrew W. Garroni, Pavlina Hatoupis and Alix Taylor

Cast: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, Megan Duffy, Jan Broberg, Genevieve Alexandra, Sammi Rotibi, Joshua De La Garza and America Olivo

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Maniac

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