Just when you thought it was safe, a MANIAC runs amuck scalping women. Check out my review of the remake of MANIAC below.
DIRECTOR: Franck Kalfoun
STARS: Elijah Wood, American Olivio, Nora Arnezeder, Megan Duffy, Genevieve Alexandra
MPAA: NOT RATED (but very graphic)
Maniac is based off the 1980 original where a young man is obsessed with scalping young innocent women. However, this is far from a remake. In this modern version we see a shy and socially awkward young man, Frank (Elijah Wood), who desperately wants to connect with someone. However, Frank has a problem, which is the fact he has a tendency to hunt down, murder, and brutally scalp every woman he comes in contact with. When Frank meets the beautiful young photographer Anna (Nora Arzeneder), he struggles with his murderous alter ego and tries to have a normal relationship. Quickly, Frank’s world starts to crumble when he can’t keep his two worlds separate any longer.
The movie is shot from the point of view of Frank. Because of this, we only see Frank through reflections in mirrors, glass, and camera shots. This adds to the creepiness and thrill of the movie. We see everything he sees and how he sees everything. It also helps the audience get into the head of Frank and see really how twisted his mind is. The character development in the film shows how Frank handles a friendship with Anna, and how he tries very hard to have a normal life but the evil lurks in the back of his mind at all times.
The acting in this film is absolutely brilliant. Elijah Wood, who is known for his roles in movies like Lord of the Rings, The Good Son, and Wilfred, is spot-on creepy. There is not one moment where he breaks his creepy stalker-murderer character. Nora Arzeneder is fantastic as a passionate photographer who sees the good in everyone. Megan Duffy steals the first part of the movie as a fast-and-loose tattooed girl who becomes one of the first character victims we encounter.
The music is even more unnerving. Each heart-pumping beat keeps the audience on its edge, and anticipating something big to happen. The sound is also fantastic–especially in the first few scenes. There is also is no shortage of blood and gore–as with a proper horror film.
In the end, if you are a fan of a FANTASTIC stalker-slasher film, you MUST see this movie. Some of the scenes will make you cringe, and some will make you jump, but you will leave knowing you just saw a FANTASTIC remake.
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