Just when the streets seemed safe, a serial killer with a fetish for scalps is back and on the hunt. Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition. As their friendship develops and Frank's obsession escalates, it becomes clear that she has unleashed a long-repressed compulsion to stalk and kill.Written by
Upon meeting Frank at the restaurant, Lucie says she's happy that he's not "Fat, with long black hair and greasy skin full of acne" which, whilst not flattering, would be an apt description of Joe Spinell's Frank, in the original. See more »
The song Lucie puts on in her apartment never skips despite multiple jump-cuts. See more »
[to his first victim]
Please don't scream. You're beautiful.
See more »
I saw this movie at an advanced screening of what I thought was a restoration of the original movie. Instead, I got treated to movie that I didn't even know was being released. The Maniac remake is a really good movie and better than its predecessor, which was more notable for its Tom Savini gore effects and unconventional leading man than for actually being a good movie.
This flick, like the previous Maniac, dispels the idea that psychopaths are cool or bad ass. Here, Frank (Elijah Wood) is a weirdo loner that spends his days restoring antique mannequins and his nights stalking, murdering, and scalping beautiful young women. His grip on reality is so fragile that he has to chug anti-psychotics just to keep his hallucinations under control. Then he meets a pretty young French girl that actually seems to like him. Instead of offering redemption, the burgeoning relationship only makes him more unstable.
The murders are bloody and brilliantly shot and they're made dramatically more by disturbing the film's central gimmick, almost the entire movie is presented from the killer's POV.
The new Maniac does a solid job of capturing the grind-house spirit of the original film. There's plenty of sick humor, sex, and gore all well captured by director Frank Khalfoun. He also partnered with Alaxander Aja (High Tension, The Hill Have Eyes), a co-writer and producer, on the disposable P2 which sucked despite, not because of him. Then he made the superior crime flick Wrong Turn at Tahoe. Now, after watching Maniac, I have to say he is officially a director to keep an eye on. Elijah Wood also does great work as Frank, although I admit it took me a little while to get used to the idea of the stoner dork from Wilfred as a murderer. He definitely won me over by the end, though.
There are minor problems here and there, like the way the whole city is always completely deserted when Frank is stalking a victim. Still, this is a great little movie, very violent, and if you're a gore hound that's also interested in the psychology of a killer, you should watch this immediately.
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