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 Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition.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
Updated for the internet dating era and given a first person point-of-view treatment that forces us to view everything from the title character's perspective a la 'Enter the Void', this contemporary take on William Lustig's 'Maniac' is more innovative than your average genre remake. While Elijah Wood's face is often obscured due to the way the film is shot, the film also benefits greatly from his casting as, with big blue eyes and milquetoast mannerisms, he seems like anything but your average serial killer. There is also more attempt to explore his damaged childhood and his desire for a girlfriend. This time round, his love interest mistakes him for a gay platonic friend due to his obsession with "dolls" (mannequins) and reluctance to hit on her. The mannequins also figure better into the plot here with Wood actually owning a mannequin store. The film does, however, disappointingly ditch Joe Spinell's curious obsession with photographs as a form of preservation from the first film, which in turn renders his dressing up of the mannequins a tad random. The violence, while quite graphic, also does not have the same shock value this time round, and while the film maintains the original's semi-supernatural ending, the effect is not quite the same knowing that it is coming. Overall though, the 2012 'Maniac' offers some substantial improvements on the original, the point-of-view cinematography is frequently breathtaking and the incorporation of 'Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' footage is excellent. The music is at least as atmospheric, if not more so, and Wood is really quite creepy.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this