Maniac (2012)

A Maniac has had a make-over. While the original Maniac (1980) was a garish, almost plotless attempt at a horror movie, Franck Khalfoun’s remake is a terrifying look into the mind of a madman from the first person perspective. When the movie first started and I saw it was going to be shot first person, I thought “really, another one”. So many movies have been shot this way that it felt like it was going to be just like the others, shaky camera and boring, but there is something oddly beautiful about the way Maniac is filmed.

We follow Frank (Elijah Wood) who specializes in mannequin restoration and is particularly interested in scalping women to add to his collection. His bizarre desires become energized when he meets photographer Anna (Nora Arnezeder) who uses Frank’s mannequins in a gallery shoot. While the plot of the movie isn’t always apparent, the styling is wonderful. Elijah Wood is incredibly believable as a psychopath. Because the movie is shot in first person we only see him in reflections and in flashbacks. Elijah Wood’s large red rimmed eyes and awkward facial expressions make his rare on screen shots bone-chilling.

I would call this reboot of Maniac a must see. There is something curious about watching the workings of a mad man through his own eyes. I will admit that seeing the things he does through first person is at times uncomfortable because the distance you normally get to feel from the gore is no longer there. Understandably, not every person will feel comfortable travelling down that road. Maniac is thrilling, confrontational, beautifully shot and definitely worth seeing.

Scream Queen

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