Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review - Maniac (2013)

Starring Elijah Wood, America Olivo and Nora Arnezeder.
Directed by Franck Khalfoun.

Maniac, starring Frodo Baggins, err... Elijah Wood, is the remake of the 1980 cult horror film of the same name. The film follows Frank Zito (Elijah), a mentally unstable mannequin shop owner who goes around stalking and killing young women. He then scalps the victims of their hair and put on his mannequins, to which he pretends are his girlfriends.

At first we are unsure of Frank's intentions and his reasons for stalking/killing these women; but as the movie progresses, it comes to light that Frank is just one crazy and disturbed individual who seemed to have suffered a rough childhood which has left him rather mentally deranged. From his childhood reflections to his crazy hallucinations, we get to learn about the character Frank Zito. I think he was well portrayed by Elijah Wood as well. Elijah played the master creep but I was disappointed that the film was not near as creepy.

The movie is shot from a first person view-point so we're basically seeing the movie through Frank Zito's eyes. Well most of the movie anyways as we see shots of Frank here and there. Was this filming method effective? I thought it was effective and cool but unfortunately it didn't build much of a tension. On the flip side, this view-point shows a lot of detail in the movie. You'll get to see Frank's disturbing actions more up close especially his killings and this might be a bit too graphic for some viewers. The movie has its gory and gross moments which were its most impressive attribute, next to its soundtrack. It was funny seeing Frank chase his victims around through POV.

Where Maniac fail to impress me was the scare/creepiness factor. Though Elijah Wood was a creepy character - the movie overall didn't feel creepy, didn't provided me with scares or leave me unsettled in any way. This is where the original is slightly ahead of it and I do believe this remake played it a bit too safe. I liked the soundtrack but it didn't really create that creepy atmosphere throughout. Maniac came off as a bit pretentious and I even found myself bored mid-way. It tries to be both a horror and psychological movie but at the end it felt like none.

I like the first person view-point and I like the disturbing gory slashing but overall I didn't feel like this Maniac remake added much to the genre.

Rating: 5.5/10

Movies Also Watched: 

A Bronx Tale (1993)
Has a few plot holes but an overall enjoyable coming-of-age gangster movie. - 8/10

Catch Me If You Can (2002)
A smart fun flick from start to finish. - 9/10

Wag The Dog (1997)
Underrated political satire with a touch of Hollywood. Smartly written, great casting and great music. - 9.5/10

Enter The Void (2009)
Quite an interesting stoner experience. - 7.5/10

Garden State (2004)
An enjoyable mellow rom-com. Solid acting and a good soundtrack. - 8/10

Pink Floyd - The Wall (1982)
A highly unique musical. You get the pleasure of hearing of lovely rock music while viewing some disturbing reflections and hallucinations of a troubled man. - 8.5/10


  1. SAS CRISE WOMAN!!! I just watched this and planned to do a review for it o.o

    1. hahaha do a review, I'd love to read it :)

    2. lol yeah man, ill tag your ass in it.

  2. good review! Not the best but I enjoyed it more than Evil Dead for example.

    1. I found Evil Dead more entertaining :) Thanks Erik.

  3. Nice review, sadly I was hoping for more from this film. I loved the original.

    1. Thanks Chris. Horror remakes just not cutting it like they should