Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Maniac (2012)

Director: Franck Khalfoun

Writers: Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur, Joe Spinell

Composer: Robin Coudert

Starring: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, America Olivo, Sammi Rotibi, Liane Balaban, Morgane Slemp, Genevieve Alexandra, Megan Duffy, Jan Broberg

More info: IMDb

Tagline: I warned you not to go out tonight

Plot: 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 Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition.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.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

A few years ago I eagerly watched MANIAC (1980) starring Joe Spinell (who also wrote the screenplay).  I say eagerly because I'd been hearing about it for more than a decade and finally had my hands on the DVD.  I was underwhelmed.  It's possible the anticipation was too much.  Now that I've seen the remake, I'm going to have to give the original another look because this new film is really fuckin' good.  It's got a great story, great kills, great suspense, wonderfully shot, scored, etc.  What's unique about this picture is that it's almost entirely shot from the killer's, Frank (Wood), point of view, like it's a first person serial killer flick.  The thing is, it works beautifully. There are quick glimpses of Wood as he looks in a mirror or something reflective so there's a little something for Wood fans.  Personally, I found this technique refreshing.  And the ending is great.  This is a must for Horror fans.  It's currently on Netflix streaming so there's no excuse not to see it.

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