June 26, 2013

Maniac (2012)

Maniac (2012)
Directed by: Franck Khalfoun
Country: USA / France

Review: Franck Khalfoun’s “Maniac” is a remake of William Lustig’s film from 1980, but doesn’t add anything different to be considered satisfying. Its macabre start is just a drop in the ocean of blood that would be shed in the screens by the hands of Frank (Elijah Wood), a disturbed man who had a problematic childhood due to his mother’s behavior. Frank kills random women just for the pleasure of taking their scalp off and create similar mannequins that he keeps in his mother’s mannequin shop where he lives, maintaining the illusion of being always accompanied. A fortuitous encounter with Anna (Nora Arnezeder), a talented photographer who works with mannequins, will provoke a change in his routine. Most of the time, Khalfoun’s camera works as the eyes of the maniac, and I have to recognize the good work done in this aspect. Actually, its execution is not the problem here but the story’s lack of freshness and the familiarity of its narrative. Is the same old tale of a crazy guy with psychological problems, who we already have seen for a million times before. Even presenting raw and gore images in considerable quantity, the film didn’t provoke much chills, falling in a banality that emerged from the few surprises and due to a not scary Elijah Wood. The visceral ending was the culmination of its excesses, making “Maniac” a technically well-done remake, but certainly a non-essential one.

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