Maniac (2012) **
D: Franck Khalfon
C: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, Genevieve Alexandra, Jan Broberg Felt, Megan M. Duffy, Liane Balaban, Joshua De La Garza, America Olivo, Sammi Rotibi
P: Homicidal maniac (Wood) who works in mannequin restoration by day, kills & scalps women by night.
REVIEW: I'm going to be perfectly honest, I strongly dislike the original 1980 version of Maniac. However, I went into this version with an open mind. I wanted to give it a fair chance. The problem, though, is that this version suffers from the exact same problem as the 1980 version and that is that the characters lack depth. Elijah Wood kills, because he had a messed up childhood and everyone else is just a potential victim. The POV aspect utilized allows us to see what's going on from his viewpoint at any given moment, but it doesn't allow us to see what's going on in his mind.
To the film's credit, it is impeccably well made. Elijah Wood turns in a solid performance. Nora Arnezeder is a breath of fresh air. However, the film still manages to be rather bland, despite the ample amount of violence on screen. Even though I dislike the 1980 version, credits due where credits due and that is that the 1980 version was a rather memorable film, despite my overall dislike of the film.
Joe Spinell, who played the original title character, is quite a character in and of himself. Plus, the scene where Tom Savini's head is blown off in the original version stands out as one of the most shocking horror movie moments of the 80's. The original Maniac was a lot of different things to a lot of different audiences. Some loved the film, some loathed it, but one thing was clear, it certainly stood out. Even with solid production values & performances, even with a relentless amount of on screen violence, this version of Maniac is rather forgettable and that's one thing the original wasn't. [Not Rated] 89 mins.
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