7 of 7 viewers "Liked" "Maniac" (2012, France)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:
Book Wyrm - "Although the gore was too much for me, I really enjoyed this movie. The music was awesome and the cinematography was top-notch. Did not expect to like this as much as I do." - 4 Stars
Math Mage - "Slasher film from the Slahser's POV, puts a fresh spin on all the classic tropes (slow killer, final girl, inexplicably empty streets, etc...)." - 4 Stars
Lord Battle - "Wow, Elijah Wood has found his true calling, stalking and scalping women. I hope future film makers follow Franck Khalfoun's lead and rethink classics, not remake them." - 5 Stars
Huntress - "This role has been waiting for Elijah Wood." - 5 Stars
Ice Giant - "Elijah Wood is a perfect maniac. I really liked the POV camera." - 3 Stars
The Great Hornito - "Almost as good as the original. The POV was pretty cool." - 4 Stars
The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
The original "Maniac" was released back in 1980 and featured Joe Spinell, who looks a lot like Ron Jeremy, and special effects by the master Tom Savini. With those factors in place the film was destined to become a cult classic. I don't think anyone could have guessed that 30 years later, a remake would be made that not only recaptures the essence of the original, but stars Elijah Wood! It also helps that the up and coming master of horror, Alexandre Aja ("High Tension, "Pirahna 3D") wrote the screen play. I personally will watch anything he works on, not just because I'm a fan of his movies but because I'm a fan of French film making. Those French are not afraid to get artsy!
So yes it's true, I loved this film, In fact once it was finished I felt like turning it back on and inspecting it for all the inter-titles and double meanings I undoubtedly missed. I do understand my love of film narrative isn't shared by most but "Maniac" was still an easy sell to the citizens since the casting of Elijah Wood seemed enough for people even if they are sick of seeing horror movies (Book Wyrm). Elijah Wood is amazing in this film by the way.
Since I could ramble on and on about this film, I'll try to keep it short. "Maniac" is 90% POV (Point of view) which was first used in "Peeping Tom", which in turn created the slasher genre. So, this could be considered the most pure slasher ever. It could, but it probably won't. The POV killings in the film end up feeling like an out of body experience, this really helps paint a picture of a disturbed man who is having identity issues. Throw in the fact that he rebuilds and lives with a ton of antique manicans and you get a lot of visual metaphor to play with, then add some truly gruesome kills and you get one of the best remakes ever.
Lastly Mondotees.com recently released "Maniac" in VHS format and I am beating myself for missing out on this! The reason I regret missing out on a new film being released on a dead medium is simple, it offers a totally different experience. One of the great things about the VHS format is how it changes what you're watching, the grain and tracking issues of a VHS tape can transform a standard horror film into something that feels a lot more like a home movie. Now imagine all the POV scenes in "Maniac" feeling "Real", that sounds too awesome to miss out on. I'll just have to keep an eye out.
- Lord Battle
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.