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Maniac

  • Film
  • 1 out of 5 stars
Maniac
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Time Out says

1 out of 5 stars

This much can be said for French director Franck Khalfoun’s grainy, grimy, LA-set remake of the 1980 B-movie regarded as a classic in genre circles: at least it gives you fair warning. The agonisingly deliberate opening, in which a pretty young clubber is followed home and slaughtered in the hallway by an unseen mouth-breathing predator, acts as a litmus test for the entire exercise – which amounts to a parade of similar rat-in-a-trap carvings.

If you’re not driven to the walkout point by the time the first victim falls to the ground, you may get something out of this boringly bloody slasher. Its inconsistent distinguishing gimmick is that it’s shot from the killer’s point of view. The killer is played by still-baby-faced Elijah Wood and is a tortured collector of shop mannequins, which he charmingly accessorises with the scalps of his prey. The casting feels like a gimmick, too – Wood is about as frightening as Frodo. Terror or suspense, however, aren’t the point so much as seedy discomfort: Khalfoun’s set pieces rarely afford the victims any possibility of escape, and you needn’t have seen the original to know some severe mummy issues lie behind it all. Rank even on its own terms, it’s the kind of inferior remake that also invites questions about the original’s cult status.

Written by Guy Lodge

Release Details

  • Rated:18
  • Release date:Friday 15 March 2013
  • Duration:89 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Franck Khalfoun
  • Cast:
    • Elijah Wood
    • America Olivo
    • Liane Balaban
    • Nora Arnezeder
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