Thirty-one days of Horror.
For the whole month of October I’ll be watching and reviewing one horror film each day!
The second choice for my month of horror is Franck Khalfoun’s remake of the 80’s slasher Maniac. Starring Elijah Wood, this synth driven neon drenched gorefest is shot from a first person perspective. Somewhat overlooked at the time despite glowing reviews, Maniac has gained a growing cult audience in the 6 years since its release due to its intensity, its gore and despite it being a remake, its originality.
Elijah Wood somehow carves out a sympathetic figure as our main character Frank. Although Frank spends the movie scalping and murdering his victims, he manages to come across as likeable in a way, maybe because the first person perspective lets us hear his thoughts and see his delusions. It also makes the murders a little more uncomfortable.
Raised by his prostitute Mother, Frank has seen some things he shouldn’t and has developed a terrible fixation on women, stalking them around the city while slowly losing his grip on reality.
Maniac is a dark, intense ride but it’s pulsing synth score and unique style raise it out of the horror genre and towards arthouse cinema, but still remains an absolutely brutal slasher. The fact that it manages to stay scary and horrific despite the viewer essentially BEING the killer is an incredible achievement in film making.
Calling back to an 80’s style with a cutting edge presentation and shot masterfully, Khalfoun’s Maniac in my opinion far surpassed William Lustig’s original and is a must see for fans of horror.
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