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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A genuine surprise
A remake that becomes almost immediately it's own film - an arthouse horror film that should please hardcore horror fans and arthouse cineastes alike. Beautifully shot, amazing use of POV and a fragile central performance will keep you watching even when you want to look away. This is not for the squeamish, but it is for those who want the horror film to return to a more...
Published 20 months ago by Argento Fan

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Serial Killer Thriller which Tries Too Hard to be Different
This is a reasonably effective, vaguely arthouse, horror flick.
Elijah Wood plays Frank, a voyeuristic twenty-something serial killer, with some serious mother issues, who preys on very attractive young women. He restores shopfloor mannequins for a living, and frequently gets confused between real body parts and moulded plastic ones.
You see much of Frank's...
Published 2 months ago by William Mason


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A genuine surprise, 11 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Maniac [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A remake that becomes almost immediately it's own film - an arthouse horror film that should please hardcore horror fans and arthouse cineastes alike. Beautifully shot, amazing use of POV and a fragile central performance will keep you watching even when you want to look away. This is not for the squeamish, but it is for those who want the horror film to return to a more daring age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frightengly Disturbing, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: Maniac [DVD] (DVD)
This is not a film you can love but as a horror movie it does it's job terrifyingly well. It's not going to make you jump out of your seat -it's not that type of film. Instead you tend to see things from the point of view [POV] of Frank [Elijah Wood], a mentally disturbed individual whose gone seriously off the rails following his mothers death. The film opens as we watch two girls hail a taxi in a rundown part of the city. One gets in, the other walks on. She notices a vehicle across the road and we realise were looking through Franks eyes. This sets the scene for the rest of the movie as we tend see things the way Frank sees them and we get to experience his torment as he tries to fight his inner demons.
The film is gory in places, but unlike most it doesn't rely on blood and guts to keep the viewer fixed, instead it's almost as though you -the viewer are committing the crime and that's what's so disturbing -that first person POV [very reminiscent of Strange Days]. It isn't even a fast paced movie, the pace is very much a stroll but it all adds to the tension and Elijah Wood plays the part to perfection.
I'd actually like to rate this as a 1 star because I found it disturbing on so many levels, yet it does what a good horror movie should, hence the 5 star rating. It's not a brutal film [like Wrong Turn], does not revel in dismemberment or slow torturous deaths and doesn't play on the victims fear, it's just 'clinical' and detached in the kills and that's part of its 'horror', it all seems so plausible.
The single disc DVD comes with limited features comprising Play, scene select, set up and two extras; interviews and the trailer, so the disc itself is nothing special, but despite my reservations I'd have to recommend this if you're into the slasher/homicidal maniac type films but it won't please all as much of the horror is psychological being in your own mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Serial Killer Thriller which Tries Too Hard to be Different, 10 Mar. 2015
By 
William Mason (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Maniac [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is a reasonably effective, vaguely arthouse, horror flick.
Elijah Wood plays Frank, a voyeuristic twenty-something serial killer, with some serious mother issues, who preys on very attractive young women. He restores shopfloor mannequins for a living, and frequently gets confused between real body parts and moulded plastic ones.
You see much of Frank's sadistic and violent behaviour through his eyes. The first person point of view initially works pretty effectively here, but it felt overused and laboured by about the mid-point of the movie.
Frank stalks potential victims as they walk the streets, or else meets them through dating websites (probably not a good idea to watch this flick if you're a member of a dating website or thinking about becoming one). Coincidentally, or perhaps not, this killer seems to like listening to the same music as Buffalo Bill (The Silence Of The Lambs). Frank kills messily with knives and strangulation, and his preferred psycho calling card is to scalp his victims...
This movie is nicely shot, it quite reminded me of the stylish cinematography in the excellent Midnight Meat Train (Vinnie Jones) - Midnight Meat Train [Blu-ray]. The film score is very cool, an 80's style synth soundtrack which is very reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder and John Carpenter. The movie is clearly influenced by Hitchcock's Psycho, but though it's much more gory than Psycho, it's a lot less effective. Elijah Wood is okay-ish as the titular maniac, but frankly he's just not scary enough, he doesn't really convince as a madman who can tear people apart. The gore is infrequent, but whenever it arrives, it's explicit and pretty nasty. There are quite a few sexy (female topless) scenes, but the ease with which Frank seduces very good-looking young women into bed, doesn't quite chime with him being a socially dysfunctional and creepy misfit.
All in all, this is not a bad horror flick, it's definitely watchable, but its artistic pretensions nullify its ability to really engage or shock. Give me American Psycho, The Chaser or Wolf Creek 2 any day - American Psycho [DVD] [2000], The Chaser [Blu-ray], Wolf Creek 2 [Blu-ray].
Thank you very much for reading this review.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected, 13 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Maniac [DVD] (DVD)
I really wasn't sure if I wanted to see this film or not t be honest. The original is ok, but nothing special and the thought of a remake with Elijah Wood just seemed like an odd pairing, but I'm pleased to say that it works pretty well! Pretty much the whole film is shot from Franks POV and I think it works surprisingly well. The story chugs along at a decent pace and the special effects are pretty good in general, but in at least one scene, you can see the makeup effect even before he gets to that bit.

The acting is ok throughout, but nothing too special. But I must say that I was quite impressed with Elijah's performance. You really get the feel for him as a troubled man and he shows a sie to his acting that I didn't think he had.

To be honest, I've only seen the original once, but I do remember it's most iconic scene. The shotgun kill through the windscreen of a car! It's totally missing from this remake and there isn't even anything like it here. I was disappointed with that at first, but thinking about it, as the killer uses a knife and razor, the sudden appearance of a gun would have been out of place here! There are some homages to the original though, including a copy of it's infamous cover in a reflection on a car after a kill.

i think it's well worth 85 minutes of your time and I can see me watching this again, unlike the original that I've owned for years, but only watched once!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solid horror in a modern age., 22 July 2014
This review is from: Maniac [DVD] (DVD)
Bloody Disgusting probably got a little too excited by hailing this remake as 'a modern horror classic', but Maniac is certainly a very good film, in a hit and miss genre.

Elijah Wood took big risks here playing a psychopath, who beds beautiful women before scalping them as prized victims. Based on the superior gritty and sleazy 1980 original, Maniac is not for the squeamish.

We see Wood's point of view which is a nice touch but won't be for all viewers. Whilst it could be argued that Wood is a better actor than Joe Spinell who played the original maniac, Wood cannot come anywhere close to how terrifying Spinell was. The problem is Wood is a very handsome man and Spinell just looked freaking scary in real life. Also the New York sleaze is replaced by the gloss of LA.

There are some neat kill scenes, and no annoying characters. It's all done very well in the end, and it's fair to say that this remake is a minor success.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An underrated, serious slasher movie, 2 April 2014
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This review is from: Maniac [DVD] (DVD)
Maniac has an unusual vibe, and not just because it's all shot from a first-person perspective. The synthy soundtrack and indulgent cinematography give it the feel of an art-house movie which is not something you often see in the horror genre. It is also character-based, so plays out almost like a drama but with scenes of extreme violence.

It reeks of pretentiousness that a film like Under The Skin can receive so much critical acclaim, while a film like Maniac is completely overlooked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and different, 23 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Maniac [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I had no idea what to expect when i saw this as it was bought simply for the fact i wanted a new horror movie and thats it.

But i am so so glad i got this i don't want to ruin it for those wishing to see it but it has all the right horror elements in here!!!!! it has gore and lots of it and the way its shot is simply incredible!!!!!

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys horror films
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MANIAC: no cookie cutter,, 24 May 2013
This review is from: Maniac [DVD] (DVD)
Frank is scalping the women he picks up and puts his trophies on the mannequins he makes for a living.
Maniac is a stylishly done POV horror movie/character study. Elijah Wood is very committed in the title role and the production has a lot of class.

The original Maniac was famous for its extreme violence and this version is , for a film driven by a big star, still pretty nasty, though a lot less full on than Lustig's film. On the other hand, the POV takes an often criticised element from slasher films and runs with it. The way the camera moves is brilliantly fluid, more like Black Swan than a standard horror. For me at least, the colour is too digitised and seems a little monochrome. The ending is almost identical to the earlier film.

Maniac is no cookie cutter remake. Elijah Wood is not bad at all and the POV is an interesting touch. There are a few effective scenes, notably some dissolves between Frank's external reality and his internal world. However, Maniac 2013 suffers from the same intrinsically alienating idea as the original. Frank is a repellent character doing repellent things and he is focus of the story. For me, this version lacks the visceral punch of the original and Wood can't quite match Joe Spinell's scuzzy depths. Then again the shift from grimy 1980s New York to upmarket present day LA requires a different sort of character. Over all and in the context of Hollywood churning out remakes, Maniac stands out.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Flacky, 4 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Maniac [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A bit too arty house pretentious for me. The 'experimental' POV decision was ineffective in whatever desired choosing the film makers intended. Works much better in a tried and trusted, from the victims point of view..much more disturbing and spine-chilling.

Unless the original version hasn't been viewed you may find this a bit pointless and dull. I found this to be the case even though I've watched both. Original wasn't great, but for its time did have an effective nastiness and quite a grim feel surrounding it. Also a pretty convincing pyscho (Joe Spinnell) and 'old school' make up effects, overseen by the 'legend' Tom Savini.

Whenever they feel the need to remake a film I think its a good call to focus on a particular film that weren't so good and could actually benefit from that and make a success, so was intrigued. Unfortunate decisions to take away the grim style, lead actor choice, watered down and sporadic gore/kills (apart from one kill, which could of been visually nastier but shied away from).

And the POV effect made this a rather luke warm and boring slasher. Elijah Wood is an ok acter, always trying and did so here. I wouldn't state that he was miscast but I think he tried too hard and missed the mark. Spinell had it but didn't have to do much just like Arnold in the Terminater. Was just natural to them because of their acting limitations and persona.

So that being said' a big disappointment. Some neat scenes but not nasty enough for me and very few of them and unlike original, a pretty dire ending, laugh out load cringe worthy. A generous two star then.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I know were you live, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: Maniac (Amazon Instant Video)
I thought that this is an excellent remake and elijah wood and most of the actors and actresses in this were all great. Visually very impressive in parts and the whole point of view idea is done very brilliantly. Some very gory and graphic moments that you will not forget to easily overall a great horror movie.
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Maniac [Blu-ray]
Maniac [Blu-ray] by Franck Khalfoun (Blu-ray - 2013)
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