Meet Frank (Elijah Wood), he’s a nice young man with scrapped up hands and a van full of mannequin parts. He’s a perfectly normal guy that likes to drive around at night, watching girls leave nightclubs, follow them home, then scalp them lovingly. Or maybe you can meet him on J-Date, where he will take you to a nice dinner, then strangle you while you are giving him a blowjob. What an ungrateful punk! Don’t worry, Frank took a scalp to remember her by.
When Frank gets home he slaps the scalps his mannequins and proceeds to talk to them and see them as real people. All is well and good until Frank meets a beautiful photographer named Anna, she also has a thing for mannequins and is enamored with Frank and his mannequin shop. She rents a bunch of them for her upcoming art exhibit, and invites Frank to the show, but poor Frank doesn’t fit in very well. Anna’s agent belittles him, and Anna’s boyfriend accosts him in the bathroom. So Frank deals with this by following the agent home and scalping the shit out of her. The next day Anna calls Frank distraught over the loss of her friend and he heads over to comfort her. As they are hanging out, Anna starts to put the pieces together and realizes that Frank probably killed her agent, and she locks herself in the bathroom. Frank kills her gay neighbor and eventually subdues Anna as well, but not before she inflicts some serious damage to him. Frank can’t seem to catch a break as Anna gives him a hand, literally, a mannequin hand through the chest as she makes one last break for it. Does Frank catch up to the love of his life? Well that would be telling, wouldn’t it…
Alex’s Thoughts: I always thought the original Maniac was a pretty unremarkable horror movie, released when the slasher genre was ramping up to its peak. I didn’t have high hopes for the re-make, but I do like Elijah Wood, so I figured I would go into it with an open mind. I am happy to say that I really enjoyed it. The dominate use of first-person perspective was interesting; and from the first kill even before the title card, the audience was hooked. There was a nice mix of everything a horror fan could want in a slasher flick: gore, tension and a bit of crazy (which Wood pulled off nicely). If you are a fan of a well-made serial killer movie (and who isn’t), give it a look see. Alex Rates This Movie 8/10
Tim’s Thoughts: This is a very solid entry into a tired and usually badly done genre. I love horror movies, but honestly 90% of them are garbage. Maniac does something that a lot of horror aspires to do and fails miserably, it’s artistic and it’s creepy. Usually these adjectives are reserved for 70’s Italian horror flicks, so to see a new movie pull it off is great! Maniac has it’s flaws, and it’s far from perfect, but screening this with a distracting, and loud audience, I was still able to enjoy it immensely. If and when this gets nationwide release, do yourselves a favor and give Maniac a chance. Tim Rates This Movie 9/10