In Maniac we follow Frank (Elijah Wood), the owner of a mannequin shop. He seems like your every day normal guy that is trying to make a living for himself, but there is more than meets the eye with him. He meets Anna (Nora Arnezeder) who is a photographer and he gains a strong obsession with her rather quickly. In a horror film like this Elijah Wood is way out of his comfort zone, that is obvious. But that doesn’t mean he is bad in the film, in fact, Elijah puts in a outstanding performance as Frank. I don’t think he could of got anymore in character if he wanted to, he owned the role. Other roles like Anna played by Nora Arnezeder, and America Olivo who plays Frank’s Mother are also great.
One of Maniacs most standout things is that about 95% of the film is shot from a first person perspective of Frank, you see everything he does and how the world around him reacts to what he does, and how he acts. This isn’t seen much films at all these days, and it is perfectly executed here. It will zoom out of the first person shots at times it needs to, and then will smoothly go back into Frank’s perspective. It really works to immerse you in Frank’s world, and not only what is around him, but how he is deep down and the troubles he has. This was a great idea and it worked out for the best.
As the film progresses on, you gain more insight of how Frank works and what is motives are. But flashback scenes are integrated into the movie, and flawlessly too. Not only do the flashbacks add more to the story, it gives and shows you why Frank is who he really is. The writers made great use of the flashback scenes, by not making things confusing or asking questions, they just give you what you need. There isn’t much flashbacks, but with the little that are present, they are a welcome addition.
Gore in Maniac is also no let down, they don’t shy away from showing you what Frank is going to do and the special effects are marvelous too. More horror films these days are cutting away when something gruesome is about to happen and they show you in a shadow or some form of the other. But Maniac doesn’t, they keep you in Frank’s perspective and show you what is he doing.
With less slasher films coming out these days and with the downfall of how good they use to be, to what they have become, the Maniac remake is a breath of fresh air. It’s extremely hard to outdo an original, but Maniac has reached the heights the original 1980 classic did and goes even further. Maniac is an up to date slasher film that all us slasher fans want, and it boy, does it deliver.
So what about you? Will you be seeing Maniac anytime soon? Or will you be sitting this remake out? Let us know below in the comments!