Starring: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder
Directed by: Franck Khalfoun
is a horror thriller filled with stomach-churning gore. Really
one word could do; terrifying. But you need more.
goes…a young man, Frank (Elijah Wood), has a tad of an issue;
it’s the psychotic downward triangular cornered slant no
amount of therapy is going to smooth-out-sort. He refurbishes
mannequins as a job. In itself, an odd workplace surrounding.
Though that turns out is not his true passion. He preffers to
hunt gals and - exceptionally - voilently enjoys taking their
lives – and scalps.
a modern killer though. He uses a dating chat room to meet his
victims. And, adding to the sceeve factor, Frank verbally battles
his ‘evil’ side in some scenes.
are a few generic scenes; the artist (Nora Arnezeder - who comes
complete with a French accent and doe-like innocence) happens
to meet him at his store front snapping up photos of the wooden
people in the window. The whole set up is so telegraphed Marconi
wants to sue from the grave for nonpayment of use of his antiquated
But, as the ‘maniac’ Wood, is so off character, the
film may scare the bejesus out of you. Your mind wants –
expects – serial killers to be stinky gargoyle-esque visually
and not packaged in an adorable big blue-eyed package of elfin
charm. Clearly, the take away here is the cliche that no one should
ever judge a book by its cover. And, another would be to take
a close look at you date’s hands…if they are welted,
bloody and scratched? Promptly excuse yourself to bathroom (for
escape time) and exit swiftly stage left. There's no work related
welding that would explain this kind of hamburger-style manicure.
Except perhaps slaughter house...and again, excuse and leave.
Maxime Alexandre filters the colors of the film’s pallette
to a wonderful surreal-ish scape. And director Franck Khalfoun
knows how to shot eerie POV wonderfully. Sadly, Maniac
is not a great film – though the behind-the-scenes crew
are; bright futures abound. And to see a really great actor (Wood)
so off his oozing sweetness? Yeah. Go ahead. Have a cheesy evening
where a sicko character stars.
Snack recommendation: Nadda, nil, zip. Warning