My Short Review: I have to admit, I really wanted to Love this movie. Executive produced by Alexandre Aja who is one of my favorite new Master of Horror, based on one of the all-time horror movie classic, Maniac, and supervised by none other than William Lustig, the director of the original movie. Add to this the choice (at first perplexing) of Elijah Wood in the difficult role of Franck, and you can understand all the anticipation.
Sadly, as it is the case here, it can often lead to disappointment.
I love may things about the new Maniac movie: the score is brillant and kudos to Robin Coudert (Rob) for making an hypnotical soundtrack. The acting is first class and I was really impressed by Wood’s work. His voice acting was really strong and carrying so much weight without the need of seeing his face all the time. And of course the practical make up effects deliver all the gore necessary to satisfy our blood-craving (not a surprise when you know KnB are behing it).
So what’s wrong with Maniac? Its hard to tell really. Somehow the movie feels too cold; I had a hard time getting into Franck’s mind and Elijah Wood is not to blame. Was it the choice of shooting the movie using a POV angle? Maybe. We never really feel indise Franck’s head so it kinda kills the purpose of having the movie shot this way. Maybe a more traditional approach would have worked better.
Would the movie have beneficiated from Aja’s direction? Probably not as he was already very involved in the movie.
Maybe my level of expectation was too high and there was no way the movie could have delivered the way I wished it would.
In any case, Maniac is still a good Horror Movie, one of the best of this year so far. Unfortunately, there is something missing that will prevent it from becoming a cult classic like the first one did.
My Rating: 7/10
Director: Frank Khalfoun