Monday, November 05, 2012

Maniac in 200 Words or Less

Ya know how you heard that spritely eyeball-container Elijah Wood had been cast as the titular killer in the remake of William Lustig's 1980 sleaze-fest slasher Maniac and you were all, "Wuh in the wuh now???" Yeah you should probably build a time machine and go back to that moment and comfort yourself (with kisses and soft caresses, if need be) because it totally works. In fact pretty much everything about director Franck Khalfoun's take on the material works like gangbusters - Wood's strangely seductive slash harrowing performance (he really goes for broke); the decision to shoot it in first-person; the synthy 80s score; the erratic, lush cinematography from Maxime Alexandre (who also shot High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes remake). 

It's that second thing, the first-person shooting technique, that ends up clinching the deal - it really oughtn't work; Khalfoun sets up a world of obstacles for himself with it. But on most every count he manages to tweak something wonderful and unique and bizarre and totally disturbing out of it. This is a hard film to watch at times, and I wouldn't want it any other way.


Dale said...

Would you say the movie seemed sexist at all? Because that's been a big problem for me before with Alexandre Aja, and is easily the biggest roadblock to me seeing this movie.

Anonymous said...

Had some issues with this one, don´t know if u saw the uncut version? For me there were some scenes that just went too far regarding the violence against women (mainly the scene with the older *think this was her profession* artist agent) and it just gets repetitive after a while...Well made for sure but Aja and his cohorts do have issues with the women and the gays.

MrJeffery said...

@anonymous & @dale i don't think it's aja so much as it is the main character's hyperbolic, distorted vision. i think i would have preferred a tad more distance from the killer and i found wood somewhat miscast and distracting but much of the film works really well. loved the score.