Maniac Movie Reviews
User reviews on Maniac
My boyfriend really enjoyed watching horror films and I do not, so I don’t know what I was thinking when i agreed to see this movie. It was the worst and I basically spent the whole running time with my eyes wide shut so I don’t have to see the horrible things that were spewing out of the screen. The film was repulsive and way too brutal for my taste and it was weird to see Elijah Wood as a serial killer, he will forever be Frodo in my head. My boyfriend however, loved this film so I guess if you like scary movies, you might enjoy this one as well.
I am absolutely certain that not everyone will take kindly to this movie (it's a remake, for one, and two, it's a gory and grisly tale) but I found myself able to appreciate it for its artistic ambitions which are obvious from the beginning. I was kind of taken aback by Elijah Wood being in the lead role. He isn't exactly the first choice - I mean, where was Zac Efron? Or Christian Bale? (Ok, he's kinda old for this part, but still...) It takes a while to get used to him (I think we can't get past his Frodo persona) but ultimately I did buy him as the psycho serial killer who hunts single women for their skulls. I think a lot of the credit goes to the actress who plays his main object of pursuit. She is really good in her part and I think she owned the film. Every bit of fear and vulnerability in the movie belongs to her - and that's what the whole film is about. I hope she gets noticed come awards season. Only for the stoic and fans of gore.
Yikes, this one’s a total doozy. Unless you’re someone who can stomach an entire two hours of utter psychological horror intermittently interrupted by gruesome physical torture, this probably ain’t your cuppa tea. That being said, I know there are diehard fans of the original Maniac out there that will fault any critic deriding the remake as overly squeamish or altogether ‘out of touch’, so let me try to explain why this movie fails.
First, the casting. Elijah Wood is a great actor. He’s superb on Wilfred. And who doesn’t love Frodo. But he is so utterly unconvincing as a psychotic serial killer in this film that I have no choice but to deem the soundtrack the true villain of the piece. Were it not for the incessant piercing violins in the background, you might never know that he was supposed to be disturbed and menacing. Elijah Wood is many things – charming, intelligent, and totally watchable. What he isn’t is scary.
The other major failing of the film is its structure. It moves at such a snail’s pace and spends the vast majority of its running time simply addressing what we know will happen in the end that it never bothers to explain anything other than the fact that its characters are mopey, dopey, and totally loopy. A modern day Jack-the-Ripper in Los Angeles has a fetish for leggy blondes. Erm, ok. But the movie never shows why any of the victims trust him in the first place, much less why they allow him to get close enough to hurt them.
It’s just wham, bam, thank you for your skull ma’m.