Of all the remakes and sequels in today’s Hollywood, it seems that the horror genre gets these treatments more than any. Some work and some don’t but the ones that stand out as most interesting are usually the less popular of the genre. The latest to get the remake treatment is the 1980 slasher flick Maniac, but this time features Elijah Wood in the lead and unexpected role. Does this remake manage to take a somewhat mediocre slasher film and create something new and worthy of the genre or will it be just another forgettable gore fest like so many before it?
Maniac follows the owner of a mannequin store who happens to have a fetish for scalps, but his life is changed when a young artist comes into his life asking for help with her exhibition. As their friendship grows, so does his compulsion to kill and ability to keep these repressed urges at bay. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this film and with good reason it works on almost every level as well as adds something new to the genre. The story is pretty simple, but thanks to the execution and Wood’s creepy performance makes it more complex and borders on art. The entire film is shot in POV of Wood giving the viewer the experience that you are the character as opposed to just watching him. This decision to take this direction could have gone horribly wrong, but thanks to some clever camera work and thought out decisions with production slashes its way to perfection. Wood has always been good, but one of his best performances was his crazed character of Kevin in Sin City showcasing a side we were not used too. Here he takes the same idea with a more subtle approach to create an even more disturbing character. While it’s not flying at you at a fast pace, there are plenty of great kills and creepy moments that will sure to cement it as one the better to come along in some time.
This is one of the few films of this genre that does in fact break the mold and deliver something all new to the genre. The film doesn’t necessary leave itself to a sequel nor does it need one, Elijah Wood is so creepy cool here it would be awesome to see him go on another rampage, but at the same time would most likely tarnish the genius of this one. If you are a slasher film and looking for something different, then you have to check out Maniac, it delivers the gore and nudity you love all wrapped in a nice artsy package that you won’t soon forget. In addition to this creepy film this Blu-ray includes a making of feature, commentary, deleted scenes, poster gallery and a trailer.
Be sure to grab your copy when it hits stores on October 15th.