150 Words About: MANIAC (2012)

I was one of the few who didn’t scoff when I heard Alexandra Aja (Haute Tension, Piranha 3D, the amazing 2006 version of The Hills Have Eyes) was producing a remake of William Lustig’s sleaze-classic Maniac.  I enjoyed the original, but was never a huge fan.  2013’s update, directed by Franck Khalfoun (P2, Amityville: The Awakening), proved to be one hell of a gruesome yet oddly beautiful film.  I knew lead Elijah Wood could be scary -- his performance in Sin City is nightmare fuel -- but in this one he’s sympathetic too (sure, his character scalps women, but with mommy issues like this, it would have been a miracle for this dude to turn out any other way!).  The first-person-POV was a unique, unsettling touch that puts the viewer in the killer’s mind/body without ever feeling “gimmicky”, and the soundtrack is one of my favorites of the last decade.

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