I figured that, after Lord of the Rings, Elijah Wood would be typecast as the pure hero. Not as the creepy/psychotic killer. But between Sin City and this film, well, what do you know. Maniac, a remake of William Lustig’s 1980 film of the same name, follows Frank, an unbalanced man whose balance becomes even more un after the death of his mother, and begins stalking and scalping beautiful women.
The new movie, directed by Franck Khalfoun, has an interesting gimmick: it’s shot mostly if not entirely from Frank’s point of view. It’s an interesting conceit because it directly confronts an audience with their own voyeurism. It could even condemn us for our complicity in the killer’s crimes. If nothing else, it completely gives over to the trend of placing the viewer in the POV of the killer rather than the victim, which I’ve generally thought is a strange tack to take if you want to scare someone. But this movie looks to be doing something else, which is unnerve and sicken rather than scare.
Just take a look at this new red band trailer. There’s tons of sickening violence, all of it directed against women. Is this merely a representation of Frank’s worldview, or is the movie itself indulging in the usual female-unfriendly horror movie behavior? Or is it both?
Watch the trailer and judge for yourself. Although you should take note that it is DEEPLY not safe for work. Unless your boss is cool with seeing a woman getting scalped.