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Maniac -2012- Review




I was not a fan of the original Maniac. Something in it just never went well for me. Maybe it was Joe Spinell, whom I don’t really buy as threatening, or maybe it was a bad mood, that made me hate it. Honestly, along with Martin, it is in my list re-watches, films that everyone else likes but I hated. Maybe it was a bad mood.

So walking into this, I have zero expectations. Then throw in Elijah Wood as the titular character, and you have potentially lost me.

The plot is nearly identical, a social misfit seeks out women for his collection of sorts and nefarious things transpire. He battles a multiple personality and or schizophrenia. The entire film is shown in first person, with shaky cam galore.

I could really have gone without seeing Frodo get a BJ….while looking mortified the whole time, ironically matching my sentiments exactly. There is a polished faux grindhouse style, using darks, and grainy and griminess, but it comes across as trying to hard. Some plot devices are plain stupid, like the french artist, whom specializes in mannequin photography, and the base story itself has been done to death. Then they went with CGI, why or why go with CGI?? As almost always, it looks really fake, just takes me out of the moment, however it is not always a cardinal sin for me. However when you combine it with other flaws, like a barely there sub par plot, it adds a nice cherry on top of the fuckstorm sundae for me. Which this really was.

Again, I found myself longing for this to end. To the original source’s credit, it had a great series of innovative violence, with some awesome gore. This was run of the mill, shitty CGI, done in the boring modern slasher style. This is almost akin to a torture porn, man kills women, then gets killed. No real plot, no really character development, just some shitty exposition here and there when it is called for. It took every ounce of strength I have to not turn this off. Thankfully it was on Netflix. Boring is an understatement. Elijah Wood goes between monotone and whiny, which makes this all the more painful. The ending itself, is completely laughable, somehow Elijah Wood is impervious to bleeding out and being hit by and ran over by a car. Well, momentarily. The final scene was same as the original, which was also same as Don’t Go in The House. There is absolutely no pay off in this film.

Ok I need positives here, there is a fair bit of female nudity, of various body types, it’s not a shot for shot remake, although maybe that would have been better. Oh and it’s only 89 minutes, not 2 hours or something crazy, although those 89 minutes are longest in recent memory. I guess the neighbour murder was alright. Damn I hate being this negative but this was awful.

RATING: F(45%)

PROS: ummmm, nudity I guess is sort of a pro, maybe…It breaks the POV for about two scenes, which I guess was less annoying. Nora Arnezeder is nicely attractive and a decent lead.

CONS: shaky cam, POV is stupid and pointless, badly miscast, CGI gore, pretty much no plot. Boring to an art form. Has some very heavy pretentious moments. Has 3 writers but still no discernible plot really, and is nowhere near original. I was praying for this to end especially by the 45 minute mark.


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