13 Movies of Halloween Horror: #5 Maniac

The best thing about insomnia is a nearly limitless amount of time to watch movies.  That may be an exaggeration, but the truth isn't far off.  After spending close to half an hour looking for a movie to watch I settled on "Maniac" starring Elijah Wood.  He's long been a favorite of mine since I saw him in "The Good Son" with Macaulay Culkin.

I had seen some other friends mention this movie, so when I saw this on Netflix I decided to give it a go.

Elijah Wood stars as a recluse ancient mannequin restorer, Frank, who spends his nights hunting and scalping women.  He takes the pelts of women's hair and makes mannequins designed after them that he treats as his girlfriends.  Throughout the movie we see what happened with his mom during his childhood that set him on this path, and his internal struggles with what's going on in his mind.

One clever thing the director did was shoot the entire movie from Elijah's character's first person view.  As a way of literally putting you in the main character's shoes, it works to build the suspense.

The major arc of the movie involves a female photographer that hires Frank to supply his mannequins for her upcoming art exhibit.  He begins developing feelings for her as one would expect in this type of movie which leads to a conflict with his girlfriends, and an internal debate with his darker self.

I hadn't realized that this was a French remake of an 80's American slasher flick of the same name.  I'm now tempted to go back and watch the original, but am currently content with this one.


A large popcorn for sure.  It's your standard slasher flick, however the shooting style and intelligence to not explain everything going on inside Frank's head allowing the viewer to make logical conclusions separates this from your average fare. Additionally, anytime you see Elijah Wood in a movie, especially an independent one, you know you're in store for a noteworthy performance.

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