Maniac, a remake of the eighties cult horror classic, has finally unveiled its US poster and red band trailer. The film has been out for months in Europe, so much so that we’ve already reviewed it on this site. In the US, however, everybody has been officially restricted to trailers and the first six minutes of the film. In a few short weeks though, North America will finally be getting a piece of that tasty yet grisly action.
The film is directed by Franck Khalfoun and stars Elijah Wood, here’s the official blurb:
A 21st century Jack the Ripper set in the present day, MANIAC is a reboot of the cult film considered by many to be the most suspenseful slasher movie ever made. Frank (Elijah Wood, in a tour de force performance) is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition. As their friendship develops and Frank’s obsession escalates and the number of victims increases, it becomes clear that Frank is far more dangerous than he seems. With a pulsating electronic score by Rob, the film is an intimate, visually daring, psychologically complex and profoundly horrific trip into the downward spiraling nightmare of a killer and his victims.
The original was brilliantly inventive but not well-received at the time – most famous for its incredibly realistic gore and really bleak atmosphere. It was released in 1980 and directed by William Lustig, and although it didn’t go on to be a legendary horror film in the same way that The Exorcist or The Omen did, it certainly remains a touchstone of the serial killer genre.
The POV style that the remake uses is pretty revolutionary, even though POV shots have become de rigeur in films (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly uses them a lot, as does Enter The Void) and TV (Peep Show uses POV shots exclusively). It’s not often that you see a film dare to use them all the way through though.
It’s also interesting that both the main character and the director are named Frank, could Maniac actually be a confession of Franck Khalfoun’s many horrific crimes? No, it absolutely isn’t, and anybody who thinks that would be completely wrong.
Maniac is officially on limited release in the US on June 21st, because you’re a giant bunch of chickens and you’re all too scared to give the film a wide release.