My Review of Maniac (2012)

Maniac

FIRST SCENE

I had NO IDEA that we were looking at the girls from the stalker’s POV until he spoke. That was fabulous. I want some questions answered. Who is this guy? Why is he following Judy? Does she know him and if so, how? It’s obvious that she is freaked out by his car following her… but I can’t tell if she knows who the guy is.

“Don’t scream. You’re so beautiful.” And then he cuts off (literally) her scream shortly after it begins. The fact that he stroked her face was so chilling and reminded me of a Browning poem I read in college called Porphyria’s Lover (go read it – you won’t regret it).

AND ONWARD

I love how we haven’t even seen the guy’s face yet. It’s all shown from his POV, which is fantastic and really enforces just how messed up he is. We couldn’t imagine ourselves in his shoes yet here we are, often sympathizing with him. Not with his actions, mind you, but with his circumstances. The audience is left cringing at every move, knowing that what’s to come isn’t going to be good.

Being a victim of a violent crime (abusive relationship), I’m no stranger to the art of manipulation. Watching the killer type messages to RedLucie86 makes me cringe, because there are so many red flags in his messages – first of all, no picture. Secondly, the way he says, “I think you might be too daring for me.” He manipulates her into wanting to see him even more. So basically he turns it around and tries to get HER to convince HIM to meet her – AKA if asked, it will be her fault and on her insistence that they met. Clever, eh?

  • “You know, it was really sweet of you to drive me home.” “I’m happy to do it.” OHHHHHHH, I BET YOU ARE.
  • Sidenote: He doesn’t say much.
  • Jesus. That choking scene came on quick. It was like it was suddenly nothing for him. I loved how I could only hear how her breathing changed at first. It was subtle, but noticeable.
  • Zoom-in on the red spots on her neck where his hands were – that was perfect.
  • The fact that he puked right after scalping her was interesting. I wonder how many times he has killed before…
  • Back of the van scene: THAT. WAS. AWESOME. No spoilers from me – you’ll have to watch it yourself – but it made me grin.
  • 1:19:07 elicited a loud YEAH from me and immediately after, a loud OH SHIT.

OVERALL RATING

I enjoyed this film. I’d say 4 out of 5 hearts. It had everything I want from a horror movie: mystery, a psychopath, gore, lots of idiots, and one smart character. What made it unique was its first person POV, which I love and only is deviated from twice, and the line of work Frank was in. I’ve never seen a horror movie with mannequins as the main focal point (other than one of the monsters from Silent Hill), so it was fresh. It was Jack the ripper-esque for sure, but he was different enough to keep me interested. It was more than a kill – in fact these weren’t even kills to him; I’m not even quite sure what to call them. Though he would probably refer to them as restorations – he wanted to “keep” them. Back on track, the movie was a bit slow at points, but there was nothing really that felt out of place to me. The ending was a bit of a stretch, but it worked. I can’t hate zombie mannequins. I really can’t. So, to sum it all up, I give this movie 4 hearts out of 5, due to the low sound quality and the often slow nature of the movie. Otherwise, it was entertaining and shockingly intriguing and I suggest that you watch it!

The Good: Elijah Wood’s creepy performance, first person POV, the ending

The Bad: Horrible sound quality, sometimes slow

Gore Rating: Heavy. Lots of blood and guts. Not for weak stomachs.

DISCLAIMER: Some nudity, several sex scenes.

If you were curious, it got a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes and (as aforementioned) mixed reviews. Here’s Simon Miraudo’s review: click here for the Quickflix review.

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