Movie Review: Maniac [2012]

Have you ever closed your eyes while watching a horror film? and still looking out, because you really wanna see it? 

If NO, this gonna be your first time, if YES, imagine maximum of your adrenaline, then multiply it by number of Oscars Kevin O'Connell lost and you get a real feeling of watching Maniac.

Maniac is a horrifying thriller about mannequin restorer and shop owner Frank (Elijah Wood), who hunts on women at nights to satisfy his obsession with scalps and enrich enormous collection of human-looking mannequins. Unexpectedly he falls in love with young artist Anna who expresses a great interest in Frank's works. As their friendship escalates, Frank loses control on his life and emotions.

This is one of the most enjoyable horror films I've seen lately. It's scary, interesting, very attractive and Elijah is just fantastic.

In the opening scene you see how someone spies on young girls, who just leaved club. The face of this person is beyond camera, as if he himself shots the whole movie and it keeps like that afterwards. At the beginning I found this very annoying, but later I learned to "imagine" killer only with his voice and emotions, which was perfectly expressed by Elijah. Frank is way too merciless, he kills every beautiful (and only) woman, takes scalp and "transforms" her into mannequin wearing victim's hair. At first, you do not guess reasons for it and consider Frank as a ruthless murderer, who just enjoys testing his power on feeble, less protected women. But later, as the camera starts shooting scenes from another angle, including killer in most of scenes, we start learning something about his personality and past. And then we start "understand" motive, which makes the whole idea more logical.

Anna's appearance in his life changes a lot, including himself - he becomes two persons - one loving her and trying to keep her safe, another forcing the first one to kill again, and again, and again. And he kills. Finally, all comes down to a logical, impressionable ending, that I consider to be one of the dignities of Maniac.

I loved how successively the plot was developing, along with characters. It helps a lot to follow such a hard-to-watch movie. These impressions boiled in my huge satisfaction in the end. All because of great directing work of Franck Khalfoun and a charming script of Alexandre AjaGrégory Levasseur.

Elijah's performance as Frank is one of the bests in his career, at least what I've seen. His character is creepy and not easy to follow and blue eyes make him even creepier. Wood does an outstanding job by portraying unemotional cold blood killer, emotional lover and a person with MPD (multiple personality disorder).

Maniac has some very impressive and beautiful shots, which on the one hand, made those mannequins alive and on the other hand, the movie felt more thrilling. The soundtrack is just amazing, which made every single scene more effective, horrifying - definitely, one of the best music created for horror movies. All in all, this movie is a great watching experience, and definitely of those most highly recommended films this year.


  1. It seems like you liked it. :) Good review!

  2. yep, I liked it. creepy but good :)