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Forums Index -> The Shiver Shack -> Reviews of Franck Khalfoun's MANIAC
The Gomorrahizer
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 3:15 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 1270

Variety:
Maniac review
http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117947653/
Quote:
A shocker of a remake, equal parts stylish and scuzzy, "Maniac"only marginally softens the grindhouse sleaze of William Lustig's 1980 original, still notorious for being the "Taxi Driver" of slashers. With an intense Elijah Wood in the title role of a wigged-out psycho killer who affixes the scalps of his female victims to fly-drawing mannequins, this merciless work of anti-entertainment is arguably admirable for being as disturbingly disgusting as it wants to be. Stateside distribs might well stalk the France-U.S. co-production, but an R rating is inconceivable for anything like the version screened after midnight at Cannes.

Shot largely from the p.o.v. of heavy-breathing Los Angeles slayer Frank Zitto (Wood), director Franck Khalfoun's faithful remake (co-written by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur) sets out to victimize the viewer, and succeeds to the extent that unsuspecting horror fans might end up running for the exits before the Grand Guignol finale. The first of the film's handful of unwatchably ultraviolent scenes follows the maniac's excruciatingly slow progress in hunting an innocent woman who's eventually dispatched in gruesome fashion while trying to enter her apartment.

Such is the pic's devotion to subjectivity that Wood's performance is almost exclusively vocal for the first half-hour, the audience forced to share Frank's predatory gaze. Like Lustig's film, Khalfoun's surveys the city's seedier side from the window of the psycho's car, giving it an easily recognizable relationship to Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," with all the psychotically clammy voyeurism that kinship allows.


The Hollywood Reporter:
Maniac review
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/maniac-elijah-wood-cannes-review-329836
Quote:
Slasher-movie fans, however, need not be put off by the stylized camera work and arty patina: this is down and dirty genre filmmaking, and the various slaughters, excruciatingly detailed scalpings and other atrocities are no less gruesome because of the highfalutin approach.

. . .

The movie is essentially a sadistic art-house bloodbath, with opera music and ballet dancers and funky little art galleries. The nerve-shredding score, by the mono-monikered Rob, salutes the music Italian prog-rockers Goblin provided for Argento's early horror-thrillers, the 1980s electronica lending a deeply melancholic city-at-night vibe.
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