1 week ago
Friday, July 26, 2013
Maniacs In Us All Remake
Frank (Elijah Wood) is a shy and withdrawn owner of a mannequin store. As he puts it, he likes bringing them to life. He finds old mannequins and restores them. He has trouble relating to other people though, especially women. After a night of getting into fights with his mannequins, Frank comes down to find Anna (Nora Arnezeder) taking pictures of the mannequins that he has in the windows of his shop. Anna, an artist in her own right, also has a thing for mannequins. After talking with Frank for a bit, she hires him to supply some mannequins for her art exhibit that she has planned. Frank and Anna sort of become friends, but what Anna doesn't know is that sometimes Frank prowls the streets and kills women.
I loved the original film so much that I gave it a rare 5 star review. Sadly, what I remember the most about it now is the gore effects, and not so much the story. Usually the only movies that stand out to me a lot are the ones I have watched over and over again. I don't do that as much as I used to since I started this blog. I'm off to explore new films for reviews instead of watching my favorites a bunch of times. Normally I would compare the two films, but I can't do that much with this one. This is probably a good thing though. Maniac was directed by Frank Khalfoun with Alexandre Aja as a co-writer. They also teamed up for the film P2. The first thing that I noticed was different about Maniac was the way it was filmed. Almost the entire movie is filmed from Frank's perspective. What he sees is what we get to see. It is rare for the camera to break away from this view, but it does from time to time. It is during those times when we see what Frank looks like, but we also see him whenever he looks into a reflective surface as well. I wasn't sure I liked this view at first. Eventually I got used to it and mostly forgot about it. It is a different style to get used to. I think once you do though, it is no longer to big of a deal. As far as I could tell, and from what I read from others, the story stays fairly true to the original film. The pacing was pretty good, with Frank being somewhat normal and then killing someone somewhat often. As much as I liked the interaction between Anna and Frank, it wasn't stood out to me the most.
I wouldn't say that Maniac is as gory as the original was. There is no head exploding due to a gun shot for example. That doesn't mean that Khalfoun and Aja skipped out on making this a gory film though. Most of the effects come from when Frank scalps a woman. There are other effects as well, but that was the main one that does happen more than once. I was nicely surprised at how well the effect can work. If nothing else, the effects crew made it look very painful, which I'm sure it is. All the effects were very good, along with the acting. I really enjoyed Nora Arnezeder, who is new to me. Even though she is very pretty, she still comes across as laid back and quiet at times. She is from France, so I hope that she ends up doing more films on this side of the ocean. Even though we don't actually see Elijah Wood, I still have to admire him for taking this role. It isn't one I would have expected out of him at all. I can't say that I'm a big fan of his, but I enjoyed his performance here.
One of the things I liked about Maniac was that it invoked my favorite kind of remake. One that will remind you of the original film, but is different enough to be its own film as well. I like my covers of music to be that way as well. There was a few scenes that reminded me of the original film. The one that stood out to me was the way Frank sees himself at the end of the film. I almost gave it away there, thank you for a backspace button! I didn't think about it until I read about it, but there is a scene that is styled after the original movie's poster. As soon as I read that I knew which scene it was. I thought that was a nice touch. I'm pretty sure if you enjoyed the original film, then you will also enjoy this remake of it. I didn't like Maniac as much this time around, but I still had a blast watching it. I know people are getting tired of remakes, however, this is one to check out someday if you haven't already.
4 out of 5 Maybe I should find some mannequins