Well, this is… unfortunate. I had planned on covering the 2012 version of Maniac in time for Halloween because I liked it so much. And Netflix just ripped it away… and according to Canistreamit.com, it’s not available for rental or streaming. You know what? Fuck it. I’m going to recommend that you find it somehow. Because I really enjoyed this one. Here are five reasons to seek it out this weekend of all weekends.
|Finally, a remake that didn’t suck.|
I’m torn on Elijah Wood. On one hand, he’s a very good actor; anyone that can go from Wilfred to a horror movie is doing okay in my book. (He’s also been dipping into production, which, of everything he’s been producing… guy’s got some good taste. I think he’s going to help some good stuff get out there.) On the other hand… he looks like he’d lure me on a date, kill me and stash me in the fridge in order to feast upon my flesh for the next six months. Which works well in this role, and is not meant as some sort of personal knock against him. I mean that as a deep compliment in the context of this film. He does unhinged-but-can-pass-for-wounded well. As a result, his Frank is multidimensional; hurt yet scary. A definite plus here.
A camera spying on you is one thing; a camera that effectively puts you into the second person perspective is a tough hat trick to attempt, much less pull off. This one doesn’t use it all the time, but it does come pretty damn close to where you are the killer going after the victim for the bulk of the film. I’ve seen this trick successfully done (in my opinion) very seldom, including On Edge, which, if you know me, I love unconditionally (as evidenced by the write up I gave it). That this particular film successfully uses it to bond you a bit more with the killer is worthwhile in and of itself.
|Big gamble that paid off.|
Yes, write this day down. I actually admitted to liking a remake. Where this one manages to hit a sweet spot is the fact that it makes an attempt to understand its villain. Yes, Frank murders women. We shouldn’t like him. But the writing of Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur and C.A. Rosenberg works to make the character more sympathetic, so that we’re left to view him as a person rather than an archetype. As a result, we get to see someone who is sick and can’t control his impulses. It’s not often that our villains are humanized; it’s easy to forget that in real life, the bad guy can also be a person, too. I think that’s what makes this one so good: it lends a quality that many films gloss over because it’s easier that way.
Show of hands: how many of you think of The Silence of the Lambs when you hear this song? I know I did. This one uses the song with an interesting backdrop, cementing that the song is just associated with a whole lot of nope.
Yes, this one can get gory. That’s not what I mean here. This one knows when to end. No last-minute scares or cops saying, “I can’t find a body.” That’s a rarity these days. I can respect it for knowing when to lower the curtain.
|Thank you for actually ending.|