14 May 2013

'Maniac (2013)' Review

The Owner of a mannequin develops a dangerous obsession with a young artist, and whilst she is his bit on the side he looks for attractive women to kill and to use as design for his mannequin's, tearing of their scalp hair and sticking them to the mannequins to make them come alive. So, in this case, don't go by the plot for whether or not you want to watch this film or not, because how it sounds is not how it looks, the plot sounds shit, the film really isn't. Maniac is something new, in the horror genre and especially in the Remake Sub-Genre. It brings it's own bag full of ideas to the horror table which is refreshing, and, without giving anything away this early on in the review, but you can expect a change if you're planning to give Maniac a go.

The Good: Without giving anything away this early on in the review, I can say that this entire film experience is like the first 5 minutes of John Carpenter's Halloween, except with better acting, better scares and a better budget. That's right, you're dealing with a full-on POV, Peeping Tom styled horror movie. I wouldn't blame you if you were put off the film just now, but once the ball gets rolling and you realize that this isn't just another found-footage entry into the genre, then you will start to appreciate how well this film has been presented. At first it's a little annoying not being able to watch the killings happen, but after a while you realize that you're able to witness it first hand, and look through the eyes of a psychopath, which I don't think has been pulled off in a long time. The style in which the film was shot is quite beautiful, even beneath all the slicing and dicing, it's artistic.

If you're going into this looking for a psychological treatment then you'll get it, if you're looking for an intense ride, you'll find it, but if your searching for a little more creativity in the death department then you stay right there. What makes Maniac different from all the other gore-fests is that this gore has meaning and purpose, fair enough Frankie (The Maniac) doesn't get intestines spewing or guts flowing, he gets you were it makes you cringe; you may think your immune to horror deaths cause you've watched Saw, but when you watch from the killer's POV a girl's skin getting ripped and peeled from you her head, you feel your nerves tingling and find yourself cringing; That's what this film does to you. I'm sure when your sitting watching all the gore and violence that you will be able to appreciate how visually impressive this film is, and how unique it is amongst the horror genre today. 

The Bad: Although I didn't really find that much really wrong with the film, I just found a few flaws that really drag down the experience. What I found to be the biggest issue was that it became a bit of a drag at times; there were a few moment's were nothing could happen for a good 20 minutes, and in the horror genre especially, that can be testing. fair enough, we did get a good dose of hair peeling but after a while you expect to see something different to spice it up and to stop it from falling into a pattern, which it did, and the only real time were something different happened is when Frankie jams a clever into the hall mates mouth (not a pretty sight), but other than that, it was pretty tedious (however, the skin ripping was still effective till the very end). Also, I love a film with a good chase scene (as said before in the Aftershock Review) and even there was one or two, it wasn't as intense as it should have been, had there have been more action and less mental breakdown's, I would have liked it more, but what they did with his mentality was pretty good. But aside from it being slightly boring at times (which can be a major downfall) that was pretty much it.

VERDICT: Maniac is a psychotic, intense and horrifying experience that takes the horror genre to a new level, visually and stylistically. Although it has it's tired moments, you are still able to appreciate what it brings to the table, whether it's skin tearing or Elijah Woods's brilliant performance, I'm sure you'll still find this a unique watch.

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