Maniac (2012) - Franck Khalfoun
William Lustig's Maniac is a exploitation classic, and while it's incredibly taboo to say, Franck Khalfoun's remake surpasses the original. For those not familiar with the story, Maniac revolves around a serial killer who spends his nights on the streets looking for his next victim. He targets only females, scalping them so he can attach them to mannequins, putting them on display in his store. This version of Maniac never waivers in capturing the sadistic brutality aspect of its predecessor, while delivering a much more lean and stylistic experience. This version of the film is almost entirely shot from the first person point-of-view of our killer-an incredibly ballsy move that pays off. We are given an up close and personal look into the mind of a psychotic, with the technique capturing the psyche of this demented individual, which effectively transports the viewer into his warped mind. The direction is very impressive, with lots of sadistic moments that juxtapose classical music and imagery making the whole thing sort of beautiful in the sickest way possible. This film is not apologetic in the slightest when it comes to delivering the violence, making sure to stay true the original film. If I had one complaint about the film it would pertain to the pseudo-relationship which transpires between the maniac and Anna. Throughout the film he is shown as a very awkward and strange character and I couldn't help but question whether it would have been far more interesting to have him be more smooth and manipulative. In the end I don't think it's a major problem, as I could see how Anna would be draw to what she perceives as a quiet, introverted artist-type of man. Franck Khalfoun's Maniac is a film that stays true to the original's strengths, ultimately managing to surpass that film because of its assured direction.
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