Frank (Elijah Wood) is a mentally deranged mannequin restorer. Scarred by his upbringing with his prostitute mother, he suffers terrible desires to kill and targets young women. We see mostly through his eyes in this well shot film. Frank stalks, kills and scalps his victims, taking home their hair to staple to the heads of his chosen mannequins in order to create his own female companions. He soon turns his attentions to Anna (Nora Arnezeder), a beautiful French artist who's looking to use some mannequins for her exhibition, becoming obsessed with her.
A brutal and graphic film with excellent special effects and gore, and a fair amount of tension. As we see mostly all scenes from Frank's perspective, we are privy to his battle with his inner turmoil and his hallucinations. The film is uncomfortable and disturbed, but because we see it from the murderer's perspective, we don't get many surprises.
Wood delivers a horrifyingly real character who we understand, but for whom we feel no pity.
A modern slasher which keeps it simple and brutal with an excellent soundtrack, "Maniac" is one you can't look away from.
[Image: La Petite Reine]