P2 director Frank Khalfoun is remaking William Lustig’s seminal 1980’s grimy psychological slasher MANIAC, with Elijah Wood vacating the role of Frank Zito that late legendary actor Joe Spinell made so iconic. It’s no surprise to see frequent Khalfoun collaborator Alexander Aja behind another remake after making a successful string of them that includes updates of The Hills Have Eyes & Piranha 3D after making a name for himself internationally with the gore soaked High Tension.
A filmmaking gimmick does accompany Khalfoun/Aja’s update, it will be told through Frank’s POV. Narratively a bold and cool twist from an audience standpoint since we’ll thematically be experiencing this “through the eyes of the killer”. I am hesitant to jump on board with this though since Lustig’s MANIAC truly is a product of it’s time. It’s before New York was cleaned up and showcases a sleazy and dark atmosphere of surroundings that makes you want to take a cold shower immediately. For what’s it worth I’ve dug everything Aja’s done thus far and do trust him with this property, plus Elijah Wood as a scalping murder is admittedly intriguing.
MANIAC will be premiering under the Midnight program of the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, so reactions should trickle out soon enough. Until then we’ve got some first look promo shots to tide you over until word of mouth and the eventual trailer spreads. What say you faithful readers? Ready for a new interpretation of Frank Zito courtesy of Elijah Wood? As always, sound off in the comments below!
Synopsis: “Just when the streets seemed safe, a serial killer with a fetish for scalps is back and on the hunt. Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition. As their friendship develops and Frank’s obsession escalates, it becomes clear that she has unleashed a long-repressed compulsion to stalk and kill.“