Yet another remake to digest, this time a maniac is on the loose. I was never exactly a true fan of the 1980 original movie, but it did have something unique to it with a very memorable serial killer, Frank Zito, who had a serious mother complex.
Frank in the original movie was played by Joe Spinell who did a great job and most of all he was believable as a serial killer. Even if he was fucked up in the head and often very vulnerable, you were never in doubt that this huge sweating man was in fact dangerous and very bad company. Frank in the 2012 remake is played by Elijah "Frodo" Wood who does a decent job but never really convinces anyone, that he is in fact a deadly monster.
The story is basically the same with only some minor differences. Boy watches mother having sex with lots of men to make herself some money and he builds up a massive mother complex. Mother dies (guess how), and man turns into a monster with a particular liking for dressing up mannequin dolls with the hair from his victims.
One big difference is the perspective. In the new movie almost everything is seen through the killer's eyes. It may sound like a great idea at first, but unfortunately it sounds better than it looks. I prefer the more traditional approach in the original movie where most scenes were seen from the outside, and the killer was speaking out loudly his mother-son dialogue with himself. The amount of gore is more or less the same in the 2 movies and it is never overwhelming except perhaps for the last awesome scene.
There needs to be a good reason to remake a classic movie and Maniac  is certainly a classic. Even if it was never a perfect movie, it is a very memorable early slasher movie with an outstanding killer. The change of perspective is not really enough to justify this remake, especially not when the killer is much less convincing. A huge sweaty and dangerously looking man is just a better serial killer candidate than a tiny Hobbit.
- Rating: 3/6
- Director: Franck Khalfoun
- Runtime: 1h29
- Rating: 4/6
- Director: William Lustig
- Runtime: 1h27