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Maniac (2013)



Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 35

Shocking and bloody. Maniac is smarter than your average psychological slasher, but it's often undermined by its excessive gore.


Average Rating: 3.7/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 12

Shocking and bloody. Maniac is smarter than your average psychological slasher, but it's often undermined by its excessive gore.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 11,583

My Rating

Movie Info

Just when the streets seemed safe, a serial killer with a fetish for scalps is back and on the hunt. Frank (Elijah Wood) is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna (Nora Arnezeder) appears asking for his help with her new exhibition.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. A 21st century Jack the Ripper set in present day LA, Franck Khalfoun's



William Lustig, Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur

Oct 15, 2013


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All Critics (67) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (35)

A creepy experiment that stays with you.

July 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Frodo Baggins as a psycho-killer? Why not?

July 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The sadistic proceedings here are pointless, and not very scary.

July 5, 2013 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's not clear what exactly merited an updating of William Lustig's 1980 "Maniac" - a cheapo urban grimeball about a serial killer - but like a rash's unwelcome return, we got it anyway.

June 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a bit like watching an amputee play hopscotch: there's no way that it's polite to stare for this long, but you just have to see if this guy's gonna make it to the end.

June 21, 2013 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Maniac" only takes what had merely been a disturbing film and makes it into a truly disturbed one.

June 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Khalfoun paints a wonderful and engrossing horror thriller that lets Wood shine as a bonafide monster...

February 20, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Maniac, like its forebear, simply doesn't possess enough material to warrant the full-length feature treatment.

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Look, dating is tough.

October 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix

There's nothing about Maniac to set it apart from the countless other films about countless other psychos who kill countless other women.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source:

The motives for his character remain cloudy, and the film is more interested in gratuitous gore than suspense.

July 22, 2013 Full Review Source:

Beyond the killings, there isn't much mystery to Wood's Frank. He has Norman Bates Syndrome. The end.

July 11, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

Khalfoun gives us an unflinchingly brutal film that places the viewer in the role of accomplice with disturbingly effective results.

July 5, 2013 Full Review Source:

Thrilling and fueled by plenty of bloody carnage, Maniac is a horror film that knows how to wear its influences on its sleeve and capitalize on them.

July 5, 2013 Full Review Source:

Perhaps the mannequin metaphor is best: though it's dressed to the nines, Maniac is ultimately just a piece of plastic

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Khalfoun generates a handful of moments of stomach-knotting intensity, but this ultimately a gimmick film -- and the gimmick doesn't work.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Even the most ardent horror fan might struggle to find something to enjoy in Franck Khalfoun's remake of William Lustig's 1980 slasher classic, Maniac.

June 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

The POV approach makes the movie even harder to endure.

June 24, 2013 Full Review Source: amNewYork

The kind of empty brutality modern horror feebly disguises as unvarnished realism, Maniac offers a literal first-person perspective in an attempt to create either empathy or complicity, but instead generates only repulsion, or more often, boredom.

June 24, 2013 Full Review Source:

Like a cover song that takes an original tune in a fresh new direction, Franck Khalfoun's remake of William Lustig's notorious 1980 slasher flick Maniac boldly serves up a familiar story with an exciting twist.

June 21, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

For some, Maniac will be disorienting and sickening; for others, it will be a deliciously twisted experience.

June 21, 2013 Full Review Source: ScreenRant

In order to get what this version of Maniac is doing, you have to look at the movie through different eyes. Aja and company did, and the results are a revelation.

June 21, 2013 Full Review Source: EntertainmentTell

Audience Reviews for Maniac

A depraved, disturbing, and uncompromising slasher that boasts amazing technical craftsmanship, forcing you to follow the kind of character you fear your sister or daughter would meet. Strictly for fans of extreme horror.
March 31, 2014

Super Reviewer

More of a gory art experiment than a coherent movie, "Maniac" is watchable (when you're not squirming away from the gore) but ultimately uninteresting and unstimulating. Instead of an interesting take on serial murder and the mental illness that causes it, "Maniac" is just a filmmaker's attempt to showboat gory art.

Elijah Wood is an interesting casting choice that is ultimately fumbled. By shooting the film in 1st person perspective, Wood isn't allowed to show how he's matching the character's torment. The victims could have been running away from anybody with a knife, his presence isn't used to effectively convey his menace other than his penchant for angry mutilation.

"Maniac" is a remake of the 1981 cult classic slasher flick. That version used its low guerilla-style filming to add to the subject matter's depravity. 2013 moves the action from New York to Los Angeles and that move seems to hurt the film as well. NY's 1981 grittiness really helps to add to the believability of the menace, LA 2013, on the other hand, seems a bit fictional and forced.

"Maniac" is undeniably gory, but ultimately it's undeniably pointless.
February 10, 2014
The Gandiman
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

Frank: Please don't scream. You're beautiful.

"I warned you not to go out tonight"

Maniac is undoubtedly a very interesting and well made psychological horror/slasher. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing the original, so I can't talk about this as it compares to the original. All I can really say is that despite the fact that this was shot well and had very interesting psychological sequences(especially the ending); I just didn't like it that much. The movie was disturbing and gross, which works with some movies and doesn't work with others. For me, it didn't work here. I could always see Elijah Wood playing a creepy guy like this, but his performance was a little too much. It's just too weird for me I guess.

Frank is the title maniac, and he no doubt embodies the essence of that word. He's a voyeur, a lunatic, and a killer. He stalks and kills young, beautiful women because of sick childhood memories of his mother. He also scalps all the bodies and uses them for his mannequins. When a beautiful, French artist asks for his help with her new exhibit, his maniac-ness goes to another level.

This movie has that authentic feel of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. It just feels so real life and the camera views from Frank's point of view make it feel like the viewer is the maniac. It's all very unsettling and disturbing, which should have left me feeling satisfied. In the end, though, something was just missing. I don't know if it was with Wood's performance or with the lack of true believability that came from the supporting cast, but something just didn't sit right with me.

Maniac is worth a look and it definitely makes me want to give the original a look, as the story and character is very interesting. I may not have liked the movie very much, but I can't say it's bad. In fact, it's one of the more technically well made horror films I've seen in recent years. It's just too bad it couldn't win me over in the end.
October 27, 2013
Melvin White

Super Reviewer


"Maniac" is a remake of an 80's horror movie about a mannequin shop owner(Elijah Wood) who collects the scalps of women and puts them on his mannequins. I don't think I've ever seen the original, so I can't say if this is better or not. But, it doesn't really make me care to go back and check it out. The gore and violence is pretty good, and Wood does a good job. But the film is a little too slow. I've heard it being compared to "Drive" quite a bit and I can see that. The soundtrack is very similar(80's electronic type pop music) and most of the movie is from Wood's perspective in a car. But it just moves slow, and has some very weird scenes when he is alone. "Drive" has a few great moments with amazing acting. Here it doesn't really have that to fall back on, so it stays in a mediocre area of movies. The ending is pretty head scratching as well(although it looks awesome!). Not the best horror movie of the summer("Aftershock" is my fav so far), but it's worth a watch if you have a strong stomach. Definitely original and different from a lot of other horror movies, and that's something that doesn't happen often in this genre.
June 26, 2013
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

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