June 21st 2013
  • Horror/Thriller,
  • Unrated,
  • 89 min,
  • IFC Releasing
  • Cast: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, America Olivo, Liane Balaban, Sammi Rotibi, Megan Duffy, Genevieve Alexandra, Jan Broberg, Steffinnie Phrommany, Sal Landi, Akbar Kurtha, Délé Ogundiran, Morgane Slemp, Dan Hunter, Joshua De La Garza, Luis Fernandez-Gil, Brian Ames, Davis Neves, Jacqueline Buda, Lauren Emily Vaughan , Courtney Howard, Steven James Williams, Ron Reznik, Bryan Lugo, Aaron Colom
  • Director: Franck Khalfoun
  • Writers: Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur, C.A. Rosenberg, Joe Spinell
  • Producers: Alexandre Aja, Thomas Langmann, Grégory Levasseur, William Lustig
  • Associate Producers: J.B. Popplewell, Justine Raczkiewicz
  • Executive Producers: Antoine de Cazotte, Daniel Delume, Andrew W. Garroni, Pavlina Hatoupis, Alix Taylor
  • Art Direction: dooner
  • Castings: John Barba, Lisa Fields
  • Costume Design: Mairi Chisholm
  • D.O.P.: Maxime Alexandre
  • Editors: Baxter, Franck Khalfoun
  • Makeup: Lorraine Martin
  • Music: Rob


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 Frank (Elijah Wood) is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna (Nora Arnezeder) appears asking for his help with her new exhibition.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 L.A., Franck Khalfoun's "Maniac," produced by Alexandre Aja ("The Hills Have Eyes," "Haute Tension"), and composed by Rob of the band "Phoenix," is a re-boot of the William Lustig cult film considered by many to be the most suspensseful slasher movie ever made - an intimate, visually daring, psychologically complex and projoundly horrific trip into the downward spiralling nightmare of a killer and his victims.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Los Angeles, USA
  • Production Budget: $6 million
  • Production Companies: La Petite Reine, Studio 37, Canal+, Ciné+, Blue Underground
  • Production Schedule: 2011

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2013 Guide Analysis: "William Lustig's low-budget and unrated 1980 cult horror flick "Maniac" was infamous for both its brutality and cheapness. Shot guerrilla-style due to a lack of permits, the story was fairly generic slasher fare. What made it memorable was the graphicness of the violence, such as a scene with Tom Savini in full disco regalia getting his head blasted off with a shotgun. Even then, it's a film that only hard-core slasher and horror fans have generally heard of. A lot more people will have likely heard the song inspired by the film that was re-written for the "Flashdance" soundtrack.

Now, French filmmaker Franck Khalfoun follows up the little seen "P2" and "Wrong Turn at Tahoe" with this higher profile new take on "Maniac" with Elijah Wood in the title role. The original dealt with an Italian-American man who grew up the victim of an abusive prostitute mother. Now middle-aged and overweight, he is also a schizophrenic serial killer who is into stalking, killing and scalping women. One day he starts to fall in love with his next potential victim, a fashion photographer, and he must struggle to figure out what he really wants.

Wood isn't middle-aged and overweight of course, so the nature of the character and film has been changed somewhat. Rather than straight up shock gore and formulaic slasher thrills, it is more a creepy psychological horror tale with sporadic gruesome moments. The infantilization and emotional-stunting of the character by both his mother and his own internal dark impulses seems a better fit for the eternally youthful looking actor.

The selling point of this remake is that the entire movie is shot from the killer’s point-of-view – Wood is only glimpsed in reflection and in photographs. It's a risk that those who've seen the film at festivals have already debated the merits of. Most of the reviews seem to think Khalfoun has pulled it off, balancing realism and even emotional moments with heavy lashings of gore and intense brutality that isn't shied away from. Chuck in a 1980s electronica score akin to those brilliant Goblin soundtracks on early Argento films, and you have what could become a retro-but-modern classic."

Trailers & Clips

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 27 December 2012: Germany
  • 2 January 2013: France
  • 1 March 2013: Iceland
  • 15 March 2013: Ireland, UK
  • 21 March 2013: Russia
  • 3 May 2013: Estonia
  • 1 June 2013: Japan
  • 6 September 2013: Brazil