(Rating: 18, 99 mins) Written by Zen Terrelonge
Starring – Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder.
Elijah Wood stars as the titular lunatic, portraying unhinged and reclusive mannequin restorer, Frank. When he’s not fiddling with dolls, he puts his grubby little paws to use on dating sites, combining faux bashfulness and his pretty blue eyes to win women over.
Ladies often meet the deeply disturbed loner, which tends to be in their error, given that he has an outlandish penchant for luscious locks of hair, knives and – adding further insult to injury – relationships with his inanimate friends at the office. However, Frank seems to find his rock when he meets fellow mannequin artist, Anna (Arnezeder).
Like Ryan Gosling’s Drive, Maniac has a retro 80s vibe, which is created by a psychedelic score and rugged atmosphere, thus making it difficult to pinpoint exactly what year the film is set in.
Wood has come a long way from his wide-eyed stint as Frodo in Lord Of The Rings, while evolving on the mute murderer he portrayed in Sin City. Worryingly, while Frank is undeniably a certifiable crackpot, the unique use of POV camerawork makes you can somehow empathise with and fear him, for a series of dark childhood events were the stimulus behind the twisted transition.
The film is gory enough to test even the toughest of stomachs, so you may want to give the cheesy, salsa-coated nachos a miss.