Can Elijah Wood Pull Off Being Creepy in Maniac Remake?

I had no knowledge of this developing horror movie remake or of the original until about an hour ago and all I can say is that I am interested.  The original Maniac released in 1980 follows Frank Zito, a lonely middle-aged landlord living in New York City who has a secret alternate persona as a serial killer that stalks and kills women then places their scalps on the mannequins in his room.  This may sound like just some average schizophrenic killer movie to most but wait until you see the trailer for this raw gore-fest:

Okay, keep in mind this was made in 1980.  Obviously there is not much production value and the story is obviously flat and shady but that is what could make this so fun.  Plus I am sure I am not the only one not to have heard about this film so it looks like Hollywood is finally getting the message:  DO NOT REMAKE WELL KNOWN HORROR MOVIES THAT WERE GOOD.  Case and point:  Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Michael Bay produced Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Black Christmas just to name a few.  Granted some remakes were good but for the most part I am always left thinking “Why?”

Now moving on to the news of the Maniac remake staring Elijah Wood as the schizophrenic, stalker, and scalper we know so little about.  Can Elijah Wood pull it off?  The jury is still out in my opinion.  Part of me cannot imagine him as any other character but Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings.  But then I saw Green Street Hooligans and was pretty impressed that Wood was able to portray a character that was hardened by his change in environment.  The director is also an eyebrow raiser, Franck Knalfoun who only noteworthy film prior to this is P2 (if you have not seen it, it is worth a watch).  His selection for the film’s scream queen is Nora Arnezeder who played Ryan Reynolds’ love interest in Safe House.   The official synopsis from is as follows:

“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  Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when a young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition.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.”

So what do you all think?  Do you think Elijah Wood can make you cringe and shiver as a serial killer?  Or do you think you will just end up shaking your head and laughing at the screen?  Here are some stills from Maniac to get your blood pumping:

(All photos from

Consulted Source:

Chitwood, Adam.  “Elijah Wood Is Bloody in First Images from the MANIAC Remake.”  Date Published:  May 10, 2012.

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  1. #1 by 1 book 1 movie on May 11, 2012 - 1:42 PM

    I can see Elijah Wood being creepy…he kinda has that face 😀 But I agree with you about remaking good, classic horror! It has always turned out crappy. Like The Thing, I didn’t see the remake, because I didn’t want to pay for a bad movie. There’s supposed to be remakes of Hellraiser, Children of the corn, Evil Dead, Re-animator, Child’s Play, Poltergeist….this list goes on and on. I would appreciate remakes if there weren’t so many and if they were actually good!

    • #2 by rochpikey on May 11, 2012 - 2:56 PM

      Exactly!! And thanks for the response! Yeah I saw the remake of The Thing and it was disappointing too but not as much as the others. But that is my point. I think a remake for Maniac might be okay since it is not necessarily a “classic.” I did not know Poltergeist was get remade…that is not right. It is one of my all time favorites because it was so ahead of its time CGI wise. Hollywood is just running out of originality.

  2. #3 by kiwidust on May 29, 2012 - 9:08 AM

    Of course before he was Frodo Elijah Wood was “Kevin” in Sin City (who killed women, mounted their heads on his wall and ate the rest of them). If you’ve not seen that in a while, do so – I think you’ll agree that his “creepy credentials” are pretty sound!

    • #4 by rochpikey on May 29, 2012 - 8:12 PM

      That is true. I haven’t seen a movie in a while. I think it’s because there were so many noteworthy characters in it that it is sometimes I do forget his. Thanks for the comment!

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