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France, 2011 (MIFF 2012, Night Shift)

Director: Franck Khalfoun


“A sadistic art-house bloodbath.” - Hollywood Reporter

A remake of William Lustig's notorious 1980 hit of the same name, this version of Maniac is adapted by screenwriter and producer (with Lustig) Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension, MIFF 04) and stars Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Nora Arnezeder (Paris 36). Director Franck Khalfoun has made the bold decision to shoot the entire film from the killer's point of view (he is never seen except in mirrors or photos), defying standard horror conventions to create something shocking, inventive and terrifying.

The film thus follows Frank, an unassuming creative type who just happens to be a schizophrenic serial killer with a fetish for scalping women. When Anna, a young artist, enters his life, the two form a strange and unexpected bond. As their romance blossoms, Frank must resist his violent temptations.

The 80s electronica soundtrack ratchets up the tension to almost unbearable levels, while the unique camerawork forces viewers to share Frank's predatory gaze while pulling their empathy towards him over his victims. It is ruthlessly disturbing.

Contains strong graphic violence.

D Franck Khalfoun P Thomas Langmann, Alexandra Aja S Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur WS Wild Bunch TD DCP/2011

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