Here goes: your spoiler-free, gore-free, horror-free review of Elijah’s semi-latest film, Maniac. (I keep wanting to write ‘manic’ lol)
Since there seems to be a bit of confusion about the reason the film was banned in New Zealand, I would like to clear that up first. According to Variety, “The Kiwi authorities said the first person perspective of the U.S.-French film made it too graphic.” Ironically, I think the way this story was told (first person) made it even more intense and interesting. The only times we see Elijah are through mirrors and reflections. It’s a very cool cinematic effect.
The film is gory. I won’t lie. But it wasn’t JUMP-OUT-OF-YOUR-SEAT frightening, which I liked. I don’t like to be spooked. It was psychologically intriguing and gross. This is definitely not a nightmare-inducing film, at least not for me (who watches horror films during the daytime for a reason). If anything, the first person POV made it seem less realistic and more fantastic for me. (Elijah’s character is also more like Norman Bates, than anything, for what it’s worth.)
There were also some statements that this film glorifies violence against women. Not true. If anything, it vilifies violence against women. Yes, women are murdered, but, without spoiling anything, I will say that it is not a glorification of that violence, unless you perceive all horror movies to be a glorification of violence against [insert victim here]. But to me, that seems just as pejorative as reducing all films to the sum of their parts. You can’t claim to hate chili just because you dislike tomatoes. You dig?
I’ve never made a secret about the fact that I hold an actor’s indie work higher than the mainstream work he does, and Elijah does not disappoint with this one. I hazard to say this is one of his best, if not the best performance of his career.
Oh, and NSFW protip? This film features some lovely boobies.
Speaking of indie films: does anyone know where I could get my sticky fingers on a copy of Orlibean’s new film, Zulu? I thought it was supposed to premiere in the States on Wednesday, but apparently that was all Lies.