Franck Khalfoun

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Elijah Wood really defies all Hollywood expectations. After making a graceful transition from child stardom, he became a pop culture icon as Frodo in The Lord of the Rings movies while balancing out all that box office mojo with equally great performances in smaller, more personal films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Everything Is Illuminated. He’s also now in his third season as the suicidal Ryan the darkly comic Wilfred, returning this week on F/X. Wood takes his talents to more sinister depths in Franck Khalfoun’s Maniac (inspired by the 1980 film of the same name), in which he plays Frank, an isolated young man who restores antique mannequins in an industrial area of Los Angeles and freelances as a serial killer with a fetish for scalping his female victims. His murderous ways are spurred by an unhealthy relationship with his mother who exposed Frank to things as a child that he probably shouldn’t have seen. His dangerous dynamic with women gets a bit more complicated when he meets Anna (Nora Arnezeder), a beautiful artist who wants to use Frank’s mannequins in one of her installations. Frank develops true feelings for Anna, and these feelings are constantly at war with his deep-seeded urges to kill. Generic plot synopsis aside, Maniac is hardly a run-of-the-mill horror film. Filmed almost entirely through Frank’s POV, the film truly gets inside the mind of a serial killer to the point where you are forced to empathize with him despite his horrific actions. […]

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We’ve been hearing about director Franck Khalfoun’s remake of Maniac for quite a while now. Heck, it was a full year ago when its first red band trailer was released and we got to see our first glimpse of Elijah Wood playing a psycho mannequin shop owner who stalks women and cuts them up. One thing we haven’t gotten to see though, at least here in the United States, is the entire movie. That’s about to change, because the film is finally set to roll out a limited theatrical release here in the US starting on June 21, and IFC Films has decided to release a brand new poster and trailer combo [originally via Apple] in order to mark the occasion. Click through to check out the studio’s last ditch efforts at enticing you to pay money to watch Frodo getting creepy.

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The lethargy inherent in being in between two of the biggest holidays of the year has made this week kind of a dead zone for movie news, but a couple of studios have still been throwing us bones by delivering extended previews of what they’ve got coming up in the next year. Just yesterday we were treated to the first four minutes of zombie comedy Warm Bodies, and today Warner Bros. is upping the ante by bringing us the first six minutes of their upcoming Maniac remake. Six minutes! That’s two more than yesterday. At this rate, tomorrow we may get to see the first eight minutes of something. And then, eventually, entire movies will get released without us having to pay for them at all. What a world.

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About a week ago a teaser trailer leaked to the net for Franck Khalfoun’s remake of the William Lustig horror film, Maniac. It gave us a glimpse of a knife-wielding, psychotic Elijah Wood, but wasn’t quite ready for consumption and got pulled down before everyone could see it. Well now the powers that be have deemed it permissible for the public to take a look at the film, and Twitch has gotten their hands on a new cut of the trailer; which is full-length, very red band, and very not safe for work.

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William Lustig’s original 1980 Maniac was of the highest, grainy midnight movie caliber. Perhaps it’s not sacred ground, but it’s a grisly example of an artifact from when terrifying and exploitative slashers were hacking their way onto big screens. It makes sense that there’s so much speculation surrounding Franck Khalfoun‘s remake starring Elijah Wood as a man with mommy issues trying to make the perfect woman. Now thanks to Cannes, there’s a teaser trailer to inform us all on the style. Is it gritty? Sort of. It’s the kind of gritty that you might take to a gallery opening or to an experimental ballet. Those exist right? It’s a little grit with gloss all over it. It will probably make you take a shower afterward, but the POV shots especially make this look like it came out of an NYU Film School grad’s portfolio. Check it out for yourself:

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How’d you like to be killed by Elijah Wood? You would have never seen it coming. For one, he’s one of the nicer guys on the planet. For two, we already saw how sneaky a murderer he can be in Sin City. He’ll most likely be a bit louder, ripping blood out of its veiny home in Franck Khalfoun‘s Maniac remake, though. Apparently, he’s also going to be slicing open mannequin heads. Just as everyone hoped he would. And co-star Nora Arnezeder will horrifyingly talk on a cell phone! Check out these first images from the production:

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Alexander Aja continues his work with remakes as the producer of a forthcoming remake of William Lustig‘s brilliant Maniac – whose ultra-violence caused Gene Siskel to famously storm out of the theater and rail against it on his show with Roger Ebert. The movie will be directed by Franck Khalfoun – a talent who delivered the parking garage stalker flick P2 and who has an extra C in his first name. News of a remake, especially something as grisly and revered as this movie, needs some sort of sugar to help the medicine go down. The sugar this time is Elijah Wood – a giant spoonful of happy feet who will be stepping well outside his wheelhouse to play the serial killer. Say what you will about his role in Sin City, but that was not the blood-soaked mayhem and confusion that this murdering character demands. They are as different as the black and white Wood was painted with as Kevin, the silent cannibal. Also, in a strange turn of rumored events, Badass Digest is reporting that unnamed sources are claiming the movie (or at least its kills) will be shot POV. It’s an interesting, if unoriginal, idea, and it could very well work beautifully. The only real concern is when the camera will cut away (if it’s just the kills in POV), because so much of Maniac was brought to life by Joe Spinell‘s performance. He killed without mercy or understanding, and him staring on at his own work […]

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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