James Mudge’s Best and Most Disappointing Films of 2012

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Elijah Wood in Maniac (2012) Movie Image

Maniac (Best)

Against all the odds, Franck Khalfoun’s “Maniac” remake emerged as one of the best and most brutal horrors of the year. Channelling and building upon William Lustig’s notorious 1980 nihilistic and perverse slasher, the film stays very true indeed to its source material, fairly painting the screen red and never skimping on the sleaze and scalping gore. Boldly shot mainly from a first person perspective, the stylish and cleverly directed shocker also receives an unlikely boost from Elijah Wood, who turns in an amazing and queasily convincing performance in the lead role. Though heartless, cruel and vicious throughout, not to mention utterly devoid of humanity or hope, it’s a gripping and intense piece of genre cinema that surprises and disturbs at every turn.

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