Elijah Wood Attacks In Maniac Trailer

Just the thing for a sunny weekend

Here's a slice of extreme nastiness to take you into the weekend, in the form of a very-much-NSFW trailer for Maniac. The remake of the notorious 1980 slasher stars Elijah Wood. Roles like this aren't unprecedented in his career - cast your mind back to Sin City - but still, Frodo seems like a long time ago. No wonder he fancied a nice trip back to New Zealand for The Hobbit.

There are shades of American Psycho in the apparently sexually-charged violence on show here, but the overwhelming feeling is one of total bleakness, rather than the black humour and satire of the Mary Harron film. Those shots of an anguished Elijah looking at himself in the mirror suggest a character that's not enjoying himself one bit.

That tone to the violence is going to be a key factor in determining the sort of release Maniac gets in the UK. William Lustig's original was one of the infamous "video nasties" that troubled the BBFC in the 80s, and while that version is now available in this country, it's still shorn of about a minute. The BBFC has always been very careful about violence shown from a first-person POV perspective. There's enough of that in this trailer alone to suggest that Maniac might have classification problems ahead.

The story, as before, is about a killer with a fetish for scalping his victims. Elijah's Frank runs a mannequin store and gets involved with Nora Anezeder's Anna when she asks for help with an art installation. Cue much bloody psychological unravelling.

This version is directed by Frank Khalfoun (P2), and written and produced by Alexandre Aja and Greg Levasseur (The Hills Have Eyes, Haute Tension). It's set to close out the Cannes Film Festival (out of competition), so we'll start hearing if it's as nasty as it looks shortly...