Elijah Wood's huge eyes and boyish face offer a certain cherubic purity to a director in search for a hopeful protagonist -- which means that, twisted and inverted, they also present a potential nightmare.
Best known for his work in The Lord of the Rings trilogy as idealistic and determined hobbit Frodo, Wood is subverting that image in Maniac, a remake of the William Lustig-directed 1980 slasher film. Wood takes on the role of Frank, originally played by Joe Spinelli.
Frank, a victim of child abuse, owns a mannequin store, and is sought out by an artist named Anna (played here by Nora Arnezeder) for help with her upcoming exhibition. Soon, scalping mannequins stirs Frank's inner demons, unleashing a scornful serial killer who wants skin, not plastic.