Murray French is a resident in a seaside village that is struggling desperately in the face of unemployment. They have only one hope; they can have a factory built which will provide the majority of the townsfolk with income. However, to secure the permission for it to be built, they must have a doctor living nearby. Luck seems to come their way when a young medic named Dr. Paul Lewis makes his way over to the town for a month-long stay and Murray and the other villagers set about trying to indirectly convince him to stay permanently; whether that is trying to get the local postlady to flirt with him or leaving him welcome gifts. But the more they try to give him reason to stay there, the more Paul starts to feel it's not his idea of home.
Continue: The Grand Seduction Trailer
Aside from being an exercise in point-of-view cinema, it's not clear why French filmmaker Khalfoun (P2) bothered to remake the notorious 1980 slasher horror. This version certainly doesn't include any of the subtext that made 80s horror so intriguing. Instead, it strings together a thin plotline as an excuse for extremely grisly violence and whizzy camerawork. That's enough to hold our interest, but it never gets under the skin.
It's set on the side-streets of Los Angeles, where Frank (Wood) lives in the family mannequin shop haunted by memories of his trashy mother (Olivo). A true psychopath, Frank prowls the streets at night attacking women and scalping them to create a sinister mannequin tableau back home. When he meets the French photographer Anna (Arnezeder), he decides to try and live a normal life. She is intrigued by his shop, and wants the mannequins for her gallery exhibition. But how long will it be before Frank snaps?
Filmed completely through Frank's eyes, we only get glimpses of Wood in mirrors and in a couple of eerie out-of-body shots along the way. But Khalfoun stirs in fantasy sequences, memories and delusions as well, trying to get us into the mind of this mild-mannered killer. Much of this is bravura filmmaking, with long takes and complicated camera angles combining with above-average make-up effects. With all of the brutality aimed at women, the film definitely recaptures the misogynistic tone of those 1980s video-nasties.
Continue reading: Maniac Review
Rachel Blanchard and Liane Balaban - Rachel Blanchard and Liane Balaban Toronto, Canada - The 35th Toronto International Film Festival - Alliance Films party to celebrate their 2010 TIFF lineup. Saturday 11th September 2010
Liane Balaban and Rachel Blanchard - Liane Balaban and Rachel Blanchard Toronto, Canada - The 35th Toronto International Film Festival - 'Daydream Nation' premiere at the Ryerson Theatre Friday 10th September 2010
Liane Balaban, Guest and Rachelle Lefevre - Liane Balaban, Guest and Rachelle Lefevre Los Angeles, California - 3rd Annual Women In Film Pre-Oscar Party held at a Private Residence in Bel Air - Inside Thursday 4th March 2010
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