Elijah Wood's 'Maniac' character will ''shock'' his fans.

The film's director Frank Khalfoun thinks the actor's portrayal of a disturbed serial killer will horrify fans who tend to associate him with his role as beloved hobbit Frodo in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, but believes the dramatic difference is part of the film's appeal.

He told BANG Showbiz exclusively: ''He has this good guy sort of package. Usually an actor's baggage can hurt your character, but he really is just this good guy sort of persona so I couldn't wait to turn him into a horrible beast.

''I think for his fans it's shocking too, and it adds to the shock value of the film.''

The slasher flick's first person narrative has proven unsettling for some cinema-goers - with some viewers vomiting while watching the film - but Khalfoun sees reactions such as this as a compliment.

He explained: ''We had a screening here in Los Angeles and somebody passed out, which I pat myself on the back for. The movie had to creep on you - it's a different kind of fear; it's more of a nauseating fear.

''You really have the opportunity to maybe feel the [nausea] of committing crime rather than glorifying it just for the aspect of fun and thrill. The audience gets to experience for the first time how sick [it is to commit murder] - we're certainly not condoning it, but making a real statement about serial killers.''

'Maniac' is in cinemas today (15.03.13).