The modern remake of the 80s slasher film of the same name, Maniac (2012), starring Elijah Wood as Frank Zito is depicted entirely from the killer's point of view, thus putting the viewer 'in his shoes' so to speak.

While this serves to heighten the effect of the crimes Frank commits, and also places us in an uncompromising position as we are effectively the killer, there is one moment in the film (the murder in the parking lot) when the camera emerges from a POV shot, and swings around to show a conventional mid-shot as Frank does the deed.

There are several other moments in the film when one might consider Frank is having an out of body experience, or is dreaming, in which we see him from a third-party POV, but the murder scene does not seem to fit this pattern.

Does anyone have a theory as to why the director should choose to shoot this scene differently? Is there any documentation to explain this decision?

  • meta: Do we need a year appendage to the tag when there aren't any questions on the original?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 5, 2014 at 14:01
  • Good question. I don't see any harm in adding dates to tags, in fact it might be useful when separating remakes/reboots (ie Robocop). I specifically added it here though, as the 1980 version is not shot in POV whereas the 2012 is, and I wanted to make that distinction (even though it is noted in my introduction).
    – Nobby
    Aug 5, 2014 at 14:05
  • Yeah, I see that there is a difference between the movies. What I was up to was the distinction between a previous movie existing or questions (i.e. tags) about a previous movie existing when determining if to append a year to a remake tag. But nevermind.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 5, 2014 at 14:08
  • It's a good point though, Sonny. perhaps other meta users should weigh in on the subject.
    – Nobby
    Aug 5, 2014 at 14:26
  • "(the murder in the parking lot)" That one can probably be explained from some trivia from the IMDB "Right after the scene when Frank kills the girl in a parking lot and he stands up with a knife in one hand and scalp in the other, you can see his reflection for a few seconds that is intentionally styled as the poster of the original movie Maniac (1980).". So, it was a 'shout out' to the original movie. Aug 6, 2014 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


While watching the movie, especially during the parking lot scene, the shot gets switched from POV (which is unusual since most of the movie is shot in POV), I convinced myself that the shot is switched from the POV 'cause the victim (a lady) is out of sight from Frank and director wanted the audience to show where the victim is and how she's terrified of Frank.

However, after reading your question, I did some search on internet and found this interview with Franck Khalfoun (director of the movie). He explains the reason why the shot is switched from POV in the parking lot scene.

How did you choose those spare moments where we do see him?

KHALFOUN: I needed to see him at some point. It’s hard to sustain not seeing your character through a whole movie so we had to figure out ways for me to see him sometimes. Once you see him you want to see him again soon so you start looking for him throughout the film. One of those was mirrors and reflections, obviously if you’re looking in a mirror you see yourself so if you’re in a guy’s brain you can see him see himself. Another one was dreams, when you’re dreaming you see yourself a lot of times in your dreams so that conceptually stayed within the framework of POV. Then in reading and doing research I saw that a lot of these guys, a lot of these killers, have out of body experiences where they aren’t in themselves, they’re being pulled out and watching themselves kill from the outside. So I thought that’s interesting, we’re still within him but were experiencing this out of body thing. So that’s why it pulls out.

That’s the shot I was really curious about, the one in the parking lot.

KHALFOUN: Where he’s killing and all the sudden we pull out and you see him doing his thing. He’s experiencing watching himself. He’s having an out of body experience while committing this horrific act.

That is very cool.

KHALFOUN: It is cool and it allows us the audience to participate an experience that serial killers have talked about, and it also allows us to see the character as he commits his crime.

Since you're very much intrigued about this movie, try this interview with Franck Khalfoun.


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