Connect with us



This series begins with the desire to study the classics, gain more knowledge, have both a deeper understanding of, and maybe develop respect for, the Horror films of our past. The reviews I find cover thoughts on both films, with the reviewer watching the original film FIRST. Not me. Not this series. Having virgin eyes to many ‘vintage’ films, I come with unbiased viewership.

Both films do follow similar storylines, a man struggling with the inner war of giving in to the desire to scalp beautiful women. But here’s where the similarities end. I’m trying my hardest to keep this series spoiler free, so you can easily decide whether both, one, or neither sound good to you. Or you can argue me in the comments below! Be prepared for me to argue back. 😉

We’ll follow this order:

  • Explore thoughts on the 2012 remake starring Elijah Wood and directed by Franck Khalfoun
  • Dig deep into thoughts on the 1980 original starring Joe Spinell and directed by William Lustig
  • Does the remake measure up to the original?
  • Recommendations

Maniac (2012)

My initial thoughts after viewing the opening scene of the 2012 remake are mixed. I mean, it is a hell of an opener, way to set the scene! The story can’t possibly be going anywhere GOOD. But there’s a lot of telling, and not enough showing me information I need. I feel like I’m meant to be shocked, but that’s it, nothing more complex than that. But that can be okay in some instances. Let’s truck on.

I’m loving the depiction of paranoia, but I want more. I want to see our main character, played by Elijah Wood, drenched in suspicion at every turn, in every scene. I want him pulled down, stuck in the loop of paranoia, not just shown this part of him so little. Give me more!


Watching from Wood’s POV for the majority of the film is fun, a little touch of individuality we don’t see everyday. The obsessive interest and behavior we get to see as if we, too, are a part of Wood. As if we, too, have similar interests and behaviors. Neat!

I wish the auditory cues were a little more…specific…and I didn’t have to work as hard to ‘get’ what’s happening. But thankfully this did not take away from the terrifying notes and rhythms of being a woman afraid, being surrounded by the evidence of humans, yet no help comes. How deep this can run. Fantastic job getting me worked up!

In addition, we’re shown the tragic results of giving into our instincts and transgressive thoughts. Medicating the symptoms, while the tumor grows. The horrifying pieces of this remake aren’t throughout, but are strong enough to give nightmares and inspire thought.

Neither Wood’s character or any of the women convince me to like them. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy an unlikeable character, I find them the most fun, the most…REAL. Nobody is really all that likeable, are they? But I feel like I would be dreading the inevitable more if I was given the opportunity to find redeeming, surface level human qualities in our main male and female characters.

Wood’s acting is fine. There are points of genius, but that ending scene….I can’t. I just can’t. Don’t.Make.Me.Start.Laughing.Again.

But the nods to other horror greats! I caught a little wink to American Psycho, 28 Days Later, and Silence of the Lambs. Did I miss any? Nice little kisses to HORROR. Cool, this film is shouting fanboy, which is fine. Errr… but I thought it’s supposed to be a remake?

Maniac (1980)

The opener immediately has me hooked, the grunting and vocals, like our main character is ravished and starving. Gorgeous. I’ve always found older horny gentlemen to be the most creepy. They have to know this, right? The director William Lustig had clear vision, and this is evident from the get go.


Talk about REAL scenes! The special effects are surprising in their success of getting me to believe in the horrifying scenes throughout. For 1980, phenomenal! There’s such a brilliant mix of violence and everyday mundane life actions.

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

In addition, the inner dialogue I find brilliant, and wish it’s more popular. Not that I think stories should solely be told in thoughts of our main characters, but it could be nice for tough spots in explaining complex human emotions. Forceful storytelling doesn’t work, but in the original Maniac psychological slasher, everything’s connected perfectly and makes sense. We watch our main character, played by Joe Spinell , exercise and validate his feelings. And what feelings those are!

BLOOD! There’s blood! I thought the remake was bloody….oy! And the scenes involving violence aren’t drawn out, like some…others I’ve seen. Perfect length, each scene having specific purpose to bigger picture. The dread and intensity created is unbelievable. Lustig understands that the shock factor is necessary but isn’t excessive. Superior Horror here, guys!

The characters are, for the most part, layered, human, and likeable. Us, the audience, are constantly kept in mind, which is clear in both the overall chilling atmosphere and in the ending. I haven’t felt this way after viewing a film since the first time I watched Wes Craven’s Scream, back when I was….well, a long time ago.

Is Maniac (1980) better than Maniac (2012)?

No. Although they’re both considered Psychological Slasher films, they both speak to very different audiences. Both gory and original, but because they’re so different, I cannot say which is superior. I can say, however, that each should be viewed separately, as their own pieces of art and storytelling.

Comparing the two films against each other would be an injustice to film in general. The original is masterful, intense, and a perfect use of film as this story’s mode. Now, the remake. If you’ve seen the original, watching the remake could make you…angry. Or maybe you’ll love the twisted, poisonous apple, this film gives.


The side by side comparison shows little from each being the same. Aside from the main story, these are two very different films, both with cool aspects. Okay, okay. They’re both pretty gory and intense. But calling the most recent release a remake of the 1980 original should probably not happen.

Horror Movie Recommendations

  • If you liked Maniac (2012), to get a similar feel, the best horror movies to watch Drag Me to Hell (2009), You’re Next (2011), The Strangers (2008), Mama (2013), American Psycho (2000)
  • If you liked Maniac (1980), watch some of the finest Horror films, like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Hereditary (2018), Midsommar (2019), High Tension (2003) P2 (2007)

I’m extremely interested in your thoughts! If I watched them in their release date order, I wonder how my thoughts would differ. Argue me, make me take your side. Whichever that side may be.

If you’d like to see my thoughts on other remakes of horror originals, I’ll be sure to watch the remake first and compile my thoughts! Just leave both titles in the comments below.

Email me at

Find me on Twitter @Parzz1V

Click on my name above, by the title, to see my other articles.


All photographs pulled from Google Images.

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Supernatural Horror: Suspiria (2018) vs Suspiria (1977) - Haunted MTL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Movies n TV

Let the Wrong One In, a Film Review

Let the Wrong One In is a horror comedy directed and written by Conor McMahon, starring Karl Rice, Eoin Duffy, and Anthony Head.



Let the Wrong One In is a 2021 horror comedy directed and written by Conor McMahon, starring Karl Rice, Eoin Duffy, and Anthony Head. This film is currently available per subscription to Amazon Prime (through Shudder) or Shudder directly.

Matt (Karl Rice) and Deco (Eoin Duffy) are estranged brothers, but when Deco finds himself strangely ill, he seeks his brother out. Through obvious signs and tropable behaviors, the brothers realize Deco is a vampire. What follows spirals into a plot of brotherly guilt, passive aggression, and bloody retribution.

Vampire hunter tied up and looking annoyed
Anthony Header as Henry

What I Like

With the titular reference to Let the Right One In, the idea interested me. After the trailer, I realized this film doesn’t relate to or parody the novel or film aside from being about vampires. As a fan of the franchise, it would have been interesting to find a subversion. However, the film can charm a viewer at certain points, receiving a few laughs from me.

Either Let the Wrong One In is a micro budget film or imitates such films. The special effects ensure you know this as intended, if perhaps out of necessity. If you can accept these points, the film might be an entertaining viewing experience.

The chemistry between the two leads is where the film shines. Both Karl Rice and Eoin Duffy feel like bickering brothers. With Deco’s performance as an addict, the film even ties into elements that family members of addicts know all too well.


Anthony Head (of Buffy fame) also plays his campy and ridiculous vampire hunter role to perfection, even seeming competent in the profession despite the character being more of a joke. Anthony Head can chew a scene, becoming an easy highlight of the film.

I like how vampires are named vampires without the cliche attempt to figure out what they are. It seems to be a rare thing to see on film. When this standard of logic does appear, it helps me believe the characters a little more. Though Let the Wrong One In doesn’t care if you believe in its characters.

Deco looking hungry with fresh blood on his face
Eoin Duffy as Deco

Potential Trigger Warnings or Tired Tropes

The film is a collection of tropes wrapped around a campy and zany direction. I wouldn’t particularly say they are tired or are different enough to have a pass, but one goes into a film like this with these expectations. Don’t expect unique and refreshing subversions.

Addiction plays a role in the film, including the emotional manipulation addicts deploy to control others. The film doesn’t depict these elements effectively or abhorrently, existing as a plot point first and foremost. If this plotline upsets you, perhaps give this film a skip.

There is a point where implied violence occurs on an animal, but it certainly doesn’t take this idea too seriously. In fact, the creature gets a few shining moments. Still, I understand some get squirmy at this.

Brothers in a bunk bed, one laying on the top bung, the other sitting on the bottom.
Karl Rice as Matt and Eoin Duffy as Deco

What I Dislike

Let the Wrong One In falls under the “so bad it’s good” category, though purposely done to be so. It’s a campy and dumb movie for those interested in passing the time. There is nothing wrong with satisfying this niche, but it’s not an enjoyable time for all.

The brotherly relationship should be the center of the film, which might have focused the film more. However, the film has a big bad that feels somewhat out of place and unnecessary. It also adds to the runtime, which isn’t long at 1 hour and 40 minutes. But it feels too long for this plot.


Again, I wonder why Let the Right One In exists as the film’s namesake as it has no notable connection to the franchise, even in parody.

While I must admit that more jokes landed with me than I expected, most of the zany humor falls flops. This film seems to be a Shaun of the Dead clone but falls far from the other’s success, lacking the focus of its predecessor.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

As mentioned, if you want a horror comedy to turn your brain off to, Let the Wrong One In can certainly be that film. However, there are better examples to pull from. The lack of direction and comparisons to greater options makes this fall even further on the recommendation list. One additional point in the film’s favor is that you will likely know if the film is for you within the first few minutes of viewing.
1.5 out of 5 stars (1.5 / 5)

Continue Reading

Movies n TV

The Wolf of Snow Hollow, a Film Review

The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a 2020 horror comedy directed by Jim Cummings, starring Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome and Robert Forster.



The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a 2020 horror comedy directed by Jim Cummings. The cast of this horror includes Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome and Robert Forster. This R-rated film is currently available for DirecTV and Shudder subscribers.

Deputy John Marshall (Jim Cummings) faces a messy divorce, an ill father, a serial killer and crippling addiction. With Marshall’s life spiraling, he focuses on a mysterious killer plaguing the town. The brutality of the crime convinces locals that the murderer is a werewolf, a possibility Marshall cannot entertain. As John Marshall tries to keep order in the town, his conviction crumbles.

Deputy Marshall engulfed in red flames that look like the fur of the red wolf behind him. Black background
Jim Cummings as Deputy John Marshall

What I Like

The comedy reflects the spiraling chaos that runs through a control freak’s mind as they lose control. This comedy lands best as Marshal spirals further and further into disarray. Viewers should expect a dry wit layered with sarcasm. If this type of humor doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, The Wolf of Snow Hollow would be hard to recommend. Nearly every character plays their part to perfection, building off each other. Jim Cummings seems to have created a team to complement his project.

Another impressive comedic element comes from the film’s ability to jump between serious issues and comedy without the humor undercutting the weight of those essential moments. Though somewhat flawed, it remains consistently effective.

Despite the fact this is a horror comedy, the monster adds genuine horror to the film. Part of the mystery comes from that line between the possibility of a killer or a real-life werewolf, which I won’t spoil here.


The werewolf design, though traditional, is consistently believable. With one exception that felt purposeful in context, the creature works surprisingly well for a horror comedy.

Jim Cummings creates these rapid scenes that show time passing. As mentioned earlier, these scenes reflect Marshall’s mental state. It surprises me how clearly and haunting they convey information while noting elements of comedy. Again, not always perfect, but effective.

Three officers (Robert Forster as Sheriff Hadley, Riki Lindhome as Detective Robson, & Jim Cummings as Deputy Marshall) look in horror
Robert Forster as Sheriff Hadley, Riki Lindhome as Detective Robson, & Jim Cummings as Deputy Marshall

Trigger Warnings and Tired Tropes

John Marshall struggles with alcoholism, often falling victim to the disease. Despite the comedy label, this element remains mature and respective. Regardless, I understand this is a sensitive issue that worth noting.

The film can get gory and dark, but rarely more than a horror fan expects. However, one of the victims is a baby. Though no act appears on screen, viewers may require prior knowledge.

Sheriff Marshall with a shotgun, looking behind him with the title "The Wolf of Snow Hollow" written in red
The Wolf of Snow Hollow Promotional Art

What I Dislike or Points to Consider

Don’t expect a detective tale or any focus on a mystery. If this movie is anything, it’s a character study of John Marshall. The killer isn’t a figure we uncover through available information. The Wolf of Snow Hollow focuses on the stress that unravels our characters as they investigate. The trailer was a bit misleading, creating a focus more centered on the mystery and comedy of the film.

Without going into too much detail, some of the deaths get overshadowed by those earlier-mentioned scene cuts. While I still stand by my praise of these scenes, some of these deaths needed more silence and longevity. Though I recognize this might ruin the comedy focus of the film, death should have weight in a story.

This film isn’t scary. While some moments might unnerve you, don’t expect to be haunted.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

While not a traditional werewolf film, The Wolf of Snow Hollow remains a surprisingly effective horror comedy. If you like your humor dry and dark, this film might align with your taste. However, this barely makes the cut in the horror genre. Don’t expect to jump or scream. If this sounds like your taste, then give The Wolf of Snow Hollow a view.
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Continue Reading

Breaking News

The Last Drive-In Season 5 Premiering April 21st Exclusively on Shudder!



They say good things come to those who wait, and boy have we been patient. It has been close to a year since our eyes have indulged a full season of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs’, in fact, the season 4 finale premiered on Shudder July 1st, 2022. Since then, we have been able to satisfy our appetites with festive holiday specials sprinkled throughout the past year. Specials such as ‘Joe Bob’s Halloween Hangout’ guest starring horror’s favorite Mistress of the Dark, Elvira (played by the legendary Cassandra Peterson) and ‘Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get-Together’. Last month was a treat in itself, as we were able to witness Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) marry one lucky couple for the first time on the show with Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine‘ special.

picture of Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy the Mail Girl sitting in lawn chairs on the set of The Last Drive-In. Behind them we see a white camping trailer with red string lights along the top and a bright red and blue neon sign that reads "The Last Drive-In' in the background. Joe Bob is seen wearing an orange collard button down long sleeve shirt and black jeans with snake skin cowboy boots. His hands rest on his thighs as he invites you in with a warm smile. Darcy is seen sitting to Joe Bob's left wearing a mail girl costume with fishnet stockings, her legs neatly crossed over one another. Surrounding the two hosts is an ice box with empty beer bottles and cans resting on the top and an old tube screen television in the front of them.
host Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl on the set of ‘The Last Drive-In‘.

While the current changes in staff at Shudder have left fans questioning whether we will receive a new season of the popular series, I can happily say mutant family, we need not worry. In fact, to our wonderous surprise, Joe Bob Briggs has officially announced via Twitter, season 5 of ‘The Last Drive-In will be premiering April 21st, exclusively on Shudder! One thing that is noteworthy, is unlike previous seasons, it has been reported by 1428Elm that season 5 will be broken up into two parts of five double-feature blood-curdling episodes. Though we have not been provided the official release schedule for the second block of season 5, here is a sneak peek of what we can expect for the first half of the season:

April 21: Season 5 Launch Party!
April 28: Walpurgisnacht Part 2!
May 5: Cinco de Fucking Mayo!
May 12: Mama’s Day!
May 19: Dysfunctional Family Jubilee!

Unfortunately, we do not have an official list of the brand-new double feature films for the first half of season 5 but, with amusing episode titles such as these, one can only imagine what grindhouse-classics will be joining ‘The Last Drive-In’s’ already eclectic list of sloshy goodness. For those impatient mutants eagerly waiting for more hilarious Joe Bob rant-filled commentaries, or those newcomers who’ve yet to experience the magic that is ‘The Last Drive-In‘, all previous four seasons, including past holiday specials are currently available to stream now on Shudder.

If you are just as big of fans of ‘The Last Drive-In‘ as we here at HauntedMTL are, please be sure to follow us on Twitter @HauntedMTL and join us April 21st as we tweet along with Joe Bob and Darcy the Mail Girl for the season premier. As is tradition, we will be hosting live watch parties every Friday with each new episode, including fresh holiday specials. The road to season 5 is upon us…let the countdown begin!


Continue Reading