Home > Maniac (short) - 7 > Maniac (short) – 7

Maniac (short) – 7

Director – Shia LaBeouf

Cast – Kid Cudi, Chris Palko, Shia LaBeouf, Ron Ayers, Ariel M. Carlson, Erika Hoveland

Release Year – 2013

Reviewed by John of the Dead

While searching for a horror short I came across this interesting piece whose cast and director had me thinking, “What? How have I not heard of this?”. Directed by Shia L. and starring hip hop artist Kid Cudi, this 10 minute experience was not quite what I expected to see, especially from Shia as director. It’s gritty and even brutal at times, making for a solid short experience in the vein of French flick Man Bites Dog, coming from an unexpected source.

In Maniac, two filmmakers follow two serial killers and document their nighttime festivities.

Once a Disney star and now a bar fighting, water-spitting adult, Shia LaBeouf wants to become a director, and judging by this piece it does not seem like the idea is a bad one. From the get-go he sets positive grainy atmosphere shot in pseudo black and white with a slight hue of color, and the musical score provided by Kid Cudi is unique, blending well with the look of the film. Cudi’s acting was just fine and it was a treat to see him speaking French. Those around him did well with their performances, but it is obvious that his character is intended to steal the show. The story is as simple as it gets, and with only ten minutes to spare the kills come quickly and often. Most of them were downright mean and brutal and at least half of them left the victims suffering in excruciating pain. Is there a purpose to the killing? No, not that I can think of, but for a ten minute film I really will not knock it for that. With only so much time to spare I will side with Shia on emphasizing the kills over everything else.

Overall, Maniac is an engaging short that is far from perfect but provides what matters most in the horror genre.

Rating: 7/10

You can watch this short film by clicking HERE.

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