Elijah Wood's strength as an actor arguably relies on his ability to toe the line between creepy and endearing. He can play Frodo Baggins and voice Mumble in Happy Feet just as convincingly as he can stalk Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine or cannibalize women as Kevin in Sin City. And as sympathetic as his current turn as Ryan on FX's Wilfred may be, the fact remains that the show is predicated on his character likely seeing things that aren't there.
Based on this new red-band trailer for director Franck Khalfoun's remake of the 1980 cult classic Maniac, it looks like Wood has pulled out all the stops in his pursuit of his most sadistic side. He plays Frank, the proprietor of a mannequin shop who also acts as his own wig supplier by killing and scalping women. The trailer is NSFW for pretty much every reason it could be: Wood spies on women undressing through the slats in a closet door, cuts someone's Achilles' tendon, and, of course, does a whole lot of scalping. From the looks of things, Khalfoun is trying to elevate the original's campy bloodbath into something more broadly appealing. But between Wood's maniacal stare and all those mannequins, the squirm factor could be too much for the mainstream to handle—hence its opening in France first, with no North American release date in sight yet.