09 October 2008

6WH: Oct 8

Tales from the Crypt: "Maniac at Large" (1992) directed by John Frankenheimer
I think the only Frankenheimer movie I've seen is Seconds, which is pretty much a polished Twilight Zone. Him directing an episode of this newer anthology show isn't too much of a stretch beyond that. This one is more subdued that most Crypt episodes. Frankenheimer enjoys playing around with audience expectations, constantly throwing in red herrings as to who the titular maniac is. The key to a horror whodunit: give every character a scene in which they do something just a little odd or threatening. This is all you need to have the audience throw their suspicions upon that character (until the next character does something weird). Of course, the only way for the storytellers to win at this game is to ultimately have the maniac be the most normal person -- say like the protagonist we've followed throughout the episode. (7/10)