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Elijah Wood defends grisly new horror film

Elijah Wood has defended his gory new horror movie following criticisms of the serial killer theme, insisting Maniac is not "irresponsible" and is more than just a "straightforward slasher movie".

The Lord of the Rings star is putting his Hobbit character firmly behind him to play Frank, a crazed killer with a fetish for scalps, in a remake of the 1980 film of the same name.

The movie includes grisly scenes of violence, but Wood is adamant there is more to the story than just bloody horror.

He says, "I think the film is playing with that concept (of the slasher movie). It doesn't feel irresponsible, because I think we understand how disturbed he is and how he doesn't really want to be that person himself.

"It's dark material and it's obviously a really intense experience. But I think we made something more elevated than a straightforward slasher movie... I'm not out to shock or surprise people."

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