Musical theatre nerds and horror fans rejoice! If you are one of the millions who secretly, or not so secretly, know all of the words to the Phantom of the Opera, I have your next favorite movie.
Stage Fright begins with one of those delicious opening scenes that sets up the story and gives us a great kill straight away. We then cut to ten years later while a group of campers is arriving at Center Stage Camp for the Performing Arts. Run by Roger McCall (Meat Loaf) , he is trying to get recognition (money) for the camp, so he makes the bold decision to present The Haunting of the Opera as the camp’s theatrical production. This is the very show that Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver) was murdered at on opening night. Her daughter, Camilla, and son, Buddy, work at the camp for their stepfather, Roger.
When Camilla learns that The Haunting of the Opera is the chosen production, she feels compelled to audition; she believes that her mother would want it. Well, not everyone is excited about this. Particularly, the crazed killer who hates musical theatre and plans on killing everyone.
As with all good slasher films, we are treated to lurking views of, what one can only assume is, our ultimate Final Girl. Of course, there are also the moments of watching the killer have a wild, emotional tantrum over the thought of musical theatre. This guy really does not care for musical theatre and he’s got the one liners to back it up.
This killer is all about the theatrics; wearing the Kabuki mask from the show, the killing is done to a soundtrack of awesome heavy metal music and the visual fanfare involved in the kills do not disappoint. We even get musical numbers from the killer and they are, in a word, awesome. Seriously, I need this soundtrack so I can listen to it all of the time.
Oh yeah, did I mention that this is a horror/comedy/musical? Yes, there is proper singing and dancing and it just makes everything that much more dramatic, beautiful and fantastic. Written and directed by Jerome Sable, the music and lyrics are also courtesy of Mr. Sable along with Eli Batalion. As with all musicals, if you don’t care for your characters breaking out into song and dance, then stay away from this movie. If you enjoy Glee from time to time or if you own a secret Broadway musical soundtrack, then this movie is the bee’s knees. Overall, it is a fine horror movie, but with the added dramatics of singing and dancing, it is taken to a higher level of entertainment. And really, any movie that has a Kabuki/Bukaki joke is aces in my book.