Unique /yo͞oˈnēk/ -being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else…
That definition should have a picture of the Stage Fright poster next to it. Unique isn’t a word we normally use to describe a horror film these days, which is depressing. But Stage Fright is certainly just that.
Horror fans think “musical” and a little vomit creeps up the back of their throats, I’m a horror fan, so I know first hand. Musicals are not my type of thing. I’d rather be strung up by my toenails, sawed almost in half and let rats chew on my insides as I watch, before being submitted to a musical. So when I heard about Stage Fright, a little vomit started bubbling at the bottom of my esophagus, but didn’t come all the way up, because it was a HORROR musical.
Written and Directed by Jerome Sable and starring Meat Loaf, Minnie Driver, and Allie MacDonald, Stage Fright follows the story of Camilla, who’s mother was killed ten years ago, backstage after a leading performance in a musical titled The Haunting Of The Opera. Now grown up she is a cook, along with her brother, at a theatre camp. This years production, The Haunting Of The Opera. Camilla wanting to make her mother proud, tries out for the lead role. But as the production starts rolling a masked figure shows up and starts killing off the performers.
I thought I would never say this in a million years about any musical, this film is just plan brilliant! You think horror musical, where the kills will be subtle, off screen to make room for the happy songs and dances… NOPE! The opening scene grabs you by the throat and pulls you in with all it’s force with the first, brutal, gory, kill.
The musical numbers by the killer, singing hatefully in a growling voice over the happy song the campers are singing in the next room, is just spectacular and really sets a tone to the many contrasts this film has. Sable brilliantly utilizes the musical numbers as a backdrop to the film and doubles it as it’s soundtrack. While characters are performing the songs, the killer is going to town on an unlucky victim and it blends perfectly.
The cast is wonderful, Allie MacDonald just lightens up the screen when we first meet her character but towards the end the dark anguished, frightened Camilla seeps out. Minnie Driver is beautiful as ever and has a great performance as Camilla’s mother. The stand out performance here is certainly Meat Loaf. Meat Loaf is spectacular and THIS IS certainly the best performance of his career. He owns his character, not for one second do you believe he is acting, the intensity he brings to the role is overwhelming.
If you are planning on skipping this one because it’s a “musical”, don’t be stupid, catch this one or I promise you’ll regret it.
Stage Fright is available on demand now and in theatre’s May 9th from Magnet Releasing.
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