Alright cool kids, it’s time to head back into the world of new releases and check out one of my new favorite slasher movies : Stage Fright.
Oh, just a quick note that probably doesn’t matter : I know all of the reviews from my own collection have been alphabetical thus far, I’m not going to be selecting them at random (with the help of a handy cell phone app) to add a little spice to the reviews! So stay tuned, and buckle in guys.
Alright guys, this is an absolute delight, and if you don’t believe me, have a look at this plot summary :
A snobby musical theater camp is terrorized by a blood-thirsty killer who hates musical theater.
What they don’t mention, is that it’s also a pseudo musical (or as the internet keeps telling me, an operetta. Feel free to tell me the difference). Which makes it about 10 times more enjoyable.
The movie opens with the brutal murder of Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver) after a very successful performance of a play called “The Haunting Of The Opera”. Then it cuts to many years later, and her children Buddy and Camilla Swanson (played by Allie MacDonald and Douglas Smith) are in the care of Roger McAll (Meatloaf) and working at a snooty theater camp. It is announced that this year at the camp, they will be reviving The Haunting for their showcase production. Hearing this, Camilla decides do make her mother proud, and do the role that killed her. Not long after, a metal-head murderer starts taking out campers in what is a hilarious, and brutal 88 minute adventure.
First off, the actors in this movie. Everyone from the main actors to the extras and small side characters are exceedingly charming and delightful. Including the douche in the leather fedora. They’re all very charismatic, and engaging. Not to mention, some of the younger actors are real treats to see in the musical number when the kids all arrive at camp. The killer is over the top and ridiculous as well, which you want in a movie like this.
One of the most delightful things here, is that the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is a real sense of fun all the way through, and it really makes the movie all the more charming.
The movie also moves along pretty quickly, including quite a bit into its 88 minute run time, while simultaneously not feeling rushed or lazy. It’s slick, well shot, and really bright. I know that’s a strange thing to notice, but it is. The movie is very bright and stylish, and really engaging to look at.
Speaking of engaging to look at….
Creepy-dude line aside, I have to say that the most baffling part of the entire movie is the dress she is wearing in the above photo. The revival of the musical is set in Feudal Japan (for no reason) – – and that is her costume for most of it. Now, I admit that my knowledge of dress physics is limited, but I have to assume (and feel free to correct me) that this dress must have been held on with all of the fashion-tape that money could buy. There are chases, falls, and all sorts of active scenes while she is wearing this and it doesn’t even slip down.
That’s not as much a complaint, as it is the most logically bizarre part of the entire movie. Trust me, I understand why the outfit was picked. I’m not an idiot.
Anyways, moving forward.
This movie quickly became one of my favorite horror movies of the year, and I strongly recommend that everyone give it a look. It’s wonderful to see Meatloaf in a movie again, and it actually took me a minute to realize it was him he’s looking a lot less Bat-Out-Of-Hell and a lot more… normal these days it seems.
So, this one gets an official recommend from me, and I hope you’ll give it your 88 minutes.
FINAL GRADE : B+