Starring Minnie Driver, Meat Loaf, Allie MacDonald, Douglas Smith, Kent Nolan, Brandon Uranowitz, Ephraim Ellis, Melanie Leishman, James McGowan, Steffi DiDomenicantonio, Ryan Bobkin, Leanne Miller, Adrianna Di Liello
Directed by Jerome Sable
Do you love Phantom of the Paradise? Sweeney Todd? How about Repo! The Genetic Opera or Discopath? The Halloween episode of “Glee,” perhaps? If you’re a sucker for singing and slashing, you’re likely to like Stage Fright. If not… the pain might just be unbearable.
Starring Meat Loaf and Minnie Driver, Stage Fright is a real musical in that nearly all the dialogue is crooned and not spoken. It’s also a real horror movie in that the killer is a blade-wielding psycho who’s stalking as much as he is singing.
The story begins with the murder of Camilla’s mom, a diva who dies shortly after a crowd-pleasing stage performance. As Camilla matures, she realizes she has a vocal gift… but she’s afraid to use it after what happened to her mom. Off she goes to work at a theater camp, where she lands the lead role in a revival of ‘The Haunting of the Opera’ — the very same play her mother was in. Will history repeat itself? Of course!
I must say, I have been waiting for years for a feature film from writer/director/composer Jerome Sable because I loved his 12-minute horror/musical short The Legend of Beaver Dam so much. I was thrilled when I saw that finally, after four years, Sable was coming out with another gem.
Unfortunately – while the plots are entirely different – Sable’s a lot cleverer in short format than long. And I do mean long. I was struggling to make it to the end of Stage Fright. The killer’s metal-style songs were cool, but the kids’ camp songs all sounded exactly alike to me after a while. What’s more, the comedic aspects were good in the beginning but quickly lost their tune and remained flat throughout.
At least the horror bits are up to par, and that’s really why you’re here anyway, right?
3 out of 5