Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Stage Fright”
By: Brian Cotnoir
Well this film certainly is different. I mean, whenever you cross film genres the result is usually either really great or really bad. I have to be honest with you, I can’t think of any other films out there that are listed as a “Slasher-Musical”. So without further ado, I present to you my review of the 2014 film “Stage Fright”.
“Stage Fright” opens up—like all great musicals—on opera, as we see the final scene to “The Haunting of the Opera” (a parody of “Phantom of the Opera”). The star of the show is actress Kyle Swanson who puts on the performance of her life. After her immaculate performance she is greeted by her two young children Camilla & Buddy, and the show’s producer, Roger McCall (played by the greatness that is Meat Loaf). Camilla is in awe of her mother, and aspires to be a great stage actress and singer like her mother someday. However, their mother is savagely murdered backstage by a mysterious masked killer. Camilla and Buddy are taken in by Roger, who gives them both jobs in the kitchen at his Summer Theatre Camp for privileged young adults. All the while, Camilla still aspires to be a great actress like her mother. She convinces one of the camps counselors, Joel, to let her audition for the camps rendition of “Haunting of the Opera”. She catches the attention of the film’s director Arthur who decides to pit Camilla against another one of the campers, Liz Silver, for the leading female role in the show. Camilla wants the role more than anything—even if that means letting the shows director sexually harass her for the part—and it works to her advantage. However, when the director turns up dead, Camilla and her brother believe that the role and show that cost her mother her life, may somehow be cursed, and that Camilla may be in danger, but does she really have anything to fear or is it all just stupid paranoid superstition?
|Ummm...that's not a microphone|
What’s neat about “Stage Fright” is that it features a primarily young cast. Most of the characters in the films are anywhere from pre-teens to early mid 20’s, I think you can count every adult who appears in this film on just one hand. The only really iconic adult performance comes from Meatloaf, because he’s Meatloaf. As for the villain (who is known as Opera Ghost) well I really dug his mask; he looked like King Diamond meets Jigsaw. He was also very dramatic and intense. In fact Opera Ghost is one of the Best Movie Villains, I’ve seen in a while. As for the songs in the film they are well written and comedic. I can’t think of any song in the film that I thought was particularly bad, I found them all to be well composed and enjoyable.
|Sing Camilla, Sing!|
I enjoyed “Stage Fright” so much—I truly did—I think it may be a front runner for the SPLATTER! Award for Best Film of the Year. “Stage Fright” offer so much: thrills, comedy, romance, charming musical numbers, it is great. I’m actually surprised that there aren’t more Slasher-Musical films out there, because I think “Stage Fright” could set the stage for similar projects in the future. It’s an ideal film for those who are fans of Horror-Comedy. If you like films like “The Cabin in the Woods” and “Tucker & Dale vs. the Evil” then I think you will enjoy “Stage Fright”.