Stage Fright (which has nothing to do with the 1980s Italian horror film) recently came out on VOD. I’ve been looking forward to this one. And while I love musicals, horror movies, and Meat Loaf, I did not love this musical horror movie featuring Meat Loaf.
Plot: Minnie Driver appears as a Broadway star killed off in the first scene. Her agent is Meat Loaf, and she has twins (daughter Camilla and son Buddy). Fast forward 10 years, and Meat Loaf is poor and running a musical theater summer camp where his adopted children/slave laborers Camilla and Buddy work as cooks. The big show of the season is the Phantom of the Opera rip-off that Minnie Driver died in, and it seems as if the killer is returning to keep the show from performing.
Cons: The show centers around the Haunting of the Opera, an obvious Phantom of the Opera clone. Why not be original and come up with a new horror idea? Yes, Meat Loaf sings, but his talent is not utilized here. The man has been on Broadway, has performed in numerous movies and music videos, and I’ve seen him live. They could have written him better music. It seemed like characters were well thought out, but perhaps underdeveloped, which makes me wonder if there are a few scenes that were left on the cutting room floor for time and pacing issues.
Pros: Snappy script that left me chuckling a few times. Good acting. Fans of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil will recognize Hannah as the camp diva. Enough music that had me tapping along (but I could have used more). I only sort of figured out the killer (there was an additional twist I didn’t see coming, but fit). Decent set-up and well shot. Really, the movie felt like it bordered on greatness.
Overall: I so wanted to love this movie. There’s a lot going on for it. But for anyone who’s seen Project Runway, you know what I mean when I say it felt a tad safe. The envelope could have been pushed further, the script could have been sharper, etc. Still, I don’t wish for my time back and I could see the potential for rewatches. So I’ll go for 2.5 out of 4 stars. That seems fair.
This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you happy viewing.