Saturday, 18 April 2015


Musical horror movies are a tricky thing, which probably explains why we don't see that many of them. Particularly in the style of Scream and Glee, which - despite mixed reviews across the board - is an event we couldn't afford to miss. Jerome Sable is the man with the vision, having impressed critics with his 2010 short, The Legend of Beaver Dam. He also directed ABC's of Death 2's 'V is for Vacation', which was probably my favourite part of the movie. Hopes were relatively high then.

Ten years ago, Broadway diva Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver) opened the musical The Haunting of the Opera to a packed audience. That same night, she was murdered backstage by an unknown assailant wearing the mask of the play's villain, Opera Ghost. Years later, Kylie's children Camilla (Allie MacDonald's lungs) and Buddy (nobody cares) have grown into teenagers raised by Roger McCall (Meatloaf), a former lover of Kylie's and the producer of a musical theatre summer camp on the brink of bankruptcy. Camilla has always dreamt of being on stage, could this be her time to shine?

There is a lot to like about Stage Fright and Jerome Sable deserves credit for attempting to shake up the horror genre. However, it's easy to see why this one garnered mixed reviews. The whole Glee thing is a mixed bag, and for every witty show-tune there is an irritating teen breaking into song. Of course, with that in mind, some would argue that he's pretty much nailed it. Performances are strong, despite the cliched characters, but unfortunately the outcome is telegraphed from the start. However, Sable does show some flair when it comes to horror, no matter how familiar his rendition may be.

It's bloody and at times it's brutal, but it's also mildly irritating if you can't stand warbling teenagers. There's always Meatloaf though, whose clearly having a wail of a time.

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