Certain films stand the test of time due to the characters presented in the film, a crowd participation type theme that may be installed, or the fact that it’s just a damn good movie. In Stage Fright we find all these and then some that will surely make this film sit right along the side of insane horror midnight romps like Rocky Horror Picture Show or Little Shop of Horrors. Stage Fright is the Rocky Horror for slasher fans. As it also pays homage to the great whodunit italian style slashers that became popular here in the states during the 80’s and 90’s.
The film follows the story of a musical theater camp where the kids can be themselves whether gay or not (meaning happy and the other definition). The founder of the camp is former broadway producer Roger McCall (Meatloaf) and he looks to resurrect one of the greatest musicals of our time The Haunting of The Opera (you may know it as the Phantom of The Opera.) A long time ago it’s star Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver) was brutally murdered on opening night. Now her daughter and son Camellia (Allie MacDonald) and Buddy (Douglas Smith) work at the camp. Buddy want nothing to do with the theater snobs but Camellia sees this as a chance to follow in her mothers footsteps and become a singer on broadway. Unfortunately those requests come with some dire results.
Stage Fright may be one of them most entertaining films of the year but if you have issues with musicals it may not be for you. What it will do is what South Park The Movie did sometime ago by drawing in fans who normally would want nothing to do with singing. The diabolical nature of the killings will be refreshing to all as it truly is in the spirit of the early slashers we all love. It was very surprising to see the brutality on screen as many times throughout the film you would swear you are watching an episode of Glee. I’m sure many fans of that show will at least give Stage Fright a chance and if they can hang with the ferociousness of the gore it will serve them well.
Stage Fright has a Grease feel to it as well as each of the characters stand out in their own way. It’s a reason we can see this doing well for some time as there characters that anyone would love to enjoy or hate. Unlike Rocky Horror, or Repo The Genetic Opera, Stage Frights roots are from the slasher genre so there is nothing weird to see her just some awesome kills. The acting outside of the singing is substantial but you will find many things to like about all involved. You can tell this film was a blast to make as that feeling comes across through the entire film.
For those familiar with Jerome Sables previous work (Legend of Beaver Dam) they knew Stage Fright had a chance to be great. While obviously more commercial than that release Stage Fright is a true testament to his unique blending of music and horror cinema. He does have a segment in the upcoming ABCs of Death 2 so we should see his unique style again very soon. Stage Fright is one of those films horror fans will talk about for years to come so make sure to check it out when you get the chance!
Stage Fright is directed by Jerome Sable and stars Minnie Driver,Meatloaf, and Allie MacDonald. It is now available on demand and via iTunes and hits select theaters May 9th. Stage Fright is being released courtesy of Magnet Releasing.