April 9, 2014

VOD Review: Stage Fright (2014)

In the interest of full disclosure, we are not big fans of  Musicals. We tried to get into Glee, we've seen old movies like West Side Story and the like, but it's just not our thing.

As far as Horror Musicals go, we did like Sweeney Todd more than we thought we might, and Phantom of the Paradise has always been a guilty pleasure of ours, but the Repo: The Genetic Opera's and Rocky Horror's of the world do nothing for us.

We've got nothing good to say about Don't Go in the Woods (2010) at all.

All of that is to say that as much as we do not like musicals, the trailer for Stage Fright had us excited from the get go. It looked different and bloody, and we've been looking forward to seeing what Meatloaf could bring to a Horror-hybrid like this, because that guy is just cool. Always has been.

For us, the results were mixed; some of it worked, and some of it didn't. At the very least, it was a different type of Slasher flick experience, and for that, we're genuinely grateful.

When Broadway star Minnie Driver is savagely murdered after the performance of her lifetime, Meatloaf takes her oprhaned kids in, vowing to look after them. *That's never really stated, but it was heavily implied due to the fact that they work for him in the kitchen of his Musical Theater Camp as adults.

She had such flair. R.I.P.
Camilla has always wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps and have a singing career of her own, but she's just never gotten her big break. Also, she's probably hesitant to take the stage due to her mom getting stabbed to death after dong the exact same thing, so, she has her reasons.

Awww, she's nervous.
Camilla has quite a set of lungs on her, and she's also a hell of a singer to boot. When auditions begin for Haunting of the Opera (the same play which killed her mother), she decides to throw caution to the wind, and take her shot at stardom. Problem is, there's a Kabuki Mask-wearing maniac who is determined to stop the production, and so he begins killing people to a fairly cool heavy metal guitar soundtrack.

What is he gently whispering into her ear? Something creepy.
Will Camilla become a star? Will she fall victim to the Opera Maniac that is killing her fellow cast mates? Does the song "We're gay, we're gay!" have a deeper social meaning? Far be it from us to spoil anything here, but suffice it to say that this episode of Glee will definitely make everything clear by the time it's all over with.

Even the killer has flair!
We can at least give Writer/Director Jerome Sable credit for having a vision, and seeing it through. Stage Fright didn't really grab us like we thought it would, but it was entertaining enough to make us want to see it through to the end, despite its flaws. We may not have loved it to death, but this is a movie that is destined to become a Cult Classic for all types of movie lovers.

She never was the smartest thing..
We really liked the gore gags in this one (especially Minnie Driver's demise), but after that first kill, it took nearly 30 minutes until the next one came. After that, it was about another 20 minutes until the next one. The movie's Horror aspects were definitely spaced out a bit too much, which made its pacing feel off. Then again, this was more of a Musical with Horror elements, so it could just be a case of our expectations being off too.

Hello, girls.
Allie MacDonald was good in her role as the tortured Camilla. She can definitely carry a Horror movie, and we're looking forward to seeing her in more Genre fare soon. Minnie Driver was only in the movie for a few minutes, and we wished we had gotten more of her. She's fun. Meatloaf, on the other hand, was in this one plenty, which is cool with us because he's equally fun. Everyone was fun in this one!

"Take a bow, darling, you're alive!"
The Musical numbers really felt out of place for the most part; sometimes they felt short, sometimes they felt over-long, and for the most part, they just seemed to pop up randomly, just for the sake of doing so. Towards the ends of the movie, they just kinda stopped altogether (although you could say that the stage play scene counted as one long musical number.)

Then again, it always feels odd to us when people spontaneously break into song while going about their daily business, so again, it's probably just us.

Overall, this was a decent little movie that could have been great had they either evened out the musical aspect of things, or just done away with it altogether.

"Did, did we just sing our conversation?"
While the Glee fans of the world will no doubt get a kick out of Stage Fright's song and dance numbers, we found them to be distracting; that's definitely a personal preference type of thing for us. As far as the Horror aspects of the movie go, Stage Fright is a serviceable slasher that would have benefited from a bit more stalk & slash.

We didn't love it, but we didn't hate it; it was definitely a middle-of-the-road affair for us. It was still worth a watch though.

Stage Fright is available now on VOD, and will hit Theaters in Limited Release on May 9th.


The ladies of Stage Fright looked exquisite as they sang their tails off. *Not literally, of course, because that would make no sense whatsoever, on a few different levels.

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