Stage Fright

"Excellent"

Stage Fright Review


By mashing up so many genres, filmmaker Jerome Sable has made a thoroughly entertaining romp that's impossible to categorise. It may not work fully as a horror thriller, comedy, musical, coming-of-age drama or spoof, but it's hugely entertaining on all of those levels. Yes, this is a movie that scares us one minute, then has us laughing at some surprisingly sophisticated humour the next.

It's been 10 years since Kylie (Minnie Driver) was killed on the night her star-making show opened on Broadway. Now her children Camilla and Buddy (Allie Macdonald and Douglas Smith) are working at Center Stage performing arts camp, run by their guardian Roger (Meat Loaf). And this summer's big show will be a revival of their mother's fateful musical, The Haunting of the Opera, staged as Japanese kabuki by self-proclaimed genius director Artie (Brandon Uranovitz). Camilla is determined to get the lead role, sucking up to a cute crew member (Kent Nolan) who has a crush on her and then engaging in a battle with Liz (Melanie Leishman), her rival for the part. Meanwhile, a mysterious figure is creeping around the camp, and pretty much everyone has a motive for murder.

The film is skilfully shot and edited, with straight-faced performances heightening the subtle comedy that flows through every scene. Some moments are pure pastiche, while the songs merrily blur the lines between the movie we're watching and the stage musical these theatre brats are putting on. And the cast is terrific. MacDonald and Smith engagingly anchor the central plot, while Meat Loaf has a ball as the all-singing ex-producer who wants to get back to Broadway. The rest of the ensemble is like the cast of Glee, representing a variety of types who are willing to break into another bouncy song at the sound of a single note. The killer, by contrast, prefers death metal.

Through all of this, Sable mercilessly subverts every horror movie cliche imaginable, including a series of inventive, gruesome deaths. That it actually works as a teen slasher movie is surprising; we're genuinely unnerved by the violence, and the twist-upon-twist finale is surprising and entertaining. But beyond that, the film is a lot of fun. Even if the understated humour leaves the movie feeling superficial, it's packed with hilarious touches that will keep fans of both musicals and horror movies chuckling.



Stage Fright

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 15th April 1950

Distributed by: IMAX

Production compaines: Serendipity Point Films, Citizen Jones

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 16 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jerome Sable

Producer: Jonas Bell Pasht, Ari Lantos

Starring: as Kylie Swanson, as Roger McCall, as Camilla Swanson, as Buddy Swanson, Kent Nolan as Joel Hopton

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.