3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HALL -OWL- WEEN,
This review is from: StageFright  [DVD] (DVD)The first fiction movie of Michele Soavi is a very good surprise for the amateur of horror flicks. I mean of good horror flicks because, believe me or not, those movies exist but you must have a strong stomach and a lot of patience to discover them amidst the vast choice available. STAGE FRIGHT belongs to the peculiar sub-genre of the psycho-thriller, a genre directly inspired by Agatha Christie's AND THEN THEY WERE NONE. Take a dozen innocent victims and a madman with a mask and that's it.
From these premises on, directors reveal their peculiar skills or interests : some are, to speak frankly, would-be surgeons and like to fill the screen with gallons of blood during 90 minutes, some are more interested in the possibility to discover new ways of killing and the others seem to have accepted the job only in order to pay their taxes. Those directors are of no interest to me so I just skip them.
But Michele Soavi's STAGE FRIGHT reveals an authentic filmmaker. Locked in a theater, nine actors and a director must defend themselves against a madman who's just escaped from the local asylum. Like Jason or HALLOWEEN's Michael Myers, this madman wears a mask, the mask of an owl. And that's really innovative and scary. But completely stupid as the audience knows from the beginning of the movie on that the killer is Irving Wallace (not a spoiler), a serial killer.
So, from the moment one understands that the director's purpose is not to revolutionize the genre but rather to pay an homage to his colleagues and to the best scenes presented so far - in 1987 - , the movie stops being only a scary flick and becomes a wonderful journey through the annals of the cinema of horror. I've particularly liked the homage to THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, a scene filled with a visual poesy one rarely finds in such movies.
Of course, Soavi didn't have an enormous budget to spend, certain characters don't have much to say and the actors are a little amateurish at times but who cares after all, STAGE FRIGHT delivering a subtle pleasure that blockbusters unfortunately can't give anymore nowadays.
A DVD zone screaming room.