Stage Fright is a horror-musical hybrid, which gives us a new interpretation of the slasher sub-genre.
Featuring a brief cameo by Minnie Driver and a very decent performance from Meatloaf, this unpretentious take on a camp-based horror is entertaining, funny and gory, and never pretends to be anything it's not.
A lot of slasher films nowadays try to be ironic, slick and relevant; by dealing with a group of "theatre geeks" and by making the central storyline revolve around the theatre, 'Stage Fright' thankfully tends to avoid those pitfalls, and doesn't try to be too edgy or clever.
I enjoy musical theatre; an odd choice to compliment my love of horror? Well, maybe. Even so, the shoutouts to famous musicals in this are fun and certainly raise a smile, and I think any horror fan who appreciates humour alongside their gore won't feel out of place with this. There are also some throwbacks to a couple of classic horror movies which I always enjoy.
It featured a few inventive set-piece kills (being light on the gore for the first act or so, they ramp it up quite a bit for the finale), which, along with the humour definitely reminded me a bit of Sleepaway Camp, which is a big compliment in my opinion. The songs themselves were amusing and quite catchy, and the atmosphere lent it that glorious atmosphere of the good old times of cheesy 80's horror. The acting ranged from decent to just okay, but that's not why we watch these movies. And the reveal was surprisingly satisfying, concluding in a neat little package which will certainly have me returning for a re-watch.
Oh, and it also has a killer 80's-throwback poster.
I had fun with it. Of course it's not the next greatest thing in horror, and if you're looking for genuine suspense or a serious horror movie, go try another aisle (Spanish horror might hold a lot for you). But as a fun Friday night flick, it delivers. It made me laugh more than once, I didn't forsee the reveal, and it actually made me jump (okay, only once, but I love when that happens). I say check it out, and let me know what you think.
My rating: 6.5/10