Stage Fright 2014 ***

The Venn diagram showing the number of people who like musicals and the number of people who like slasher movies surely has a minimal intersection; writer/director Jerome Sable deserves credit for not chickening out on either genre for his entertaining hybrid Stage Fright. After the death of her opera-singing mother Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver), daughter Camilla (Allie Macdonald) is still haunted by the loss. Ten years later, she’s working in the kitchen of a summer-camp, run by her father Roger (Meat Loaf). They’re staging a kabuki musical version of a well-known show, retitled The Haunting of the Opera, but the onstage-backstabbing is overshadowed by the grisly deaths that dog the performance. Stage Fright is garnished with tuneful music numbers that feel like Disney and Black Swan filtered through South Park, mixed with some tense and extremely violent killings. A uniformly strong cast are anchored by a terrific performance from Meat Loaf, who seizes the chance to play the harassed but ambitious producer with elan. Stage Fright is an engaging curiosity, a clever horror music spoof with genuine tension and songs that stick with you for days.


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