What do you get when you mix equal parts Glee with Friday the 13th?  You get Stage Fright!!

When I first was asked to review Stage Fright, I was a bit hesitant.  I had read that the film was VERY bloody and I usually don’t like that in a movie.  However, it turned out to be the perfect film for me and I had a wonderful time watching it.

The film begins with Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver) rehearsing, as she is a very talented and popular Broadway star.  However, I was shocked when only minutes into the film, Kylie is sent to the great beyond as a masked killer hacks her to pieces.  What a prologue!

Ten years have passed.  The dead woman’s children now work with their godfather, Roger (played by Meatloaf…and Mr. Loaf did a nice job in this film).  Roger is no longer a successful Broadway producer but just a guy who owns a summer camp for campy kids—kids who sing, dance and have ambitions of being musical stars themselves one day.  I absolutely loved the scene where you first see the camp, as the song is one of the funniest things I’ve heard in years—and this scene so reminded me of the kids I used to teach when I was worked at a school for the arts!  They had all the wonderful stereotypes in the film and really knew what it was like to be around these sorts of kids…and I laughed and laughed.

Stage Fright
Directed by
Jerome Sable
Minnie Driver, Meat Loaf, Allie MacDonald
Release Date
3 April 2014
Martin’s Grade: A-

Soon you learn that the school will be putting on a big show—and the director promises that a big Broadway producer will come to see it!  What will this musical be?  Yep….Haunting of the Opera—the same production that Kylie was performing when she was murdered!!  And who will be in the lead?  Yup … Kylie’s daughter, Camilla (Allie MacDonald)!!  Will history repeat itself?  Will a deranged psychopath show up and hack the actors to pieces?  What do you think?!!!  Sure he will!!

The film is filled with gallons and gallons of blood.  But, because so much is used, it comes off much more as comedy than a horror film.  In fact, I found myself WANTING to see the masked killer butcher the teens—after all, they ARE awfully annoying at times!

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My only reservations about this film are relatively minor.  The biggest problem is that I would love to see teens go to see this film or rent it—and I am worried that because of all the cursing and blood that many parents won’t let their kids see it.  It’s a shame, as the same folks who regularly watch Glee would be thrilled to watch it—and much of their audience are teens.  The other problem is that the films tempo is very uneven.  While parts are totally hilarious, these are, at times, far between.  But, if you are patient you WILL be rewarded with a very enjoyable and silly movie.  In fact, one of the very funniest parts will be missed by stupid people—you know, the folks who leave the theater the second the credits begin to roll.  Watch and listen…as the closing song is the funniest heavy metal tune of all-time…or at least funnier than Dee Snider in spandex.

All in all, I am very glad I saw the film—especially because, as a teacher, I was forced to watch too many plays starring students who (on rare occasions) I WISH had met similar fates as the teens in this film!!

Note: Please don’t tell my wife about the last part.  Thanks … I owe you one.

Review by Lead Entertainment Writer and Film Critic, Martin Hafer

Drop Martin an email, at martin.hafer@influxmagazine.com