Saturday, October 10, 2015

31 Days of Halloween - Day 10 - Movie 2

While a theater group rehearses late into the night, they discover themselves locked inside the theater with an escaped maniac who hunts them down one by one while wearing an owl mask. Not the most original premise, but this bare bones plot serves Stage Fright (1987) pretty well. Part giallo, part 80s slasher flick, logic has less of a place here than the striking visuals.

The characters are pretty much disposable, which is how they are treated, and are given very broad defining characteristics; the lecherous investor, the cruel director, the bitchy gay guy, the ingenue, etc. Some are given slightly more defining characteristics which don't do anything to aid the plot, or make them more relatable. While the silent killer in the owl mask is a spooky visual, he doesn't really exude any real menace. His best moment, and one of the best in the film, comes when the killer, mistaken for the actor he replaces, kills one of the other characters on stage while everyone looks on, unaware that they are witnessing a real murder. That scene seems to be the one true moment in the film in which the witnesses go from being unknowing participants, to shocked and horrified, caring, and ultimately self interested, all in the span of a few minutes.

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