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In New York, the Julliard student Christine Day meets her friend Meg in the library where she works and she shows a piece of music from the unknown author Erik Destler that she has found on the shelf. Christine decides to use the music in her audition on the next day for a part in a Faust version in the New York Opera. During the audition, there is an accident on the stage and Christina faints. She relives her past life in the Nineteenth Century in London, when she is an aspirant opera singer and becomes the protégée of The Phantom of the London Opera House. The Phantom is the unknown composer Erik Destler that makes a pact with the devil in order to the world would love his music. In return, the devil destroys his face and tells that he would never be loved by anyone and would be disfigured forever. After a tragic ending, Christine awakes in the present days and has a great surprise when she is introduced to the producer of the opera. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Let me start out by saying that I'm a horror fan. I love all forms of horror from the silent classics to the new-age shocker films. It's a genre that is near and dear to my heart, so when I stumbled across this version of the great Lon Chaney classic (screw that french dude, his story didn't even tap the potential of the story) I HAD to see it.
The basic premise is that love and music live forever. The movie starts in the 80's where Christine is looking for a fresh new audition piece and stumbles upon Don Juan Triumphant, a great unfinished musical. While in the audition a freak accident flashes her back to what appears to be a past life in which she is an under-appreciated actress in the shadow of a great diva. True fans of the world of the Phantom can guess where the story goes from here.
The acting in this movie is above average. While it isn't the best you'll see, you have to respect the classical training of many of the actors. Jill Schoelen plays the best Christine I've seen in a film, and Bill Nighy is (as always) great... even though his role is pretty small. Robert Englund, better known to slasher fans as Freddy Krueger, does moderately well. He plays the sadistic side of the phantom very well. While he is no Lon Chaney (who is, really?!) His performance is equally haunting and captivating.
The sets are very well done, especially considering the time it was made. Many other 'classic' films made circa this time had horrendous sets and visuals (Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein was great but had TERRIBLE sets, can I get an amen?) So I had to throw some Kudos for them.
The sense that the film was made to cater to two separate audiences is clear with the added psychotic nature of the phantom and the decent death sequences, but any true horror fan can appreciate the film for it's very decent adaptation of an over-done story.
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