The Phantom of the Opera (1989)

The Phantom of the Opera, from 1989, is a horror/slasher entry in Phantom adaptations, directed by Dwight H. Little. It’s the antithesis (and to some, antidote) to the treacly, overly romanticized Lloyd-Webber musical. It also piggybacks on the success of said musical, as well as its star Robert Englund’s most famous role, Freddy Krueger.

The movie starts in present day New York. Julliard student Christine Day is auditioning for a part in a new show, singing a piece from a forgotten opera written by an obscure composer. She’s barely finished the first verse when an errant sandbag knocks her unconscious. What occurs next is generally referred to as the time travel element, but I read it more as Christine recalling, or even somehow psychically revisiting, a past life. Regardless of which theory is correct, it allows the movie to move into the past, 1880’s London to be exact (switched from Paris). From this point on, the movie hits the basic Leroux story plot points. A promising young singer Continue reading

Daughters of Darkness

(Originally posted to LiveJournal April 2016)

I finally got around to watching Daughters of Darkness, a cult movie from 1971, and what a strange film it is. A newlywed couple, Stefan and Valerie, make a stop in Ostend, Belgium at a deserted resort hotel. They’re the only guests, until the Countess Bathory and her nubile assistant, Ilona, arrive. There’s something a little off in the honeymooning pair’s relationship, made evident when the two make a day trip to Bruges and pass by a murder scene. Back at the hotel, the countess sets her sights on the couple, Stefan eyes Ilona, and a retired detective takes an interest in the countess – who hasn’t aged since the last time she visited the hotel, forty years ago.

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