Phantom of the Opera
Time Out saysKnocked unconscious while auditioning for a Broadway musical, aspiring starlet Christine Day (Schoelen) awakens to find herself mysteriously transported to Victorian London, where she is understudying for objectionable prima donna Carlotta (Lawrence). When Carlotta is struck dumb by the discovery of a freshly peeled stagehand in her wardrobe, Christina is manoeuvred into the spotlight by the shadowy figure of deformed and demented composer Erik Destler (Englund). Soon the temporally displaced diva finds herself the centre of a murder investigation as all who slight her are swiftly and stickily dispensed with by her pathological paramour. Little's rehashing of the well-worn melodrama (with added sub-Faustian angle) pays half-hearted visual homage to Hammer's 1962 Herbert Lom vehicle. It also chucks in gruesome skin-grafting special effects for good measure. Englund romps around doing his standard 'hideously deformed anti-hero' routine, but the rest of the cast remain resolutely wooden. Sporadically interesting, occasionally inept, and not a little uncalled for.