Review : Phantom Of The Opera (1989)

Phantom Of The Opera from 1989 was directed by Dwight H. Little who brought us Halloween 4 the year before.

Christine Day is a young Broadway singer in New York City. She is auditioning for a show and comes across a piece of music written by an unknown music composer named Erik Destler nearly 100 years before. Erik had made a pact with the devil so the world would love his music, but the devil had one condition: that Erik’s face would be horribly disfigured forever. Once Christine sings his music, she is taken from present day New York to 1881 London were she is the star of the London Opera House. There she is coached by a mysterious caped figure who will do anything to make her the star of the opera even if it means murdering people, and the figure is none other than Erik Destler himself.

Phantom Of The Opera doesn’t limit itself to being a simple remake. It remains faithful to the original material while adding all the elements of the slasher genre, including the blood and gore. The film is flawed but entertaining throughout.

There are some interesting shots in the film such as the scene where the phantom is playing the violin in the snow. The phantom’s lair was particularly well designed. It is both rough and elegant which mirrors the phantom’s personality, who is refined and yet also a sadistic murderer.

The prosthetics were not impressive but used in a very creative way as the phantom is applying his victims’ skin on his own face, like a make-up artist would on a film set. Robert Englund gave a great performance in this film. As seen on the original poster, the marketing of the film was heavily focused on Robert Englund’s popularity as Freddy Krueger. However, the film never feels like a Nightmare on Elm Street rip-off and its most appeling aspect is its atmosphere rather than its title character.

I found the third act of Phantom Of The Opera to be the most enjoyable part of the film as the characters confront the phantom. The film sometimes feels dull and should have focused more on the killings but it is still entertaining.

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