Phantom Of The Opera

Phantom Of The Opera (1998)
Cast: Julian Sands, Asia Argento, Zoltan Barbaras, Istvan Bubik
Extras: Interview, Trailers, Fangoria Article, Filmographies, Photo Gallery, Behind-the-scenes

They say that when people hit rock bottom that it’s time for them to seek help. I hate to say this, but it’s time for Dario Argento to seek help. His latest offering is a retelling of the Gaston Leroux classic “Phantom of the Opera,” a period piece set in Paris, 1877. The film is beautifully shot, adequately acted, but due to the incomprehensible storyline, turns out to be total garbage. The film is poorly paced and often makes no sense. The pitiful special effects (fakes rats and chandeliers falling on mannequins) don’t help matters any. I’ve been an Argento fan for years, and this is light years away from his classic work.

It’s a pity that the movie is such a stinker, because this is a pretty good DVD. The film is offered in both a gorgeous looking anamorphic widescreen transfer in 1.85:1 and full-frame. Argento has chosen to use a more natural lighting style with Phantom“ and the colors look great. The picture is very clear and shows none of the darkness or graininess usually associated with Eurohorror.

There is a great deal of action in the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, with the sounds of the opera or thunder filling the room, but at times the sound was unbalanced, with muffled dialogue being followed by a deafening sound effect.
About the only thing stranger than the film itself is the choice of using the song ”How Soon is Now?’ by The Smiths in the video trailer for the film. A shattering disappointment.