17 January 2018 | stephenabell
A Swedish Cheese Of A TV Psychological Thriller
This is Fred Olen Ray's modern update of The Phantom of the Opera... and it could have worked.
Sarah Conrad (nicely portrayed by Jordan Ladd) has not been on stage for the last three years after being traumatised by a stalker attack. Now a newly renovated theatre is set to open and they have Sarah's old understudy, Melissa (played venomously by Rachel True) set to appear on opening night. However, somebody may have a different agenda.
To be honest, the cast is pretty much hit and miss, the film is carried by Ladd, True, Pietruszewski, and Hutzler. Unfortunately, the latter two actors characters, Mark and Ryan respectively, could have been filled out a little more to make them interesting. This along with a slow and boring pace really do hinder the film. The slowness wouldn't have been a bad thing as long as there were tension and atmosphere there... but there wasn't.
The major downfall was the totally unenigmatic and dull stalker. Granted, the majority of stalkers are probably dull and normal, though for a story such as this you at least need to give them a predatory air. Again this was missing.
All in all, the story needed streamlining as more than a few scenes were superfluous. Characters need to be flushed out more. Tension, atmosphere, and mystery, needed to be added into the mix. And the one gaping hole in the story needed to be addressed.
The gaping hole is Sarah's previous attack. Though the police were there and they shot the perpetrator nobody caught sight of his face or knew who he was. Since the body fell off a bridge into a fast flowing river the body was never found. Since this stalking had been going on for a while it's hard to believe nobody knew anything at all about the attacker.
I'd not recommend anybody to watch this film, though if there's nothing else on and you have time to kill you could give it a try.