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Cast: Ruby Lin, Tony Yo-ning Yang, Simon Yam
A haunted theatre, filled with the vengeful spirits of a tragically-trapped performance troupe murdered in a fire 13 years ago, waits for the once-grand palatial playhouse to re-open with a new show...and bring in new victims.
"Phantom of the Theatre" tells the story of Gu Weibang who has just returned from studying film making overseas and he wants to make his first feature film with a script he has just written. He wants an award winning actress to play his lead but when she ignores him another up and coming actress, Si-Fan catches his eye.
After getting Si-Fan to agree Weibang then seeks to film his horror film in a haunted theatre where a team of acrobats were murdered there 13 years ago in a tragic fire. Just as filming begins another tragic accident happens when the leading man in the film dies suddenly which in turn causes several of the crew to quit claiming the angry ghosts are haunting the place. Now it is up to Weibang, his leading lady and the little crew he has left to try and finish the film before something else happens and someone else dies.
"Phantom of the Theatre" is listed as a horror but to me it is more a thriller/mystery with some horror elements tossed in. The film is also a drama and even a romance as well so there is a lot going on here. Through half the film the main focus plot wise is on the ghosts of the acrobats who were killed in the fire and their quest for vengeance but at the 50 minute mark there is a big reveal and a few twists follow leading up to the climax of the film. There is a lot going on between Weibang and his father, his girlfriend and the leading lady but the film never gets confusing but a few of the smaller plots vanish to make way for the big reveal and the final act.
Is the film scary? To be honest it wasn't to me but the ghost effects and a few jump scares were done very well. Instead of being scary I found the film to be both creepy and stylish. As always with Asian Cinema the first thing I noticed was how beautiful the film looked, the cinematography is gorgeous and sets and special effects used were all very well done.
Acting wise the entire cast did a fantastic job including, Tony Yang who plays Weibang and Ruby Lin who plays Si Fan. Like I said before, to me "Phantom of the Theatre" isn't a horror like you might expect, instead it is a supernatural thriller with loads of mystery and suspense and then toward the end it takes on something else as well. I am not going to give a way plot details here so not to ruin the film for those wanting to see it. "Phantom of the Theatre" will be available on DVD October 11, you can order it HERE.
The film might not be perfect but I found it to be quite engaging from beginning to end. I love a good ghost story and this was certainly that and more so I highly recommend checking it out.
Released by Well Go USA Entertainment
*** 3/4 Out of *****