Il Fantasma dell'Opera (1998)

Fantasma dell'Opera, Il (1998, ITA/HUN) C-104m. ** D: Dario Argento. Starring Julian Sands, Asia Argento, Andrea Di Stefano, Nadia Rinaldi, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, Zoltán Barabás, István Bubik. Another remake of Gaston Leroux's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, this time by Italian horror specialist Dario Argento. Meticulous production values, wonderful set design, but film lacks everything that made the story so tragic and irresistible in the first place. Sands is fatally miscast as a phantom without mask, Argento's daughter Asia does her best, but there's just no chemistry between her and the leading man. What's more, Argento's trademark gore scenes seem almost completely out of place, as if they were just used to shock and disgust the audience. Watchable for Argento devotees, but Gérard Brach and Argento's screenplay fails to come up with new ideas, let alone enforce the old ones. Good score by Ennio Morricone.


© Ron Altman