Phantom of the Paradise ★★★★½

Hooptober 5.0 - Phantoms of De Palmadise Vol. 4 - The 31st and final entry, 31.10.2018.

Phantom of the Paradise

The closing film of Hooptober; the main course and the dessert. In any case, this is it fellow maniacs - thank you for the horror and happy Halloween!

In our last film of the month of spooks, we find ourselves back in the 1970s and Brian De Palma is still here to serve us the final delicacy to keep us warm during the cold nights of winter. In absolutely spectacular Phantom of the Paradise, De Palma empties his treasure chest, putting together various styles and gathering strength from heavyweight artists of the past while shaping his extraordinary vision. And, in the middle of all the imaginative & beyond belief phantasy, lies the tragic fate of our talented misfit musician Winslow Leach (marvelous William Finley) who eventually turns into the Phantom of the Paradise.

The gates of Paradise are opened, and it's rock 'n' roll all night! With the monumentally energetic music of Paul Williams and De Palma's capabilities to create a bold fantasy horror rock opera accompanied by thrills 'n' comedy, something uniquely astounding gets born. It's a quickly disappearing lightning, a chance of a lifetime; only few works like Phantom of the Paradise appear in a decade, or hell, perhaps in a century. No matter how much De Palma owes to Hitchcock, I'm pretty sure Hitch couldn't have even dreamed of anything like this.

Heavily stylised and creepily moving, Phantom of De Palmadise ticks off many of De Palma's visual trademarks PLUS much more and I'm ready to crown the film as the finest version of The Phantom of the Opera. So bravely quirky, so lovely and so winsome. We even have heavenly Jessica Harper here before Argento's Suspiria and I'm just completely sold. Seeing this at cinema might easily transform the film into five stars. A standing ovation is given deservedly in the end for this grand achievement of rocking horror funk.

My short De Palma marathon went just as planned, slowly rising up to the insane heights of cinematic master class. Woah! Thank you Brian, thank you Hooptober, thank you all - my final report for this year's greatest horror film challenge ends here.

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