The Shooter (1997, directed by Fred Olen Ray)

While riding his horse through the old, Michael Atherton (Michael Dudikoff) discovers a group of thuggish ranch hands attacking a prostitute named Wendy (Valerie Wildman).  Because Michael is known as being the Shooter, he has no problem coolly gunning the men down and saving Wendy’s life.  Unfortunately, for Michael, one of the dead men is the son of a fearsome rancher named Jerry Krants (William Smith) and Jerry has his own reasons for wanting Wendy dead.  Michael may be the Shooter but Jerry Krants is William Smith so you automatically know that it is not a good idea to mess with him.

In the grand spaghetti western tradition, Krants has his men kidnap Michael, beat him up, and crucify him outside of town.  The men leave Michael for dead but, after they’ve left, Wendy repays Michael’s kindness by untying him from the cross, nursing him back to health, and saving his life.  (The same thing used to happen to Clint Eastwood, except he usually had to nurse himself back to health without anyone else’s help.)  With everyone else believing him to be dead, Michael rides into town to get his violent revenge against Krants and his men.  With all of the townspeople convinced that Michael has returned as a ghost, only the town’s power-hungry sheriff, Kyle Tapert (Randy Travis), understands what has actually happened.  Tapert makes plans to use Michael’s return for his own advantage.  While it wouldn’t look good for Tapert to openly murder all of his opponents, what if he killed them and then framed Michael?  And then what if he made himself a hero by being the one to end Michael’s reign of terror?

Directed by Fred Olen Ray, The Shooter is a low-budget western that turned out to be far better than I was expecting.  Ray is obviously a fan of the western genre and, with The Shooter, he’s made a respectful and, by his standards, restrained homage to the classic spaghetti westerns of old.  He even shows some undeniable skill when it comes to building up the suspense before the climatic showdown.  Ray indulges in every western cliché imaginable but he does so with the respect of a true fan.

With his less than grizzled screen presence, Michael Dudikoff is slightly miscast as a Clint Eastwood-style gunslinger but the rest of the cast is made up of genre veterans who give it their best.  In particular, William Smith shows why he was one of the busiest “bad guys” working in the movies.  To me, the most surprising part of the film was that the casting of Randy Travis as a villain actually worked.  Fred Olen Ray made good use of Travis’s natural amiability, making Kyle into a villain who will give you friendly smile right before he opens fire.  Also be sure to keep an eye out for Andrew Stevens, playing the man who records Michael’s story.  It wouldn’t be a Fed Olen Ray movie without Andrew Stevens playing at least a small role.

Low-budget, undemanding, and made with obvious care, The Shooter is film that will be appreciated by western fans everywhere.

Spirits (1990, directed by Fred Olen Ray)

In this sex-filled take on The Haunting of Hill House, Robert Quarry leads a group of researchers to a haunted house. Amy Goldwyn (Brinke Stevens) is the smart psychic who knows the house isn’t safe but who still gets possessed by a demon and ends up hammering a nail through her palm. Beth (Kathrin Lautner) is the self-described “bitch” who has a lesbian past because this is a direct-to-video 90s film. Harry (Oliver Darrow) is the cocky womanizer who gets seduced by a succubus. The house is haunted by the spirit of a fallen priest and his demonic nuns. Only another priest, Father Anthony Vicci (Erik Estrada!), can save the researchers but that holy water that he’s carrying around is only going to work if he regains his faith and seeks forgiveness for his past sins.

As far as I know, Spirits is only available on VHS. So, if you do watch it, you’re going to need a VCR that works. Considering how easily an old VCR can break down and how it’s nearly impossible to get them repaired, you’re going to need to realize that Spirits could very well be the last tape you ever watch on the old machine. Do you want to take the risk? I took the risk and, for what it is, Spirits is not that bad. It’s a Fred Olen Ray films and it’s got Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer in it so you know what you’re going to get. Still, after I finished it, I realized that, if Spirits had been the last thing I ever watched on that old VCR, I would have been pissed. If my VCR is going to break, I’d rather it break while I was watching a tape full of hours of Must See TV from 1996.

Spirits has a few things to recommend it. Brinke Stevens was one of the best of the direct-to-video scream queens and she actually does give a “real” performance as Amy. The sight of Erik Estrada, playing a tortured a priest as if he was a character on a particularly racy telenovela, was certainly entertaining. Finally, there was Count Yorga himself, Robert Quarry, as the main ghost hunter. Otherwise, Spirits is a typical direct-to-video Fed Olen Ray film, with cheesy music, terrible special effects, and laughable dialogue. There’s a lot of nudity, of course but you can find the same amount of nudity in films that you can safely watch on DVD or Blu-ray. If you’re going to risk the VCR, the movie is going to need to have more to offer.

Dinosaur Island (1994, directed by Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski)

What do you get when a producer like Roger Corman notices that Jurassic Park was the most financially successful film of 1993?

Dinosaur Island!

Directed by not just Fred Olen Ray but also Jim Wynorski (and if that combination isn’t enough to spark your interest, I don’t know what is), Dinosaur Island is about what happens when a cargo plane transporting three AWOL soldiers back to the United States crashes near an uncharted island. Led by no-nonsense Capt. Briggs (Ross Hagen), the soldiers make it to the island.

They discover that the island is full of beautiful cavewomen who spend much of their time topless. For the film’s intended audience of teenage boys, that’s good.

They discover that the women are ruled by a queen (Toni Naples) who hates men. That’s bad.

When the women notice that one of the men has a smiley face tattoo, they decide that he is the chosen one who has been prophesized about in the ancient scrolls. That’s good, I guess.

Chosen or not, the men still have to battle the Tyrannosaurs Rex that rules the island. That’s bad. Or is it good? I don’t know anymore.

To save money, Roger and the gang reused the dinosaur who appeared in Corman’s previous Jurassic hit, Carnosaur. They also reused a lot of stock footage from that film. The Carnosaur footage often doesn’t match with the footage that was shot for Dinosaur Island but I don’t know that anyone would expect anything less from Corman-produced rip-off of Jurassic Park. There are some films where the cheapness of it all become a selling point and this is one of them. The special effects are less important than marveling at how the movie got a dinosaur without spending any money.

Dinosaur Island is a bad movie with less than convincing special effects and a lot of overacting but it seems to be aware of its limitations so it’s hard not to like it. It’s obvious that Ray and Wynorski both understood that there was no way that they were gong to be able to make a serious film with the resources that they had available so instead, they shot a flat-out comedy that made fun of its own cheapness. It was the right approach to take, even though the film’s jokes are as often groan-worthy as they are funny. Among the cast, Ross Hagen seemed to have the best understanding of what was needed because he deadpans his way through the entire film, delivering his weird lines with a straight face and giving a performance that wouldn’t be out of place in Airplane! or one of the other ZAZ films.

Not surprisingly, this was a popular film on late night cable back on the day. It’s combination of boobs, jokes, and dinosaurs made it a Cinemax mainstay. Rewatching it, I knew how stupid it was but I couldn’t help but laugh at a few parts. I enjoyed viewing it again. Nostalgia is more powerful than any dinosaur.

The TSL’s Horror Grindhouse: The Alien Dead (dir by Fred Olen Ray)

This 1978 film takes place in Florida.

No, not in Miami.  Not Jacksonville.  Not Ft. Lauderdale.  Certainly not Orlando.  No, this film takes place off the back roads of Florida, where people are honest country folk and some folks live in a houseboat and you should always be careful when walking around the bayous because there might be some alligators lurkin’ about.  Of course, in this part of Florida, they call them gators.  Anyone who says alligator obviously thinks they’re too good for downhome country living.

Anyway, it turns out that there’s more to worry about in Florida then just alligators.  There’s also the chance that your houseboat might get struck by a meteor.  And then, everyone on the houseboat might be transformed into a zombie and, after they’ve eaten all the alligators, they might start eating all the humans.

When a sudden zombie outbreak occurs, you have to hope that you’ll get a good law enforcement response.  Unfortunately, law enforcement in these parts means an elderly sheriff and a bearded deputy who is always trying to catch a peek of the local women skinny dipping.  The sheriff, by the way, is played by Buster Crabbe.  In the 20s and 30s, Crabbe was an champion swimmer who won Olympic medals and went on to play Tarzan, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers.  At the height of his popularity, he was known as “the King of the Serials.”  In The Alien Dead, the 70-something Crabbe plays Sheriff Kowalski and, if nothing else, it seems like he was enjoying himself.  Really, that’s important thing when it comes to a movie like this.

The Alien Dead is an extremely-cheap looking film and, with the exception of Crabbe, none of the actors appear to have done much before or after appearing in The Alien Dead.  There are some scenes that are so dark that it’s next to impossible to actually tell what’s going on.  Despite being a rather short film, the pace is still slow and there are certain scenes that seem to drag on forever.  There’s a lot of perfectly valid criticisms that one can make about The Alien Dead.

But you know what?

I like the film.

Seriously, in a strange way, the film actually does work.  Yes, the acting is pretty bad and the dialogue is often rather clunky and the plot doesn’t make sense and blah blah blah.  Those are all true facts.  But, there are isolated moments where The Alien Dead achieves a dream-like intensity.  For instance, there’s a lengthy scene where the zombies attack and all of the action is shown in slow motion.  I realize that may have been done to pad the film’s running time but strangely enough, it works.  Even more oddly, the film’s cheap gore effects add to the movie’s already dream-like feel. Finally, if nothing else, the film captures the humid atmosphere of the Florida bayou.  Watching the film, you can feel the sweat and hear the buzzing of mosquitos.  At its best, The Alien Dead works as a piece of outsider art.

Finally, The Alien Dead is one of those films that had been released and re-released a few times on video.  As you can see below, one of those releases was apparently inspired by the success of Evil Dead.

Cinemax Friday: Operation Cobra (1997, directed by Fred Olen Ray)

Interpol agent Kyle Connors (kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson) is sent into a tailspin when his partner, Trevor (Rick Hill), is apparently killed during a failed operation.  Connors’s boss (played by the film’s director, Fred Olen Ray) orders Connors to go on leave so Connors promptly heads over to India.  Connors is planning on capturing Daveed (Evan Lurie), the drug dealer who Kyle blames for murdering Trevor.

While searching for Daveed with the help of an honest (and obviously doomed) cop named Ravi (R. Madhavan), Connors has several battles with a group of Indian ninjas who are intent on capturing a mysterious woman named Shallimar (Deepti Bhatnagar).  Connors also meets yet another mysterious woman, Callista (Tane McClure), who claims to be an intelligence agent and who tells him that Daveed’s boss is actually the enigmatic Victor Grayson (Michael Cavanaugh).  While Connors is tracking down Grayson, he finds out about yet another shadowy crime boss known as The Hydra and a computer disk that can apparently be used to hack into computer in the known world.

Can you guess who The Hydra actually is?

As any aficionado of late night Cinemax can tell you, Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Fred Olen Ray are a match made in heaven.  If you were growing up in the 90s, you knew Don “The Dragon” Wilson was cool because everyone who talked about him used both his given name and his nickname.  He was never just “Don Wilson” or “The Dragon.”  Instead, he was Don “The Dragon” Wilson.  Though Wilson never had much screen presence, he was a good on-screen fighter and the fact that he wasn’t a typically muscle-bound action hero made him more interesting than an ‘actor” like Steven Seagal.  Fred Olen Ray, meanwhile, was smart enough to get out of the way and let Wilson kickbox his way through the movie.  Though the story is nearly impossible to follow, a few good fight scenes more than make up for it.  Ray understands that is what most of his audience (maybe all of his audience) is going to be watching for.

Though the plot of Operation Cobra never makes any sense, most people will know what they’re going to get when they see who directed it and who is starring in it.  Even though the film wasn’t shot in the most photogenic areas of India (because that would have cost too much money), it still makes good use of its location footage and it’s hard not to be entertained by a film features Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Tane McClure, Rick Hill, and Evan Laurie.  That’s B-action movie nirvana.  I also liked that it was never entirely clear what the computer disk actually did but that it was extremely important than it not fall in the wrong hands.  It was the ultimate MacGuffin and because the film was made in 1997, it wasn’t necessary to go into details.  All that had to be said was that it had something to do with computers and that automatically made it a big deal.  That’s just the way things were in the 90s.

Cinemax Friday: Maximum Revenge (1997, directed by Fred Olen Ray)

When a new maximum security prison is finally ready to be opened and filled with dangerous criminals, Warden Glover (Arthur Roberts) gives a tour to reporter Tracy Quinn (Landon Hall).  Unfortunately, the tour is interrupted when a group of terrorists led by Murdock (John Lazar, who is best-known for playing the homicidal record producers in Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls) infiltrate the prison and take over.  Their plan is to set off a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles and trick the United States into a retaliatory strike against the Middle East.

Fortunately, the Warden is able to free the five prisoners who had already been transferred to the prison before it was taken over by terrorists.  It’s now up to the prisoners to defeat the terrorists and defuse the bomb.  They’ve only got an hour to prevent a war!  Fortunately, the prisoners are being led by former CIA agent, Mace Richter (Paul Michael Robinson).  Mace is only in prison because he was framed after a hostage rescue went wrong.  (It turned out that the hostage was in on the plot so Mace killed him.)  Amazingly, the terrorists from that operation are the same terrorists who have now taken over the prison.  What a coincidence!

Maximum Revenge is a Fred Olen Ray movie so you know what you’re getting.  The film rips off Die Hard by having Mace and the crew take out the terrorists one-by-one.  Despite the fact that they’ve only got an hour to stop a nuclear bomb from going off, Mace and Tracy still drop everything so that they can have sex in one of the prison offices.  It seems like that could have waited until after World War III had been prevented but then again, it’s a Fred Olen Ray film.  No matter what else can be said about Fred Olen Ray, he knows what his target audience is watching for.

Paul Michael Robinson is not an extremely compelling action star and the fight scenes are pretty rudimentary.  The prison is obviously an office building and the frequent inserts of the bomb very slowly counting down from 60:00 are good for a laugh or two.  (Most bomb timers count down in seconds but I guess this one was meant to count down in minutes.  At one point, though, the timer reads 16:86.)  Even though the prison doesn’t appear to be that big and the terrorists aren’t that impressive, the timer is still somehow allowed to get all the way down to 00:01 before anyone does anything about it.  That tells you all you need to know.  The best thing about the movie are the end credits, which are filled with joke names.  My favorite was the electrician named Sparks McGee.

Cinemax Friday: Fugitive Rage (1996, directed by Fred Olen Ray)

When gangster Tommy Stompanato (Jay Richardson) is acquitted of murdering her sister, ex-cop Tara McCormick (Wendy Schumacher) gets justice her own way.  She shoots him.  Six times.  In the middle of a crowded courtroom.  Somehow, Tommy survives taking six bullets at point blank range while Tara is arrested and sent to prison.

In prison, Tara stands up to the usual collection of cruel inmates and predatory guards.  She bonds with her cellmate, Josie (Shauna O’Brien).  Josie may be a murderer but the only man she killed was her abusive husband so, like Tara, she had a good reason for committing her crime.  Tara and Josie become so close that when an federal agent named O’Keefe (Tim Abell) offers to spring Tara from jail in return for her help in taking down Tommy, Tara demands that Josie receive a pardon as well.

After O’Keefe agrees to her demands, Tara leaves the prison with him.  While they get busy at a safehouse, Tommy and his right-hand man, Ryker (Ross Hagen), arrange for Josie to be kidnapped from the prison.  With Josie being held as a hostage, it’s time for a final confrontation between Tara and Tommy.  There’s a “surprise” twist at the end so don’t you dare to tell anyone about the final ten minutes of Fugitive Rage.

Fugitive Rage may be a typical hyrbid of the action and women-in-prison genres but it’s also a Fred Olen Ray film, which means that it’s got even more nudity than expected and that it’s more self-aware of the conventions of the genre than some other films about women behind bars.  There’s a lot that you can say about Fred Olen Ray’s style of filmmaking but no one will ever accuse him of taking himself too seriously and Fugitive Rage at least has a sense of humor about itself.  It’s hard to watch scenes like the one where Tara guns down a crooked lawyer just because he’s a lawyer without thinking that Fugitive Rage is deliberately poking fun at itself.

Fugitive Rage ends with the promise that Tara and Josie are going to become the new “Thelma and Louise” but, as far as I know, Fugitive Rage never got a sequel.  Instead, it just found a home on late night Cinemax.

Spring Breakdown: Super Shark (dir by Fred Olen Ray)

So, here’s the thing: when I was making out my list of films to review for Spring Breakdown, I was under the impression that the 2011 film, Super Shark, was a Spring Break film.  I was convinced that it was a film about a giant shark that ate a bunch of people over the course of Spring Break.

Fortunately, right before posting this review, I decided to rewatch Super Shark.  Normally, I probably wouldn’t have because I’m currently on vacation but it’s also currently raining and it’s also about 7 degrees outside.  (That’s 7 degrees Celsius but it’s still pretty cold.)  It’s like God was reading through my drafts folder last night and said, “Uh-oh.  Lisa needs to rewatch the movie before she posts the review.”

Anyway, upon rewatching Super Shark, I discovered that 1) the film is still awesome as Hell and 2) it’s not actually a Spring Break film.  Instead, it’s a summer film.  There’s even a scene where two lifeguards talk about what a great time they’re going to have working on the beach during the summer.  So, technically, I probably shouldn’t be reviewing this film as part of a Spring Break series but …. well, I’m going to do it anyways.  I mean, it may be a summer film but it plays out like a Spring Break film.  Plus, it’s got a giant shark.

Not surprisingly, for a film called Super Shark, the giant shark is the main attraction.  The CGI’s a bit dodgy and the shark does look a bit cartoonish but that actually adds to the film’s charm.  Whereas Steven Spielberg dealt with the reality of a fake-looking shark by keeping the shark off-screen as much as possible, directed Fred Olen Ray takes the opposite approach and seriously, more power to him.  Ray puts the shark in as many scenes as possible, as if he’s saying, “Yes, this is a low-budget B-movie and why should we pretend that it’s anything other than that?”  There’s an honesty to this approach that’s impossible not to respect.

The shark is prehistoric in origin.  It was safely separated from society until the big bad oil company did some bad corporate stuff and, as a result, the shark is now free to ruin everyone’s summer.  You know that whole thing about how sharks have to stay in the water or they’ll die?  That’s not a problem for Super Shark.  Super Shark will jump on the beach and eat you, he doesn’t care.  In fact, Super Shark is such a rebel that he’ll even take on a tank and win!  WE LOVE YOU, SUPER SHARK!

As always, there’s a group of humans around who don’t love Super Shark as much as the viewers.  There’s the evil corporate guy played by John Schneider.  He’s into money and drilling.  And then there’s the scientist played by Sarah Lieving.  She hates corporations and she doesn’t like sharks.  There’s a DJ played by Jimmie “JJ” Walker.  And then there’s the lifeguards and the beachgoers and the people who just want to participate in a wholesome bikini contest.  Sorry, everyone, Super Shark has other plans.

Anyway, I have a weakness for films about giant sharks attacking oil wells and eating people on the beach.  It’s a silly film but it’s obviously been designed to be silly.  This isn’t Jaws nor is this a serious film about the issues surrounding underwater drilling.   This is a B-movie about a giant shark and if you can’t enjoy something like this, I worry about you.  This is a film that you watch with your friends and you have a lot of fun talking back to the screen.  Don’t take it seriously and just enjoy the giant shark action.  Who could ask for a better summer?  Or a better Spring Break for that matter?


What Lisa Watched Last Night #179: Fiance Killer (dir by Fred Olen Ray)

Last night, I turned over to the Lifetime Movie Network and watched the latest Lifetime movie, Fiance Killer!

Why Was I Watching It?

It was on Lifetime!  By now, y’all should know that I’ll watch anything that’s on Lifetime!

What Was It About?

So, Cameron (Felisha Cooper) is about to be very, very rich.  As soon as she turns 25, she’ll be coming into a huge inheritance!  On top of that, Cameron also has a new boyfriend.  His name is Brent (Adam Huss) and he runs a non-profit!  Or, at least, that’s what he says.  Cameron’s mother (Kari Wuhrer) doesn’t trust him.  In fact, she does a background check on him and comes away convinced that Brent is only interesting in Cameron’s money.  Of course, Cameron doesn’t believe that.  In fact, Cameron is so offended by her mother’s paranoia that she elopes with Brent!

Except, of course, mom is right.  Brent is after Cameron’s money.  Of course, Brent doesn’t really have it in him to commit murder.  However, his girlfriend, Lexi (Jean Louise O’Sullivan), definitely does…

What Worked?

Lexi is one of my favorite characters of all time!  Seriously, she must have undergone ninja training at some point because she could seriously just pop up anywhere.  Someone gets in a car and there’s Lexi in the back seat!  Someone goes down to the kitchen and there’s Lexi hiding behind the refrigerator.  My favorite thing about Lexi was that, for all of the intricate plotting that went into her scheme, she didn’t really seem to care whether it actually worked or not.  Lexi was an agent of pure chaos, less a schemer and more a revolutionary.  Jean Louise O’Sullivan had a lot of fun with the role.

What Did Not Work?

Obviously, with any Lifetime film, you’re going to have to suspend your disbelief to a certain extent but seriously, Cameron was occasionally too naive to be believed.  Maybe if she had been 18, I could have bought that she wouldn’t be able to see through Brent and his schemes.  But, by the time you turn 25, you really should know better.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Obviously, it would have been nice if I could have related to Cameron, who was a very nice person and always tried to do the best for everyone.  But, honestly, I could never do the whole eloping thing.  When I do get married, it’s going to be a huge wedding and I’m going to expect a lot of expensive gifts.  As well, I couldn’t ever marry someone who worked for a “non-profit” because bragging about working for a company that doesn’t make a profit just seems strange to me.

So, that pretty much left with me with little choice but to relate to Lexi.  Unfortunately, Lexi killed people and I’m not really into that either.  However, I do enjoy making a scene so I guess Lexi and I had that in common.

Lessons Learned

I should sign up for ninja training as soon as possible.  Admittedly, I might not be a very good ninja and I’m not really sure if there’s much ninja work available where I live but I’d still love to learn how to just pop up anywhere whenever I wanted to.  That seems like that could be a valuable skill to have.

Cleaning Out The DVR: Stage Fright (dir by Fred Olen Ray)

(Hi there!  So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR.  Seriously, I currently have 188 things recorded!  I’ve decided that, on January 15th, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not.  So, that means that I’ve now have only have a month to clean out the DVR!  Will I make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  I recorded Stage Fright off of the Lifetime Movie Network on January 29th, 2017!)

(aka Stage Fright)

Right above this sentence, you’ll see the original “poster art” for the film that was eventually broadcast on the Lifetime Movie Network as Stage Fright.  Even though the title changed (and personally, I think Stage Fright does carry a bit more oomph than Her Final Bow), I love this poster.  It’s just so melodramatic and I like how the stalker’s blue eye is staring straight at the viewer.  Even though the scene itself never actually occurs in the film, the poster still tells you everything that you need to know about this movie.  If I saw a paperback novel with this poster as the cover, I would definitely buy it and probably read it in one sitting.

Stage Fright tells the story of Sarah Conrade (Jordan Ladd).  At one time, Sarah was one of the most popular and famous opera singers in the world.  But then she was attacked by an obsessed fan.  Though he was subsequently gunned down by the police, he left Sarah with scars that are both physical and mental.  After she had a nervous breakdown, Sarah retired from performing and devoted her time to raising her daughter, Haley (Savannah Osborn).  However, one day, Sarah gets a call from a producer, letting her know that another singer is planning to perform Sarah’s signature songs and claim them as her own.  Though Sarah may be frightened of stepping back out on the stage, she’s a performer and she has her pride.  Sarah agrees to make a comeback and perform for one night only.

A lot of people are happy to hear this but it’s debatable whether any of them are as happy as Kevin (Peter Stickles).  Kevin works in a music store and he is one of Sarah’s biggest fans.  When she happens to step into the store, he not only tells her that he listens to her voice regularly but he also contrives to take a quick look in her purse.  Of course, Kevin also has a shrine to her in his house.  That’s … well, that’s a little bit creepy…

Audiences have waited for years for Sarah to make a comeback and now that she’s making it, the people around her are mysteriously dying.  The police even suspect that Sarah might have something to do with it.  Of course, we suspect the truth…

State Fright was directed by Fred Olen Ray, who is a veteran of these type of thrillers and who specializes in giving the audience what it wants.  In this case, the audience wants melodrama and Stage Fright certainly delivers that.  (Ray also delivers some effectively creepy shots of characters running around in the dank, lower levels of the opera house.)  Personally, I would have liked it if there had been a little more mystery about the identity of Sarah’s stalker but Jordan Ladd gave a good performance as Sarah and the mother-daughter relationship between Sarah and Haley felt real.  This is an entertaining little Lifetime movie that delivers exactly what it promises.