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Film / The Phantom of the Opera (1998)

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The Phantom of the Opera, or Il Fantasma dell'Opera is a 1998 Italian horror film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera directed by Dario Argento, starring Julian Sands as the Phantom.

In 1877 Paris, deep within the underground chambers of the Paris Opera House lives a misanthropic man, raised by rats since his abandonment in infancy who kills anyone who dares trespass on his domain. He sets his eyes on the young opera singer Christine Daae (played by Asia Argento, Dario's daughter) upon watching her sing on the stage alone, but Raoul also seeks a romantic relationship with Christine.

When Christine soon enters the Phantom's lair, it gets worse from there...

This Italian horror film is notable for its many differences between the book and film version (among which is the Phantom's lack of disfigurement).

The tropes of this infamous film:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: This movie's version of the Phantom isn't disfigured at all.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job: Christine is brunette, whereas her book counterpart is blonde.
  • Asshole Victim: Debatable with the majority of his victims, who either traversed in while doing their job or under false belief of hidden treasure. The manager who tried to prey on a child ballerina, however, got what's coming to him (even though he, too, unknowingly entered the Phantom's underground lair).
  • Boulder Bludgeon: Christine smacks a rock against the Phantom to force him off her after she's taken back to the underground catacombs.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Very much so, as a staple of Argento's films.
  • Dirty Old Man: One of the managers of the opera house, who eyes the child ballerinas and tries to tempt one to no avail with chocolates. He gets his comeuppance, courtesy of the Phantom.
  • Fainting: Christine does this at least twice - once during an opera rehearsal and again when the Phantom swoops onto the stage and kidnaps her.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: The Phantom causes this with unpleasant results.
  • Fanservice: Loads of it, which is a given in a Dario Argento film.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Happens to the stagehand after he gets caught by the Phantom.
  • In the Back: A knife stab to the back finishes off the Phantom.
  • Instant Death Stab: After taking six shots and one stab, a final knife strike from behind is what ultimately kills the Phantom.
  • Made of Iron: The Phantom takes six shots and two stabs before he finally goes down.
  • Multiple Gunshot Death: The Phantom takes about six gunshots, among other injuries.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: The Phantom sure loves to get up close and personal with Christine - and anyone who crosses his path.
  • The Nose Knows: The Phantom has a sense of smell that helps find Christine...somehow.
  • Parental Abandonment: The Phantom was abandoned by his mother into the sewers. We never learn the reason why.
  • Pet the Dog: After killing a perverted manager chasing a child ballerina, the Phantom soothes the frightened girl, and tells her to go home, letting her leave unharmed.
  • The Prima Donna: Carlotta
  • Public Bathhouse Scene: There is one moment of this in the movie, steaming water and all.
  • Raised by Wolves: Or more accurately, raised by rats in the Phantom's case.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: Averted. After the Phantom starts forcing himself on Christine, the rat catcher twice peeks in through a hole to see the Phantom having his way with her.
  • Say My Name: "CHRISTINE!"
  • Screaming Woman: Christine slips into this while being taken out of the cavern by Raoul on a rowboat.
  • Servile Snarker: Christine's maid, hands down.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The Phantom stalks Christine, be it physically or telepathically.
  • Telepathy: The Phantom is able to do this with Christine...somehow.
  • Too Dumb to Live: One would think that with the stories about a Phantom, nobody would want to go down there. But no...
    • The stagehand and the laundry girl enter the underground lair to search for treasure and get killed for their troubles.
    • The perverted manager chases a little ballerina (who is rightly scared of him) below the opera house, and he gets what's coming to him.
  • Tongue Trauma: The laundry woman loses her tongue because of the Phantom biting them off.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The Phantom tells the little girl, who fled into the underground tunnels due to the perverted manager, to go home and lets her leave unharmed.