1989's Robert Englund's "Phantom of the Opera", offers a fresh 80's slasher variation. It's not cheaply done; the movie is stylish and well-directed. Instead of Paris, this movie was set in London. The set design was great: from the underused opera house, the masquerade hall, the grimey streets and pubs of London to the phantom's candlelit sewer layer. It looks extravagant and high-budget; the visual splendour makes it a treat to watch.
Robert Englund shows us he can be much more than Freddy Krueger. His phantom wears a hat and flowing cape, and applies facial patches and makeup to get about in public. He plays a disturbed and mysterious musical composer with a killer tendency. There is enough violence shown to please gore-hounds: guttings, impalements, skinnings and beheadings are on display. They've also included a somewhat supernatural origin to the phantom.
I found it hard to believe lovely Christine (Jill Schoelen) could fall for such a creepy and disturbing character. Her beautiful prescence helps balance out the ugliness and horror of the setting. The movie could've done with more of her lovely singing. Like the phantom, Christine exists in the past and the present. It was interesting how the story took us to modern-day New York for some additional story elements.
Better than Dario Argento's Phantom, but I still love Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version the most.