Maybe it's an acquired taste. Or maybe it's the simple appreciation of a well told story of pain, abuse of power, revenge and ultimate justice. Also there's that touch of cannibalism. It's the movie version of Sweeney Todd. Here's the official site (all Flash).
It's the story of the London barber who was shanghaied and banished by a corrupt judge who lusted after the barber's wife. And the story begins as the tortured barber returns and reunites with his razors to settle the score.
The Stephen Sondheim music and lyrics are mesmerizing and sung admirably by Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Even the quintessential villain Alan Rickman gets to belt out a tune.
Maybe fans of the stage version are tempted to turn up their noses at the movie version, but not I. On stage what the audience saw is what the actors gave on that particular night. But in a movie the viewers get to see the best of several takes of both acting and singing. No late entrances. No forgotten lines. No missed notes. Add a computer generated old London, and the result is a visual and auditory feast.
The squeamish might do well to remind themselves that movie makers can create an amazingly realistic look. But the wounds are illusions, the blood is fake. And remember, modern day barbers don't use straight razors.
Two thumbs way up, but count your fingers on the way out to assure yourself that it's only a movie.