The Devil’s Carnival (2012)

Ok, let’s talk for a minute. We all have our favorite movie, franchise, director, we know what we like. Whether it’s old school horror like Hitchcock’s Psycho or Price’s House of Wax, or more recent pieces such as Wan’s Insidious or Peli’s Paranormal Activity, horror fans may follow a specific type of horror that speaks to them. For some of us, that may even mean musicals. (Yep, I said it.)

I came across Repo! The Genetic Opera a little late, but I’m glad that I found it. A dark, gothic horror musical that speaks right to my heart, I adored this little gem and even forgave the director, Darren Lynn Bousman, for adding Paris Hilton into the mix, due to the fact that her part was relatively small. The songs were catchy, the plot was intriguing and seriously, you cant go wrong with adding Anthony Head into the cast. Writers Terrance Zdunich and Darren Smith did an incredible job and I was left wanting more. Enter The Devil’s Carnival.

As a Netflix member, I check it regularly for new horror and stumbled onto The Devil’s Carnival. I was sold when I saw Emilie Autumn in the cast lineup. (Sidenote: Awesome singer and violinist. Check out any of her albums and you’ll be a fan too.) I didn’t read too much into the storyline and dove right in. I’m glad I did. Carnival is a musical too, and something about it triggered my memory. I started thinking about Repo! and thinking that Carnival was a bit like my favorite movie, so I kept watching. Carnival centers around three separate people, a father, a thief, and a way too trusting young woman, going through some serious personal issues and end up in Hell. There is no connection between them, but that doesn’t make the story less interesting. The father, John, is looking for his son, the thief, Merrywood, continues to want to steal and our trusting young lass latches on to the wrong man. A carnival in Hell is already interesting enough and the characters are a sight to see. Emilie Autumn is Painted Doll, Dayton Callie from Sons of Anarchy plays the Ticket-Keeper, Sean Patrick Flanery (remember Powder?) is the grieving father, even Paul Sorvino is back and playing God.

What really cinched Carnival for me was Lucifer. Our Devil is seen throughout the movie, telling Aesop’s Fables to who may or may not be John’s son. While the Devil doesn’t seem to be the crazy, I-eat-babies type that too many movies try to sell to us, he is still intriguing and a viewer wonders just what exactly he’s trying to teach. I mean, Aesop’s Fables has a lesson, a moral to every story. That’s a bit out of character for the usual Devil stereotype. And his voice… deep and rich. And he sings. That’s when it hit me. I know that voice. Sure enough, Terrance Zdunich, my old friend, how much I’ve missed you. No one has a voice like that. I am glad to see him back on the horror scene after Repo! and doing as great a job as before. This is a real treat for Repo! lovers everywhere and while there are no faces falling off or eyes being gouged out, the scenery is just as dark, the costumes just as wild, the music just as good. The scream factor is low, but you want to know how the story ends. In short, watch The Devil’s Carnival. It’s a film to be appreciated.

Scream factor: One (but don’t judge it lol)


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