Three individuals have, somehow, found their way to a carnival, set in hell, and run by the devil. The trio is made up of a kleptomaniac, an obsessed father, and a gullible teenager, all of whom are doomed to repeat the very sins that delivered them to the carnival's doorsteps. Written by
Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich have stated that this is only Episode One in the series, and are hoping to add more installments. Zdunich has already penned Episodes Two and Three. See more »
21:34 The entire camera reflected in the mirror. See more »
What is this place? Who are you?
My dear, petty man. I've been called many things: the chaos in the story, the anarchy in your thoughts, but for you, John, I am the excuse you give when you cannot follow the rules.
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There's a scene during the end credits. See more »
Decently entertaining, but too rushed and simplistic for it's own good, "The Devil's Carnival" is fun, but flawed...
From Terrance Zdunich, creator of "Repo: The Genetic Opera", and Darren Lynn Bousman, director of the film adaptation of "Repo", as well as "Saw" II-IV comes the short film anthology "The Devil's Carnival", an insane, musical horror/comedy centering on three people who have died and ended up in Hell, where the must contend with various obstacles.
This is an entertaining, yet highly flawed film.
We follow John (Sean Patrick Flannery), a grieving father who committed suicide, Tamara (Jessica Lowndes) who trusts people too easily and was killed by her boyfriend, and petty thief Ms. Merrywood (Briana Evigan) whom was gunned-down presumably by police. All three awaken near the "Devil's Carnival", a twisted sideshow in Hell run by and populated by various demons, harpies and oddball characters, and of course headed by Lucifer himself. (Zdunich)
Meanwhile, Lucifer reads to a young child from Aesope's Fables, narrating stories that mirror the struggles of the three main characters as they are forced into dark, deadly tests.
The film is fairly simplistic and has a decent structure, and is populated by a handful of well-done musical numbers. (It is a bit of a Rock Opera, to be honest, similar to Repo) The musical numbers may not be too memorable, but they're an absolute blast, and are very well- written and performed.
Characters are developed just enough for it's short 50-or-so-minute run- time. Although the only character you will really care about is John, as he's far more sympathetic than Merrywood or Tamara.
The supporting cast (including Bill Mosely, Alexa Vega, Emilie Autumn and others as the cast members of the Carnival) are a lot of fun, but aren't really developed.
And the camera-work, though decent for a short film, is a bit too chaotic at times. During the titular musical number "The Devil's Carnival", the camera seems to randomly glide around rather than follow any sort of direction, which kind of distracted from it.
I also take issue with the pacing of the story. Well it is well- structured, the film bogs itself down too much in the first 10-or-so minutes, making the rest of the film feel needlessly rushed.
But for what it is, it's worth seeing. The music is good, the characters are memorable despite uneven development, and it's a fine little short film.
I give "The Devil's Carnival" a slightly-above-average 6 out of 10. Fans of Zdunich, Bousman or horror in general should check it out.
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