We love a musical horror, the likes of Stage Fright and Repo! A Genetic Opera have given us much joy. So The Devil’s Carnival is on to a winner straight away, being a musical horror movie. That it was also directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, stars the likes Sean Patrick Flanery, Briana Evigan, Jessica Lowndes, Paul Sorvino, Emilie Autumn and draws from Aesop’s Fables is the icing on the cake.
It sounds wonderful… but is it?
Three unrelated characters wake up to find themselves outside a carnival. Along with a ticket in an envelope allowing them to gain entry. Naturally each is confused about how or why they are here and the denizens of the carnival aren’t exactly forthcoming with answers. Instead, they want to put a show on for their guests. One filled with singing, dancing, horror and the truth. What is that truth?
They’re in Hell having died in life and are about to relive the sins that brought them here. Their stories are connected to three specific Aesop’s Fables and its only bloody Satan himself reading the tales. We have ‘The Dog and Her Reflection’, ‘The Scorpion and The Frog’ and ‘The Devil and His Due’. All told through song and dance in a uniquely horrific way.
The Devil’s Carnival is a lot of fun. The story is weighted down by tales of murder, suicide and greed but dressed up in flashy and stage-like visuals. This is a show, not just for the three lost souls but those watching along too. It’s hard not to be laughing and smiling along with glee at certain points.
Especially as several of the songs are very memorable and all of them are unique sounding. You might find yourself singing along to one or two long afterwards. It has an anthology feel without actually being one. The stories, while separate connect through the location and carnival performers. It results in quite a captivating watch where even if songs in horror aren’t your jam, you can at least be invested in the plight of three recent additions to Hell.
The Devil's Carnival
The Final Score - 7/10