The Devil’s Carnival Review

Now I don’t know if you’ve heard about The Devil’s Carnival. A delightful trip into the festival of hell, that is created by the same people from Repo, the Genetic Opera? Not ringing any bells? Then get thee to a Netflix account!

The set design for this movie is ridiculously perfect. From the grimy feel of the bathroom in the opening scenes, to the carnival in its entirety. So many details, so many places that have yet to be revealed. I love it so much it hurts. You’re in it, not just watching something play out on a screen. I love the angles when they do the performances in the tent, from the audience’s perspective and then from the person singing in the ring. You are invited in to be a part of the madness, even it’s not all fun and games. Oh my god and can we talk about the make up and costumes for a minute please? The texture in each character’s face is spot the muffin on. I needed to pause some parts because it’s like “did they really…oh my god they did.” The stains on the clothes, or lack of in some cases, just contributed to the feeling of the carnival. It’s been around awhile dear, but it’s still kicking like hell. 

The story is a mix of Aesop’s Fables, traditional sense of a carnival (games, clowns, performances), and being given a second chance. There being an opportunity of redemption sort of leads me to believe that both Heaven and Hell in this world have their fair aspects of purgatory. It gets dark, man. This toying with people and the faults that led them to be there, and then punishing them for repeating their past sins. There’s even ample warning of the consequences through out every song. But I suppose they can’t help but fall. Of the stories, John’s is the most tragic and the Devil himself steps into the show to collect grief’s due. 

Oh the music for this show is a work of art. There’s a mix of nursery rhyme and cacophony of mischief, and the word choice is so carefully constructed. It’s a feature unto itself. To maintain that energy, embedded with the performer’s personality, it’s a match made in heaven….err…hell. I struggle to describe it because it’s not like any musical out there, but I do listen it to it often. I get this encouragement me to step out of the comfort zone of familiar and expected, to explore that trouble maker side. 

Emilie Autumn does a damn good job of not playing another version of herself. I know, harsh to say, but I think a lot of people were kind of curious to see how she would play the Painted Doll. She captured it fully. She’s not the one dimensional pretty, superficial parody of “Harley Quinn” -esque character it could’ve been. She’s got her own stake in this, surely. I think all the characters do. The underlying mischievousness to the suggestions of her character knowing a little bit more about the Carnival than meets the eye, I like her.

Speaking of characters, they are fleshed out well even if you see them only briefly. Their characters speak volumes in a few moments, conveying so much, you have to stick around to see what happens. You won’t find one completely being erased for the sake of other characters, (that tension when main acts are called, they could’ve just been silent, they could’ve cut the scene short but they didn’t).  The control of energy from the chaotic wildness in “Kiss the Girls” to the wise but sort of fed up with the bullshit attitude of the Ticket Collector in “666” is on point. The individual personalities aren’t being sacrificed for the sake of the carnival, they are the Carnival. 

The verdict: I give it 4 out of 5 Bats. I’m eagerly anticipating Episode 2 to see how Heaven compares with Hell, but from this teaser, I think we’re in for a much darker ride. 

For more glorious hints at what’s to come follow The Devil’s Carnival on Facebook, and Darren Lynn Bousman’s Instagram that was just made to just torture you further. 

For more gothy business and everything inclined follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube and don’t forget to Join the Exploration Party. 

Until next time, 


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