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Review: ‘The Devil’s Carnival’ is Well Paced in a Way That Left Me Wanting More

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Review: 'The Devil's Carnival' is Well Paced in a Way That Left Me Wanting More

Four years after Repo! The Genetic Opera the director Darren Lynn Bousman teamed up again with Terrance Zdunich for another fun and dark musical. The Devil’s Carnival follows three condemned souls trapped in a colourful circus run by Satan (Zdunich). Many of the cast members from Repo! return for this movie. Alexa Vega, Bill Moseley and Nivek Ogre feature as demonic carnies, whilst Paul Sorvino plays God.

On a technical level this is Darren Lynn Bousman’s best film. The visuals are gorgeous with striking lighting choices and elaborate art design. Sean Patrick Flanery, Briana Evigan and Jessica Lowndes do a great job as the three lost leads. The Devil uses them to depict different Aesop’s Fables, which gives the film an episodic anthology quality.

The Devil’s Carnival 2012

The musical numbers are less memorable than Repo! but are still likely to get stuck in your head. There is a hypnotic atmosphere that compels the viewers to keep watching. Running just under an hour, The Devil’s Carnival is well paced in a way that left me wanting more. Luckily I got it. In 2015 a feature length sequel called Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival was released.

This time the main focus is on what goes on in Heaven, giving Sorvino a much more expanded role. Heaven is depicted as a swinging 1920’s authoritarian state with a glitter covered David Hasselhoff. We are introduced to ambitious new characters who hope to be promoted as God’s servants. Meanwhile Satan is planning a war below. Alleluia! has a more complex plot which serves as both a sequel and prequel. The ending promises us more to come but sadly a third film was never produced. This leaves the narrative feeling incomplete. Despite this both instalments of The Devil’s Carnival are worth watching on their own merits. They are ideal for fans of Repo! who want to see better production values and an even more enchanting fantasy world.

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