The Devil’s Carnival review

Come one, come all! Who will be the next to enter The Devil’s Carnival? The film may be short but damn is it impressive. The Devil’s Carnival may have a title worthy of a good scare but it’s far from terrifying. Released in late 2012, it’s a good 58 minutes of dark, gothic, twisted carnival fun.

The movie centers around three lost souls who find themselves in Hell and must enter The Devil’s Carnival to face the sins they’ve committed through a series of tests led by ghoulish carnies- think Saw meets Killer Klowns from Outer Space with as little Rob Zombie films mixed in- Saw but without the gore.

Similar to Repo! The Genetic Opera, The Devil’s Carnival will appeal both to musical fans as well as rock and metal fans and even features roles from M. Shawn Crahan of Slipknot and Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch- who gives an incredible performance of a singing clown bum and sings a slow, haunting carnival song you wouldn’t expect to hear him sing.

We see the three lost souls entering each test as a story told by The Devil, who’s reading the stories of the tests out of an Aesop’s Fables book- a story of greed, a story of trusting the wrong person and a story of grieving.

The first lost soul- a young woman- wakes up in Hell and finds a sign that reads “take what you need,” below it is a pile of jewels and beautiful gold necklaces. She decides she needs it all and takes it. She’s led to a test- a carnival game- where she must successfully toss gold coins into a jar held by a carny.

She’s unsuccessful and her greed is her downfall as she’s stripped down by the Ivan Moody-played carny, held limb-by-limb by female carnies and whipped and lashed by Crahan’s carny character- “The Tamer,” and killed.

The Tamer is treated as a security guard character, which punishes lost souls who break any of the 666 rules of The Devils Carnival.

The second lost soul- another woman- comes across a young man in a cage who asks her to let him out. She does and he leads her through the Carnival, singing to her and dazzling her with his good looks. Throughout the movie he’s courting her and eventually, gets down on one knee and gives her a jewel. He asks if she trusts him and she says she does.

Again, this is her downfall as this doesn’t go her way either.

The third lost soul, a man who’s lost his son, is led through the Carnival and comes to the room The Devil is in. His test comes straight from The Dark Lord himself.

What happens with this lost soul? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

Overall, The Devil’s Carnival is an impressive, dark musical film that lives up to any expectations you might have for it. The film saw a limited theatrical release so the vast majority of the population may not know of the film, but those who do, either saw it in the theater or bought it upon its DVD release.

The acting is stellar, the singing is second-to-none and the storyline is original. It’s gonna be hard to find something like this that’s already been done. Look for The Devil’s Carnival: Episode 2 to be released sometime in the near future.

Rating: 9/10

-Reggie Edwards