The Devil’s Carnival (2012) Lose Your Soul, Learn A Lesson

The Devil’s Carnival is one of those films that you stumble upon. It is that old book in the attic you notice after living in the house for 10 years. I myself found it by scrolling through Netflix and it caught my eye. After reading the description, I felt compelled to give it a shot and there are no words, in any language, that could describe how grateful I am that I did. The Devil’s Carnival excels in many areas, including the musical numbers, the storyline, and the original look at the inner workings of Hell itself.

I am not a giant fan of musicals. The Gay Community will probably be lighting their torches and grabbing their pitchforks after reading that sentence, but it’s true. I enjoy them to an extent but they are not my cup of tea on a usual day. That being said, The Devil’s Carnival, to me, is not just a horror musical. It is a fantastic story that possesses musical numbers that catapult the story forward. One in particular titled “The Scorpion’s Tail” not only explained the character’s sin but explored the dangers of love in an exquisitely delicious fashion. I have a friend who hates musicals and I have been trying to get her to watch this for at least three years now. Finally, she agreed to give it an un-biased watch. She will thank me later.

The Devil’s Carnival tells an amazing tale – well, three amazing tales – to its audience. We watch as three different characters atone for their different sins. Ms. Merrywood, played by Briana Evigan (Sorority Row), is a woman consumed with greed. In her living days she was a thief, so in Hell she must prove that she can resist temptation. Tamara, played by Jessica Lowndes (After Dark’s Autopsy), is a hopeless romantic. Her death was caused by loving the wrong man and not walking away soon enough. Will she learn her lesson? John, played by Sean Patrick Flanery (Saw: The Final Chapter), has suffered the tragic loss of his son and has committed suicide as a result of that. Can he redeem himself or will he be a lost soul forever? The Devil’s Carnival is where this will all take place and they will all be playing for their souls.

One of the more interesting points of The Devil’s Carnival is the unique interpretation of Hell. While it is definitely frightening, Darren Lynn Bousman paints a much more merciful picture for the home of the damned. While highly unlikely, it is possible to redeem yourself and gain access to Heaven. However, there’s a reason the old adage, “You can’t teach a dog new tricks,”  is so frequently said. What we are programmed to do is what we have a high probability to repeat. The way this film observes and conveys human nature is intelligent and quite insightful.

Another aspect that I love about The Devil’s Carnival is how it excels at is relatability. Each character has different personality traits that we can all empathize with. We have all had a relationship that we knew we should have left sooner but didn’t. While it is one of the seven deadly sins, greed can easily sink its claws into us at a moment’s notice. Finally, who hasn’t lost someone they care about and felt the inconsolable pain it can bring? That is how this movie ropes you in. The Devil’s Carnival forces its viewers to relate with its characters instead of judging them. It also compels you to look at your own choices and see if they are the right ones.

The Devil’s Carnival is a treat for any movie lover. You don’t have to be a musical fan to enjoy this. Truthfully, you don’t even have to be a horror fan. This is a movie for anyone that is fascinated by human nature and redemption. It is currently available to watch VOD and Blu-ray through What are you waiting for? Get your ticket to a carnival that is literally one Hell of a ride. If you enjoyed it as much as I did, make sure to check out the sequel Alleluia: The Devil’s Carnival. I’m sure that you will love it. In fact, I would bet my soul on it.

About Preston Holt

At 5 years old i was catapulted in to the horror genre and have had no desire to ever leave it. I'm 26 years old with a great sense of humor and a thirst for the horror industry that just will never be quenched. I have a horror review site of my own called cabinintheweb reviews and when I'm not writing about, or watching, horror films, I am spending time with my spouse and my animals.

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