Bloody Ballet
Image courtesy of Red Nebula LLC/ High Octane Pictures

What the Hell Did I Just Watch: ‘Bloody Ballet’ (2018) Movie Review

Ballet is a beautiful yet difficult art form, and can sometimes be haunting just on its own without being added into a horror movie. However, when this classical dance and horror come together, it can create a dark and ghostly creation that leaves audiences feeling eerie, haunted and unsettled. You might think that Brett Mullen’s film, Bloody Ballet, would combine the ethereal nature of ballet with the darkness of a horror movie. However, Bloody Ballet kicked that idea in the face with a wooden-toed point shoe and told it to go f*ck itself.

Bloody Ballet
Still from ‘Bloody Ballet’

Bloody Ballet (AKA Fantasma) was co-written by Producer Matt Cloude (Beneath the Old Dark House 2019) and Director Brett Mullen (Belladonna 2018). It stars Scream Queens Debbie Rochon as Dr. Carlina Cassinelli and Caroline Williams as Ms. Valli, as well as Kendra Carelli (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Adriana, Katie Carpenter (The Haunting of Hill House TV series) as Berna, Jae Hitch (Scrubs: Interns TV series) as Elena and Brett Wagner (Sons of Anarchy TV series) as Warren. The story follows ballerina Adriana, whose parents were murdered when she was young. Now an adult, she fights with nightmares that have increased since landing the lead in The Nutcracker. She sees the WORST psychiatrist in the world who has her on a trial of new medications to help with the attacks. When ballerinas in the dance company start dying, Adriana must figure out what is happening before she is overtaken by the demons of her past.

Bloody Ballet
Image courtesy of Red Nebula LLC/ High Octane Pictures

This movie is f*cking nuts. It is both gorgeous and just a terminally flawed movie at the exact same time. It is so obvious that this art house feature grew up wishing that it was a giallo film. The lighting is stunning and wildly unrealistic. No one has a different colored bulb in every single room of their house, and those who do are literally clowns as their full-time careers (circus is life!). The opening scene is truly mind blowing. Most shots in this film are beautiful and artistic… unfortunately, that’s about ALL this movie has going for it. Visually, it is a piece of art, but in story and dialogue, I felt like I was watching a project film from a junior year creative writing course.

I know that sounds harsh, but this story is impossible to follow. The A story is difficult enough, but then there is this random B story that makes zero sense. It isn’t explained and only exists for a cheap twist at the end that made me feel zero catharsis or anything besides “What the hell did I just watch?!?”

I think we’re supposed to like the character of Adriana, but she isn’t likeable… at all. Sometimes, she seems like an innocent ballerina, but others, he acts like a bitch to the other dancers for no perceptible reason. The therapist should have her license revoked immediately. The only character I actually liked was Berna. When the ballerinas began getting picked off, I didn’t even care. There is no elaboration of character for any of the dancers, and too much time is spent on the BS side story that never ended up making any meaningful contribution to the story. Add in some acid trip hallucinations, and this whole movie was just a bad trip.

I would say to turn the sound down to watch this film, but then you’d miss the absolutely BITCHIN’ soundtrack. This ’80s wet dream of a score filled me with more joy than Christmas morning. The music was by Matt Hill and Nightstop, and I need it to be the soundtrack of my life. There is an anger-dance montage to it, which I live for.

So, look at the pretty lights, listen to the awesome music, zone out whenever anyone talks, and you’ll appreciate this movie a hell of a lot more. Bloody Ballet is now available on VOD and digital and please, for those who live in legal states, don’t watch this movie high. I know what experiencing it feels like when sober, and I’m afraid to think what it would be like under any influence.

About Dev Crowley

D.D. Crowley has been writing since she could scrawl misspelled words on paper to make a story. Thankfully her writing has improved. An avid horror, paranormal, sci-fi and video game lover, she gets to write about all her favorite nerdy fandoms. Some of her favorites are found footage movies, the original 'Halloween' and 'Resident Evil' (the games not the movies, don't ever ask her about the movies... you have been warned).

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