Bloody Ballet – formerly titled Fantasma – is a 2017 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Brett Mullen (Beneath the Old Dark House; Bombshell Bloodbath) from a screenplay co-written with producer Matt Cloude (The Curse of Krampus; Night of the Living Dead: Genesis; 2 Die For; et al). The movie stars Caroline Williams, Kendra Carelli and Debbie Rochon.
This giallo-style horror carries intrigue from the opening scenes with flashbacks of a young girl’s butchered family, rigorous ballet montage and ’80s soundtrack. Unfortunately, the ingredients for a classic-inspired slasher with a touch of Black Swan are carelessly thrown together with lack of direction, a sloppy script and an abysmally lame bad guy.
When Adriana (Kendra Carelli) lands the lead role in the upcoming Nutcracker show, she’s plagued with not-so-terrifying visions while her friends are being murdered by a masked figure. The girls’ gruesome deaths are similar to those of Adriana’s parents, for which she was left traumatised and in need of therapy.
While Carelli gives a steady performance, the supporting cast leave a lot to be desired. The most commendable aspect of Bloody Ballet has to be the gore effects, with popped eyeballs, mutilated bodies and spewing intestines amongst others. Even the notes of eroticism come across as tacky, and sporadic trippy scenes that should be used to build psychological suspense are lacking any kind of depth.
The film is rounded off by a clever twist, despite having been done before, but again this is dumbed down by Adriana’s final narration. Rather than being left in a psychological nightmare, the viewer is soothed by the very monster that they’re supposed to be reeling from.
Bloody Ballet has moments of fun, however it seems that director Brett Mullen was so focused on creating an ’80s throwback that everything else was forgotten. While the film is passable for a modernised take on classic horror, fans of Dario Argento’s Suspiria may be disappointed.
Rae Louise, HORRORPEDIA
“While there are several instances of genuine creativity in most areas of the production, none of these can quite make up for the film’s narrative shortcomings. At its best, the movie is a flawed yet entertaining dreamlike romp, but at its worst, everything feels like a derivative mess with pretentious overtones.” Luiz H.C., Bloody Disgusting
“I tried so hard to like this film, the cast are okay, the practical effects and make-up done very well, the script isn’t terrible by any means, but it is just trying to hard to be a horror film with an Argento-like artiness to it, and fails to capture that lightning in a bottle.” Steve Wells, My Bloody Reviews
Cast and characters:
- Caroline Williams … Ms. Valli
- Katie Carpenter … Berna – Haunting of Hill House
- Debbie Rochon … Dr. Carlina Cassinelli
- Kendra Carelli [as Kendra Staub]… Adriana Mena
- Brett Wagner … Warren
- Rob Springer … McCabe
- Susanne Marie Danger … Adriana’s mother
- Patrick G. Keenan … Todd
- Jae Hitch … Elaina Kimper
- David Schifter … Chet Lowrey, News Anchor
- Tom Gore … Officer Hauser
- John Migliore … Host Baron Blood
- Jess Barbour … Mia
- Shane Terry … The Killer
- Michelle Bucci … Gigi Banton
Richmond, Virginia, USA
Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
The film’s working title was The Malevolent
High Octane Pictures will release Bloody Ballet on VOD on November 13, 2018, and DVD on December 4, 2018.
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