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  Belittling Horror Excessively: The Devil's Carnival 06:36 PM -- Wed October 23, 2013  


Synopsis: Three people in different circumstances don't actually seem to die as far as I can tell (though all three are probably just about to), yet nonetheless are sent down below, to that place we know bad people go when they die... The Devil's Carnival! So sit right back and you'll hear three tales, three of Aesop's Fables actually, as each of the bad people is taken through a torment related to their sins, and to maximize the torment, the whole thing is done in song! A musical ensues.

Scariness Type: You couldn't get much less scary than this, it only counts as a "horror musical" because the devil is in it, which isn't really fair since he's also in Santa Claus Vs. The Devil, and nobody called that horror (well, some reviewers did, but it was a great MST3K episode).

Rating: 1.5/5 Songs.

Body Count: Although they don't actually seem to die, it's fair to assume the 3 main characters are technically dead. Then one, or possibly two, of them end up dying again inside the carnival.

Fun Fact: It's a musical! What could be more fun than that? By the makers of Repo! The Genetic Opera, which I haven't seen either, but since it contains Giles, it must be better.

Best Moment: The best song by far is the last one, sung by the devil himself. It's catchy.

Worst Moment: The ending is actually truly 100% incomprehensible (to me anyway). There's some concept where one of the 3 souls ... repents? Decides to give in to grief? I have no idea. But because he makes whatever choice he makes, the devil sends him off to Heaven, which is already not making sense to me, but then this somehow leads the devil to decide he's now going to overthrow Heaven by changing all the rules, and it makes even less sense.

A Suspension Bridge Too Far: Well, this is a musical, set in a carnival run by the devil, and the characters all sing what they feel. It's not exactly buried in verisimilitude.

Horror Tropes: It's a pretty classic horror concept to hoist people on their own petards, with ironic torture. And I guess the devil is a pretty common character. And hey, what horror movie doesn't contain a series of dance numbers based on ancient morality plays?

My Take: I figured what could go wrong with a horror musical? Well, two things really - the horror, and the music. I don't mind there being no horror, but this music was awful. One thing I have a really hard time with in stage musicals is when ten people are singing at once, and it's just noise. I can't hear the words, I have no idea what's going on, and I can't even enjoy the music because it's just this screeching din over it. Same thing happens here. There are a few songs where one person is singing, and that's fine (but not very good music), but the rest of the time you have all these people shouting something together and I just can't understand a word of it. I do like musicals (if they are made by Joss Whedon), but this one is not any good at all. And the plot is a complete mess, at least to the degree that I could understand it (none). Just a big disappointment all around.

Missed Opportunity: I missed the fact that you can't turn on subtitles on the PS3 version of Netflix like you can on PC. It may have helped a lot.

The Lesson: Enunciate, people! Use your words!

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