Bloody Ballet (2015) Review by Steve Wells
Bloody Ballet (2015) Review
This movie (called Phantasma for a few frames before the new title appears onscreen) starts with an opening shot of a young girl picked up by police with brief flash-frame shots of murder victims.
A young lady, Adriana (played by Kendra Carelli from TV series Made To Order), wakes up screaming, from another in a series of nightmares, and later discusses them with her psychiatrist (Debbie Rochon), saying they feel so real. She mentions she’s got the lead in the ballet The Nutcracker, pipping the usual star in the shows. Under hypnosis she is told to go out and do things that give her joy, and to focus on that feeling. After being offered help she agrees to take trial experimental drugs to help her cope with stress.
Cut to the Old Henrico Insane Asylum, Richmond Virginia, where journalist McCabe (Rob Springer) is on site researching an article he’s writing. He’s warned he can’t be around during tour times. In 1892 everyone died in the building. He is advised by the manager not to talk to the children, as no one knows they’re dead and the kids may follow him home.
Lunching with one of her friends Adriana looks down and she sees the spaghetti she’s eating as worms, and rushes to the loo in hysterics again. Back in the asylum the journalist, alone, decides to apply eye shadow and lipstick. Cut to two other girls from the ballet school at the end of a night out. One gets a taxi home and after a pointless dance in her undies (watched by a shadow through the window blinds), she is attacked, and murdered by having her throat slashed.
The investigator in the asylum meanwhile searches for the crying he can hear, sees someone in a cell who disappears in front of him. Then at home he keeps seeing a blonde dancer, teasing him seductively before vanishing into thin air. It looks just like Adriana, but it isn’t her.
Meanwhile another girl from the ballet school is murdered in her home by a masked slasher, Adriana’s hallucinations are getting worse, and after a hysterical rant to her tutors in school, Adriana goes home falls asleep in front a a TV showing a horror movie and dreams of herself as her younger self, wandering through a maze and stumbling upon a satanic ritual.
She wakes up in hysterics and goes to visit her doctor (again) , who gives her a book about malevolent people who have been through the same experiences, and to show her that the things she sees are not real. Or are they?
Confused? I was. 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. Some of the shots are nicely staged, but I just feel like I’ve seen this film in other and better guises, and the ‘twist’ is not as shocking as it should be. There are also a few subplots that seemed unnecessary and didn’t really go anywhere.
And if I composed the score I’d expect to be contacted by John Carpenter’s lawyer any day now.
Reviewed by Steve Wells