Starring Kendra Carelli, Caroline Williams, Debbie Rochon
Directed by Brett Mullen
Distributed by High Octane Studios
Directed along the lines of the great Giallo horror that sprayed its glorious crimson across the screen back in the 70’s, Brett Mullen’s Bloody Ballet is one of those performances that has the crowd teeming with anticipation, only to have a stage malfunction curtail the show after intermission, leaving a paying crowd deflated and defeated. Let’s hitch up our tutus and plie on over to the review slab for this one.
Formerly titled Fantasma, the film follows a young woman named Adriana (Carelli), whose childhood was marred by a horrific crime that took her parents from her (in a rather gruesome fashion), and she has been under the care of a psychiatrist (the legendary Ms. Rochon) ever since. The one outlet that helps her deal with the grief has been her work on the ballet stage, and she’s just snagged the lead role in her company’s production of “The Nutcracker.” thanks to the support of her teacher (another legend in the genre: Caroline Williams). As her practice time begins to weave rather clunkily around some hallucinogenic episodes that require the use of some psychotropic aides. If the terrifying illusions that Adriana sees before her every now and then aren’t enough to muck up the works, there just happens to be a masked killer cutting and slicing its way through her acquaintances – talk about removing all traces of your competition!
The movie itself is quite beautiful to not only look at, but to listen to as well – the visuals have colors that explode off of the screen in some dreamlike sequences, and the soundtrack is synthesized and reminds me of the Italian beauty that was their brand of horror back in the day. Aside from Carelli’s performance, which is exceptional as a troubled woman trying to bounce back and level off her traumatic upbringing, the remainder looked to be lost and delivering their lines with a subtle staleness that didn’t jive with the flow of the story itself. Also, the pacing runs a bit hot and cold, but Mullen’s direction uses those lag-like moments to allow the audience to soak in the atmosphere, and it really is something to enjoy with your eyes. Overall, I could recommend Bloody Ballet to those wanting some decent horror mixed nicely with operatic and thematic elements – hell, this should appeal to a wide scope of enthusiast outside of the fright-game as well – give it a look if you have the time.