When a ballerina dancer named Adriana lands the lead role in the upcoming performance of The Nutcracker, she is excited for the role of a lifetime. When the stress of the pending performance begins to weigh on her, Adriana begins to have vivid nightmares while jealousy and tension among the dancers provoke supernatural elements. As a result the ballerinas begin to die one by one.
The film starts off showcasing a grisly murder scene on a cold winter night and cuts to Adriana (Kendra Carelli) experiencing one of her nightmares. Right away Bloody Ballet shows us there's a lot of ground to be covered and promises a nightmarish and stylish journey is coming. With undeniable influence from Suspiria, Bloody Ballet in several scenes drapes itself in reds, yellows and blues creating a dreamlike atmosphere that effectively blurs the worlds of nightmares and the supernatural with reality. The confusion of reality is taken even further by the wonderful art deco theater setting with the large and empty play house implying all life's a stage, even when no one is watching.
Along with the dreamlike atmosphere of the film are several bloody deaths and stark, often creepy imagery. A dead girl covered in a gripping black, gooey substance rising out of a bathtub is a chilling sight. A young Adriana venturing through a cave-like tunnel to find demonic figures seemingly expecting her adds a dangerous quality to the story. These scenes and more combined with the bloody deaths at the hands of a mysterious masked killer raise the stakes as the film progresses and Adriana's condition worsens. Bloody Ballet moves at a fast pace creating a sense that time is rapidly running out for Adriana and the rest of the ballerina dancers.
Adding to the strong filmmaking and script of Bloody Ballet are the great performances from the cast, especially from lead actress Kendra Carelli. Carelli never clumsily goes over the top and handles Adriana's mental decent with careful, fearful attention while displaying genuine panic when gripped by her nightmares and visions. Horror staples Caroline Williams as Ms. Valli, the ballet instructor and Debbie Rochon as Adriana's doctor, Dr. Cassinelli, are great supporting players in Adriana's journey and give excellent performances.
Bloody Ballet is one of those movies you would have found lining the lower shelves of the horror section at the video store, those hidden gems you'd rent again and again. The death scenes are blood soaked with grisly practical effects that show every detail of the kill. One scene in particular that takes place in a bathroom is one of the most inventive transformation/plot twist scenes I've ever seen. And the fantastic performance from Kendra Carelli pulls everything together and made Bloody Ballet one of the best slasher films I've seen in a long time.