THE BALL FROM HELL, A Victorian Incident

Invited to a wedding in her family of wealthy English notables, the young Evie drinks Champagne and flirts with the demon… While the viewer waits desperately to see a vampire show up on the screen.

The young Evie studied at the Beaux-Arts. Young Evie is a penniless orphan. The young Evie works extras in the catering industry and takes her hands on the ass at social events. Young Evie is part of an ethnic minority. Thus, Hollywood intends to rely on feminist and social themes that run through theelevated horror for several years now. However, if genre cinema has always been political, it seems obvious that HELL’S BALL adopts and apes a certain speech for purely mercantile reasons.

Credit: 2022 Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland GmbH

This is all the more obvious as this speech is supported in the most clumsy way possible. Indeed, our black orphan finds a distant cousin and learns through him that she comes from a family of English notables, as rich as they are powerful. white savior obliges, he invites her to join his people so that she can integrate into their family. However, Evie will spit in vain in the faces of these white bourgeois, the narration makes them so sympathetic that it is difficult to understand why. And we therefore detect a serious writing problem.

Christian Gray at the Devil’s Ball

Especially since barely arrived in the luxurious mansion where the joyful family reunion is taking place, Evie falls in love with the master of the place… A mysterious lord, subtly named “Walter Deville” – understand “Devil” (an illegal ref since Angel Heart). A romance ensues 50 Shades of Gray, without major issues and poorly lit. Because this HELL’S BALL wastes a lot of time developing its characters and sealing relationships between them, without really knowing what to do with its fantastic dimension. Too bad, because the bestiary of the vampire and his succubi had somewhat disappeared from the screens since the breaking wave Twilight.

Photo from the film THE BALL FROM HELL
Credit: 2022 Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland GmbH

HELL’S BALL effectively intends to bathe personalities of our century in a very ugly Gothic-Victorian atmosphere, where the lack of lighting seems involuntarily to hide misery. It scatters a clumsily homage to the Nosferatu of Murnau (and let me suck your finger), as well as the ghouls and vampires of the hammer, who wandered arms swinging in huge mansions of this ilk. gold is not Werner Herzog – and even Burton – who wants, and the result remains below expectations at the entrance to the room, if indeed we could have had a minimum…

random final girl

HELL’S BALL could have been of real interest if it had actually succeeded in dusting off the universes to which it refers. In its finale, the film thinks it has succeeded. However, it is not enough to cut the hair of your heroine and put on her leather boots to make her a modern female figure. For the first 89 minutes, Evie is portrayed and acts like a typical victim of a traditional horror film. So much so that it becomes hard to believe in his sudden turnaround in the last quarter of an hour.

Photo from the film THE BALL FROM HELL
Credit: 2022 Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland GmbH

Last quarter of an hour, punctuated moreover by digital effects as ugly as they are in bad taste, which add to the pathetic and involuntary comedy of the crescendo final. Because HELL’S BALL is definitely a mess. The film never finds a balance between modernity and classicism and even gets lost in the worst contemporary cinema has produced. It offers a final girl more than ordinary, in line with those of mediocre horror films of this century. All the more disappointing as the intentions were good… They certainly just lacked a bit of talent.

Lily Nelson

Original title : The Invitation
Achievement : Jessica M. Thompson
Script : Blair Butler
Main actors : Nathalie Emmanuel, Thomas Doherty, Alana Boden
Release date : August 24, 2022
Duration : 1h46min

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THE BALL FROM HELL, A Victorian Incident – Review