Director: Soren Juul Petersen
Writer: Carsten Juul Bladt, Soren Juul Petersen (Screenplay) Steen Landstrup (Novel)
Starring: Anne Bergfeld, Karin Michelsen, Damon Younger, Kristoffer Fabricius, Mads Koudal, Kim Sonderholm
Plot: During the night of the biggest sports final of the year, two girls working in a gas station experience strange incidents. Is it just staged pranks or is it something of a more aggressive intent?
Tagline – Entertainment knows no boundaries
Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Ringmaster starts as we follow Agnes Berger (Bergfeld) and Belinda Andersen (Michelsen) as they are working a night shift at a gas station, they don’t get many customers and the ones they do get seem strange until they find themselves dealing with a couple of creepy men.
The women find themselves captured and placed into a twisted game run by The Ringmaster (Younger) where he will torture them for his audiences pleasure, they need to figure out how to escape before he gets to finish them off.
Thoughts on The Ringmaster
Characters – Agnes is looking to better herself with her education, using the time in the quiet shop to study, she does deal with the more difficult customers, and have to go through the more brutal parts of the torturous games. Belinda is the worker that is dealing with personal problems and her boyfriend that wants to use her, she is forced into being part of the game against her will. The Ringmaster gets the pleasure from torturing the victims, he listens to his audience and what they want and decides to make each action as twisted as he would like it to be.
Performances – Anne Bergfeld and Karin Michelsen are both strong in the leading role, doing better with the pre-horror side of the film, over the torture moments. Damon Younger brings the charisma through the film which is key for the torture scenes, otherwise they would be very hollow.
Story – The story here follows two gas station shop workers that get weird experiences through the night before finding themselves part of a twisted torture game run by the ringmaster who listens to his audience on what to do to his victims. This story does have time jumps which are more annoying than anything, with each visitor to the gas station, we see the slow emerging from the trapped contain before the game, this seems to be designed to keep us guessing as to who is involved in capturing them. When the games start, it isn’t anything overly fresh with what we are put through, but does make us feel like we are watching a performance.
Horror – The horror in the film is all about the torture and what the ringmaster is willing to do to his victims, while one victim does go through seems more extreme than what they make the two women go through.
Settings – The film uses the two main settings, first the gas station, which feels remote and isolated, making the victims seem like easier targets, with the second location being the performance stage, where the sick games occur.
Scene of the Movie – The escape.
Final Thoughts – The Ringmaster is a torture fans entry movie, holding back on the brutality it could give us, never hitting the heights of a Hostel, but being twisted enough to show us how to get into the sub-genre.
The Ringmaster will be available on DVD & Digital Download from 30th November & In UK Cinemas from 2nd December