Director: Harvey Lowry
Writer: Chris Gilmore, Anthony J Sands (Screenplay)
Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Snoop Dogg, Danielle C Ryan, Beverley Mitchell, Matthew Marsden, David Chokachi, Ted Lange, Christina DeRosa, Ellia English, Joanna De Castro, Julianna Destefano, Steve Spiro, Gayle Gaston, Michael Collins
Plot: What began as a million-dollar reality show competition between seven beautiful women turns into a battle for life itself when one contestant uses black magic to gain an edge over the competition. An ancient curse dating back to the Salem Witch Trials is unleashed and the competition becomes a Blood Pageant of death, destruction, and evil forces. Forget about who will win… who will survive?
Tagline – Meet your new Queen… and die.
Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Blood Pageant starts when seven beautiful women Crystal (Castro), Amy (Destefano), Chloe (Chen), Mocha (Cortez), Lucie (Savostikova), Peyton (Day) and Isabella (Adams) enter the latest edition of American Dream, hosted by Barry (Chokachi) a scripted reality show.
With Barry always looking to create extra drama in the show, Amy has her own plans for winning the competition, looking to make sure the other contestants are going to get in her way for victory, as a set of paranormal events start happening around the set.
Thoughts on Blood Pageant
Characters & Performances – Crystal is the religious school teacher that is willing to risk a chance to win the competition, as well as wanting to hold onto her beliefs, she doesn’t like lying and isn’t willing to fold in the same way the other women in the competition will. She is one of the few people that will have the strength to fight back against the evil in the house. JoAnna De Castro is solid enough in her role, she makes her character feel different to the rest of the women in the home. Amy is the contestant that has been working with the s life coach to make sure she wins, while trying to fighting the typical figures in these competitions. Julianna Destefano also makes her character standout from the rest of the crowd, which will give the pair an edge of over the rest of the cast. The other women in the competition are largely forgettable, with just being what we have seen before and what you would expect in the beauty competition. When it comes to the people behind the scenes, we get the loud mouth director, the presenter who thinks he is the most important part of the show, all of them becoming the over top figures you could see in the world. We do get appearances from big names who are mostly here more for cameo like performances for important sequences in the film.
Story – The story here follows a new series of America Dream a reality show where seven contestants battle it out in a scripted reality show to see who will win one million dollar prize, only for an evil presence to make itself known on set, targeting anyone that gets in its way. This is a story that will look to poke a bit of fun at the scripted reality show world, by adding the supernatural feel to it, in a similar way that Dead Set did years ago. The story gives us the characters you would expect and would expect to be picked off in horror films, with one of the biggest weakness in this film being the runtime, this is a slasher like horror movie that could easily have been an hour and half and still got the same message over. The battle between good and evil works well enough, with the sleezy figures getting what is coming to them, we could have had more focus on the horror side of the story, with most of the final act being rushed to fill in the gaps rather than slowly letting everything that has happened unfold, as well as the missing contestants never getting the true attention required for what was at stake.
Themes – Blood Pageant is a horror film that likes to poke fun at scripted reality shows, which will hold back the scares, despite there being an interesting idea behind what is causing the supernatural events on the set to happen. The singular big house location for the show does help, but doesn’t answer the questions about why contestants would just vanish, with the effects showing the low budget behind everything we see.
Final Thoughts – Blood Pageant is an easy watch horror that doesn’t hit any of the scares it wants to, focusing more on poking fun at the reality tv world.