The cover of this movie seduced me into a purchase BUT I must say, whoever thought there was anything of The Purge about The Ringmaster, has obviously never seen any of those films. The Hostel comparison is fair though, this is essentially a Dutch remake of Hostel III.
The tale follows Agnes, in her last night working at her father’s gas station, alongside Belinda, the most likeable character in the pic, played by Karin Michelsen. Agnes is instantly dislikable, making sure Belinda correctly crushes the boxes for the recycling, before disappearing into the back room to work on her much more important psychotherapy work. This is a problem, when later you are supposed to empathise with her but I was just shouting “Boxes ain’t important now, huh?” and this took me out of the horror somewhat. When it was Belinda’s time to come under the sword, however, I really felt for her and this is when the chills kicked in.
The direction by Soren Juul Pertersen is excellent throughout, great camerawork and some dark and grimy scenes that will have your heart jumping. The film is perhaps not edited as well as could be, there were jumps to the ‘torture’ sections during the pre-show garage moments, so then it ruins the tension before the girls are caught.
The Ringmaster himself is perfectly chilling, serving his audience with a number of torture porn delicacies, whilst you cannot see the audience, it is interesting to see a stream of comments scrolling throughout the horror, some impressed with the terror, some disappointed. This is a social commentary on film fans disgust or delight with today’s horror and excellently played. I fall in the middle of these comments, there is nothing here to equal Hostel or A Serbian Film and most of the torture uses such simple things as staplers to make you wince.
The Ringmaster is a good commentary on social media of the day, but it also never hits the heights or depths of other films of its kind. It is currently on Amazon Prime though, so I do recommend a watch if you have no other ideas.
The Ringmaster is available on DVD and Amazon Prime now.