Support Us!
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!



Friday, April 26, 2024

‘Cinderella’s Revenge’ Review – Horror Adaptation Returns the Fairy Tale to Its Gruesome Roots

Fairy tales, in their undiluted forms, need no help when it comes to being creepy and horrifying. However, the Disneyfication of these classic stories makes it rather easy to forget their morbid beginnings. In the case of Cinderella, most modern adaptations of this quintessential rags-to-riches tale rarely bring up the violent aspects. All of that has been long removed in favor of safer elements, such as fairy godmothers and anthropomorphic mice. Yet, when reimagining the flaxen servant-turned-princess as someone who seeks “bloody vengeance,” Tom Jolliffe looked to the past; the Cinderella’s Revenge screenwriter found inspiration in the character’s gruesome roots.

The Brothers Grimm did not come up with Cinderella (or Aschenputtel) all on their own, but their familiar variation provides part of the source material for Cinderella’s Revenge. Charles Perrault is also credited, seeing as his French version (Cendrillon) was the first to feature the fairy godmother, the pumpkin carriage and the slippers. Directed by Andy Edwards, this film is the merging of two worlds; it carries over the violence from the Grimm retelling, all while sprinkling in those now obligatory ingredients introduced by Perrault and immortalized by Disney. Of course, a few adjustments make this new take more fitting for the horror genre. In the opening, masked killers murder Cinderella’s father at the stepmother’s command, forcing the protagonist into years of hardship which, eventually, fuel her murderous rampage.

Before getting around to the biggest appeal of this film, Cinderella’s Revenge has to get the basics out of the way: meaning, how the maltreated namesake (played by Lauren Staerck) toils away as her cruel stepmother (Stephanie Lodge) and two stepsisters (Beatrice Fletcher and Megan Purvis) take delight in her suffering. And when her family goes to the prince’s ball, Cinderella is aided by a wish-granting fairy godmother; this one is played by Natasha Henstridge of Species fame. More in tune with the wisecracking genie from Aladdin than her noble, granny-like counterpart in the 1950 animated film, this godmother is flippant and pop culture-savvy. She’s also not British and has access to a world and time outside of this story’s universe.

For instance, the godmother brings up Hammer pants at one point, much to the confusion of her latest client, and she summons (actors portraying) Tom Ford, Vidal Sassoon, Christian Louboutin and Elon Musk to help with the magical makeover. These might all be considered anachronisms, but this is a fairy tale, after all. Anything is possible — even an orange Tesla taking Cinderella to the ball. Yes, really, that happens here.

Once it finally comes time for Cinderella to take her revenge, the mayhem is more calculable than shocking. Staerck dons a scary but generic mask while picking off those who’ve wronged her character — it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who will make up the body count — and she does so in slasher fashion. It’s all very predictable. On the bright side, Cinderella’s carnage is amusing, at least on a surface level. A bit graphic as well. Edwards and Jolliffe have fun with the Grimms’ contributions to the overall Cinderella mythology: namely the mutilation. The voluntary disfigurement of one’s foot in order to fit into that glass slipper is included along with some eye gouging. These gory nods to the German source material are also achieved by practical means.

Had Cinderella’s Revenge gone even further with its concept and execution, it might have become a new schlock classic. Instead, it’s never as wild as promised. The potential is certainly there, but the end product feels uninspired. When all is said and done, both this film and its literary basis have that mandatory happy ending after putting the principal character through so much hell. The former just so happens to be bloodier. Does that make it better, though? In its current form, no. There is still something far more unsettling about the Brothers Grimm version that these lurid adaptations can’t quite capture on screen.

Cinderella’s Revenge is now playing in select theaters.

2 skulls out of 5

Cinderella's Revenge review

Pictured: Poster for Cinderella’s Revenge (2024) provided by Quiver Distribution.

The post ‘Cinderella’s Revenge’ Review – Horror Adaptation Returns the Fairy Tale to Its Gruesome Roots appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!