Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, even though I doubt that you have. A possessed, mass-murdering carousel horse with crude sarcasm butchers an unwitting party crowd. But don’t worry, the wooded theme park attraction was only evil because he was manipulated and weaponized by the government in a world full of aggressive objects.
That leads us to CarousHELL 3, the final film of this original horror comedy trilogy. Let’s dive into the anatomy of what makes this film so well rounded, before the ride comes to a close.
CarousHELL 3 was written by Aleen Isley (A Meowy St. Patrick’s Day 2020) and Steve Rudzinski (Shingles: The Movie 2023) and directed by Rudzinski as well. The story follows Duke, our favorite murderous children’s ride, as he tries to settle down into family life and come to terms with his horrible past. Enter Usagi (Autumn Ivy: Amityville Christmas Vacation 2022), a powerful carousel rabbit who aims to manipulate and destroy everyone in Duke’s life. Then there’s Joe (Rudzinski), the pizza guy from the first film (see our review of the original here), who’s also out for revenge on Duke. This tangled triumvirate unravels in a blend of comedy and gore that serves as a fitting conclusion to this leg of the franchise.
CarousHELL 3, much like the two films preceding it, is going to hang its hat on a ton of blood and bad puns. There are moments of slapstick, over the top acting, and exceedingly ridiculous circumstances. But if you’re not expecting that when you’re watching a film about inanimate carousel killers, you’ve come to the wrong place. CarousHELL 3 is in on the joke, and cleverly calls back to the things that came before it.
The gorehounds will be well fed in this film, as the special effects are done with care and accuracy. But horror and comedy are not the only genres to be touched here, as we get quite a bit of drama, as well as some carefully captured action sequences.
The best part of CarousHELL 3 are the character arcs. Duke (voiced wonderfully by Steve Rimpici: Collar Director’s Cut 2023) is trying to atone for his past sins while protecting his son, but he knows that his former misdeeds aren’t going to go away. While he used to be the antagonist of the series, his realizations and fatherhood now give the audience empathy for him as a protector. Joe goes from being a dimwitted, hapless victim in the first movie to a hardened but conscientiously divided go-getter in this one.
Allegiances change as the facts come forth, giving this sometimes schlocky comedy quite a bit of substance and duality. The final battle feels like a worthwhile moment to send Duke galloping off into the sunset. But given the well-edited post credits scene, this crew may see fit to horse around again for another sequel in the future.
You can buy CarousHELL 3 and many of Steve’s other films now on his streaming service, at Patreon.com/SteveBuster.
This content was originally published here.