… just not emphatically
Welcome horror fans! This one caught Old Man Feind’s eye for one simple reason: Eli Roth. He didn’t have much to do with this one but his name still carries weight with us horror fans. This is one for all of you out there afraid of the circus because of a…
So who’s afraid of clowns? I know a ton of people suffer from this irrational fear but fortunately I am not one of them. I really don’t understand the fear though I know it afflicts many including my site partner’s lady friend who is absolutely terrified of them. Since I don’t count Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig in House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects) due to those films not actually being centered on him you’ll find most horror flicks involving clowns to be of the absurd variety such as Killer Klowns From Outer Space or going the over the top dark comedy horror route like the awesome Scribbler favorite, Stitches. Stitches is also, incidentally, why I didn’t watch Clown when I first could have due to its icon being a screenshot from Stitches so I naturally just assumed that film was mislabeled. Then I found out Clown was an Eli Roth joint so since I’m not able to see Green Inferno yet I decided to check this one out.
Clown wasn’t written or directed by Eli Roth (he is the producer on this one) so seeing that, my expectations immediately lowered considerably. Roth is listed as an actor in the film but I’ll tell you he is a little hard to spot playing Frowny the Clown since you only see that character briefly in full clown attire/makeup. Clown is the story of realtor and dad, Kent (Andy Powers you may recognize from numerous TV show appearances) who tries to save his son’s birthday party when the clown they had hired is a no show. Kent scrambles to put together a clown costume when he finds a trunk in the basement of their new home with everything he needs. Kent as Dummo the Clown is the hero saving his son’s birthday party but things go awry when he attempts to remove the clown get up.
Try as he might Kent finds he is unable to remove the clown outfit, rainbow wig, white face make up and big red nose. He clumsily tries to cut the outfit off with a utility knife nearly slitting his wrist in the process then even a reciprocating saw is unable cut through the ridiculous outfit. His wife, Meg (Laura Allen who you may also recognize from numerous TV appearances) finally manages to remove the big red clown nose at the expense of Kent’s nose skin as though it had been super glued on which is in turn gobbled up by the family dog. A trip to the ER is no help either leaving Kent stuck in his clown attire. Kent turns trying to find out where the costume came from finding the former home owner is deceased but has a brother, Karlsson, still very much alive played by Peter Stormare (a Feind favorite since I saw him in Fargo many years ago). This is where Clown honestly loses me a bit even though not due to Stormare’s acting ability.
Clown rapidly turns into a very simple possession story with some bullshit made up folklore about where clowns originally come from. They couldn’t possibly be derived from court jesters dating back to medieval times, no, clowns really got their start as a demon who lured children to a cave where it ate them and only later became the silly painted faced circus monsters we know them as today. Feel free to roll your eyes, I did. It turns out the costume is not really the patchwork clown suit it appears to be but the skin of the demon that possesses anyone who dare put it on until it eats five naughty little children, one for every month of winter. I guess it’s a good thing the demon didn’t live on Antarctica or something. You can pretty well guess the rest without seeing it.
In the end Clown wasn’t really a bad movie just a tired, used up, worn the fuck out premise following the formula of just about any object possession story you’ve ever seen. Person finds something odd, starts acting weird, discovers the object is evil, learns there is only “one” way to stop it from an old wise man who has researched that very object, and finally person becomes a fully possessed killing machine. I may have missed a few but if this sounds familiar there will be no surprises for you here. The real saving grace of the film is the acting which is all around very good from the three main characters Meg, Kent and Karlsson. So to judge this on originality I’d honestly have to give it a zero ok, maybe half a point for it being a clown which I don’t think I’ve actually seen before but big whoop. What saves Clown from being just garbage is the excellent acting and also being very well directed by Jon Watts. A big bone of contention I have with a lot of horror films is giving brief screen time to the “monster” whatever it happens to be but in Clown you see Kent slowly transform from normal clown up through full on demon form which to me is a real plus. There is a little too much reliance on jump scares at times but they aren’t over abundant so I can give Clown a pass for the few it does have. While this is a story I’ve seen numerous times and find tiresome, I can say I never really felt bored with Clown as the pacing is good and the characters are interesting. In that regard The Scribbler Clock Test was passed so while Clown is ultimately forgettable (and right on the edge) it is watchable thus I must dub it…
… just not emphatically
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Scribbler Movie Reviews
Feind loves watching movies of all kinds so if we watch it, we tell whether you should as well. I'll share mostly horror but I also enjoy everything from big Blockbusters to micro-budget Independent films.
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