Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Film Review: Clown (2014)

Clown (Review)
United States/Canada/2014
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU Rental
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...if you're looking to get out of the haunted house, you should check this one out."

When a clown doesn't show up to his son's birthday party, Kent McCoy (Andy Powers) dresses himself in an old clown costume, which he has trouble removing afterward...

Clown is an interesting horror film. The story follows the McCoy family: Kent, a loving father and real estate agent, Meg (Laura Allen), the loving wife, and their son, Jack. At his birthday party, Jack anxiously waits for the clown – he doesn't show up. So, Kent takes a clown costume he finds in the basement of a house he's selling and tosses it on. All is well until he wakes up the next morning and finds he can't remove the costume. Things get worse when he discovers the costume's supposed origins: demon hair and skin. Oh, and, yeah, things continue to get worse as Kent finds himself with a sudden hunger for children. It all leads to a fairly decent ending.

Clown was a refreshing experience. Nowadays, most of our horror revolves around ghosts, home invasions, and adaptations of young adult novels with cheesy love triangles. This was a breath of fresh air in both concept and execution. It takes a few surprising steps, too, which I applaud. In horror, kids tend to be off-limits – that is not the case in Clown. There's some moderate suspense, there's plenty of gore, and there are some awesome visuals. It is a contrived film, though. There are just far too many moments where everything is just too convenient. It also overstayed its welcome by a bit, especially since it doesn't really do much to develop Kent's character. Although the issues are there and evident, nothing really spoiled the film for me.

The acting is fine, too. Andy Powers and Laura Allen worked well together. Peter Stormare also offered a great supporting performance. Even the children were decent! The film looked good, too. There were some great practical effects here. Then, there were some blatant computer effects, which was a bit disappointing. For such a gore heavy film, I really hoped they would stick with practical effects. The computer effects can really take you out of the moment in a few of these scenes. The film was written by Christopher D. Ford and Jon Watts; Watts also directs. The writing was often contrived and it lacked character, but it worked in crafting a creative plot with a strong antagonist. The direction was also good, offering a balance in the horror, pulling great performances from the cast, and creating a daring vision of horror.

Overall, Clown is a great film. Once again, if you're looking to get out of the haunted house, you should check this one out. It has its fair share of flaws, but it ultimately entertains. Worth a rental for those curious and a purchase for fans of the genre.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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