From director Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and producer Eli Roth comes the twisted horror thriller Clown. Starring Andy Powers, Peter Stormare, Laura Allen and Christian Distefano, the film was released initially in Italy 2014, the UK in 2015 but the American release is FINALLY set for June 17, 2016.
A loving father (Andy Powers) becomes a savage killer while wearing a cursed clown costume that won’t come off.
I’m stunned that Clown is just now getting a North American release two years after it dropped on Italy and traumatized everyone over there. Jon Watts’ directorial debut is a very promising piece of work that was followed up by another wicked little indie called Cop Car. In both films, Watts has brought out the best in his leads, usually one older actor as well as a youngin’ – it’s not hard to see why Marvel grabbed him for the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming flick. I watched this film ages ago because it’s been on DVD forever but I thought it would be great to review it just in time for everyone in America to get terrified all over again.
Based on a fake trailer initially, Clown caught the attention of not only rabid fans everywhere who loved how terrifying it was, but Eli Roth as well who took the project and ran with it under Watts’ vision. That vision was – to make a horror movie about clowns – something truly horrific. That he did. I know you’ve seen the trailer for this new incarnation of Clown and if you have, then you may have actually seen a little too much of the feature itself. The preview gives far too much away of the climactic ballpit killspree – something that deserved to be seen in it’s entirety during the movie and not the trailer.
Leading man Andy Powers is such an underrated talent and he carries Clown all the way to the end. I’ve loved Powers as a performer since his days on HBO’s OZ and I’m so happy that Watts picked him as the father who winds up getting physically stuck in this old clown suit after performing at his child’s birthday party. The next morning – nothing will come off. The hair, the nose (my god the nose scene….), the creepy ass ruffled clothing – it’s all stuck. Things quickly spiral out of control from that point on as he begins to change into something terrible.
He has urges to eat – all the time. His cravings – children obviously. He has to eat them kids and he has to eat ALL THE KIDS. Clown is fucked up. There are several scenes with this dude devouring little children and this is the sort of content I’m usually NOT OK with, but the way Watts has directed Clown is quite genius because as disturbing as the concept is, he shows just the right amount of restraint when it comes to the gore and violence.
Clown is full of dread and the performances are all perfect – especially from Powers and Peter Stormare who comes in as your typical “crazy guy who knows the truth but everybody thinks he’s just a nut” character. He brings with him the history on “why” this is happening to our unfortunate new clown suit wearing monster cannibal killer but also, Stormare is just awesome. His lines, his delivery – brilliant. This man is great in everything but I think this is his best performance since Fargo and that’s saying something. In a movie that looks this good, feels this frightening and with performances this gut-wrenching, why then does Clown wind up at a relatively standard and safe conclusion?
As great as Clown is at times, and it was wonderfully twisted, the story itself never does anything unique, opting for a fairly standard finish that delves into regular slasher cinema. This is one of those rare instances where I would’ve preferred to see something strange and have Clown end on a note unlike other horror movies, but it really doesn’t. Is it worth seeing? Absolutely. Is it the scariest clown movie since IT? Damn right. I just wanted more, which means I must enjoy torturing myself because what we get in Clown for the mostpart is messed up as it is.
Note: This new US release trailer below is far better because it doesn’t give away as much as the initial ones – so go ahead and watch it.