Clown: Jon Watts and Eli Roth’s Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Clown: Film Details
Director: Jon Watts
Writer: Christopher Ford, Jon Watts
Release Date: June 17th 2016
Release Format: Streaming
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
A little boy’s birthday party gets ruined when his entertainment (clown) cancels. His father finds a clown suit and becomes the new entertainment but something is weird about it, there is an evil curse and it won’t come off. He specializes in eating little kids… everything after that goes down hill.
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In 2014, director Jon Watts and producer Eli Roth presented us with a new visionary terror. “Clown” redefines, not only the image of the Clown, but the horror genre subculture, creatively and cleverly branding it into a world of it’s own. Now, two years later, “Clown” is finally being released to DVD on June 17, 2016.
Clown Horror is a unique sub-culture in the Horror genre. It’s like the “stepchild” of the arena. So many flashy, cheesy clown movies have come and gone. “Drive-Thru” (2007), “Amusement” (2008), “Stitches” (2012), just to name a few. So many unsuccessful attempts at trying to produce terrifying clown movies. One thing I can say that the aforementioned movies have in common: lack of storyline and connection buildup. It’s like the production crews just woke up one day and said; “Ok, we’re going to make a movie”. And with little-to-no research on clowns, no storyline, and no precise talent scouting, they gathered some random people for the cast and started rolling the camera. No time to develop the story in it’s entirety at all.
It’s been so long since a truly terrifying clown horror movie has graced the screens, going back to the 1990’s with Stephen King’s “It”. In the 90’s “Pennywise” was terrifying. He still holds somewhat of a mental scare in a lot of us. But, now, in the 10’s, clowns have gotten much bigger and much more terrifying in the physical sense. So, today, “Pennywise, the Dancing Clown” no longer terrifies us. Now, we have more sadistic clowns to make a whole new nightmare for us. One of those being director Jon Watts’ film.
Watts’ film was a whole new rendition of this horror concept. No matter how directors go about it, we are used to one version of the Clown: the big red nose, the big shoes, the whole giddup. Going back to Ronald McDonald (yes, I said it), this has been the image of the Clown. Since then, clowns have transitioned from being happy-go-lucky and every child’s best friend, to being horrifying, sadistic killers that now haunts children and adults alike. Not only as the days and years go by, so do the image of the clown. We’ve started to see these transitions with “KillJoy” (2000), but they are very apparent in Watts’ “Clown”, which pretty much gives us an entirely different image of the Clown.
“Clown” (2014) was dark, sinister, and terrifying. Watts took whatever was left of the innocent image of the clown and completely transformed it into something else; something “foreign”.
The original clown that was supposed to be present at his son’s birthday cancels. So, as a father, what do you do when you see your son’s big day turning into a disappointment? You think
of a solution. Even if that solution is you being the clown, yourself. That’s exactly what Kent does. He dons a clown suit and becomes the clown for his son’s birthday party. Everyone’s happy, a huge success.
However, when Kent goes to take off the suit, he realizes that it won’t come off. This, of course, poses a problem. Soon, this minor problem turns into a serious problem when Kent notices himself changing, not only physically, but internally. His attitude, his mindset, changes. He acquires dark and deranged thoughts, which soon turns into actions. He then finds out that the clown suit is cursed; going back to the history of the Clown; the first person to ever wear the suit. Kent tries everything to contain himself, even going as far as chaining himself in the basement, but the powers of the suit are too strong. Death overrides rationality, and becomes a hunger and a desire. Kent becomes the Clown.
Watts’ film is not like what we are used to seeing. It redefines this Horror sub-culture in a sense, where it creates a new visual terror. It’s like everyone’s a victim, and, for the first time (at least that I have seen), an inanimate object is the predator, consuming the lives of many. And, now, everyone is in battle, not just the loved ones of Kent, but he, himself, is also at the battle against himself. He wants to break free, but he can’t. At least, not in any sane, moral way.
The practical effects and special effects in the film were amazing. The makeup effects were creative and unique. Even before Kent put on the clown suit, it had an authentic look to it. Looked like it was aged; like an antique. After he put it on and became the Clown, the makeup was so realistic, it was creepy. It’s as if the suit branded Kent’s body, and you could no longer tell if it was just a suit. Add that to the undertones of changing Kent’s mental, moral, and internal being, and it blurred the lines between what was fake and what was real; the real Kent vs. the evil Kent. Kind of like a “Dr. Jekyll vs. Mr. Hyde”.
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Rating Score: 0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40 Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive[/box]