|No Bozo, all blood on Clown|
If it seems it has taken forever for Eli Roth's Clown to make it to the big screen, well it hasn't but it has been a few years, The film, about a man possessed by a demonic clown suit, was actually filmed way back in 2012. You know back when we all thought Donald Trump running for President was just a joke. Those were simpler, more innocent times. But now, Clown, bearing a 2014 release date is finally, actually available in the U.S. on VoD, almost four years after filming.
There has been buzz about Clown for the last several years, no doubt helped by the attachment of Roth's name as producer. But the film is good enough to stand on it's own, and honestly is better than most of Roth's work in my opinion. Clown was directed by Jon Watts, who resists the urge to add comedy to a dark film (pay attention Eli), and make no mistake Clown is a dark film.
Clowns have always inhabited that weird place in out lives and culture. On the surface, happy, funny beings meant to make us laugh. Yet the truth is, Clowns are also scary as shit. Kids know this, adults know this and film makers know this fact. There's just something about that painted on smile that never seems sincere. Watts takes that deep seated fear and externalizes it in Clown.
In Clown, Kent (Andy Powers) a loving, and hard working father is running late for his son's birthday party. Adding stress to the hectic day, he's just informed the clown he booked can't make it. Luckily he comes across a decrepit old clown suit in the closet of the house he's remodeling. In order to not disappoint his son he fatefully puts on the suit. Unbeknownst to him it's not actually a clown suit but the skin of an ancient demon. A demon that has a taste for children.
|Peter Stormare finds left overs from the clown|
Any time you throw kids into a horror mix, it can go to dark places. Normally filmmakers shy away from harming kids in films. It may be alluded to, but it's never really seen. Clown doesn't shy away. You do see actual child deaths, so sensitive people should beware. The more graphic kills are kept off screen but you see the bloody consequences, and you know fully what's going on,
|Don't look so sad Pennywise, we're still terrified of you|
If the death and cannibalism of kids wasn't enough, the film is even darker by the fact no one involved really deserved their fate. Kent is honestly a decent guy. We don't see him ignoring his kid, cheating on his wife, or any major hubris. He seems to genuinely love his family and wants to take care of them, His only minor flaw I could possibly point at was, did he steal the clown suit? But it was in a house, the owner was dead, and it was being remolded for sale. It would have definitely been tossed in the trash bin if he hadn't decided to wear it. No, Kent was just an innocent, a nice guy who stumbled onto an evil presence and was taken over by it. That, to me, makes Clown much scarier.
The film hints and feints at going to even darker places before pulling back to a safer ending. The final fate of the clown was perhaps the weakest part of the story. It was definitely the lighter of several possible endings, basically re-enforcing what Kent was told at the beginning, there's no real escape, On a last note the effects team did a great job on the clown make up. They manage to create a creature that looks nothing like a human being. We watch as Kent goes from a goofy looking clown to something ancient and sinister.
|A rare light moment from The Clown|
Clown also stars Laura Allen (From Within) as Kent's wife and Peter Stormare (Dylan Dog:Dead of Night) as Karlsson, a man who has a connection to the suit, and might know a way out, Director Jon Watts is next slated to direct the Marvel and Sony collaboration Spiderman: Homecoming. If Clown is any indication spidey fans should be in for a damn good time.