Film Review : Clown (2014)

Clown film by Eli Roth 2015

Director : Jon Watts
Starring : Andy Powers, Laura Allen
Duration : 100 minutes

Before watching this movie, a few people had recommended it to me on my Facebook page. I’d not heard of it before so I didn’t get round to taking the plunge and watching it until I saw it on Netflix one cold Sunday afternoon. As most people know, my hubby isn’t a fan of horror – opposites must attract – and rolled his eyes when he saw the title of the film come up. Asking what it was about, I shrugged my shoulders mumbling something about a clown (I have to watch my words when sneaking on a horror film when he is around) and so he picked his up phone, obviously expecting to spend the next ninety minutes replying to work emails.

I was interested in the movie when I first knew it was produced by Eli Roth – the mastermind behind Hostel and Cabin Fever. It was worth a watch if only to see what the fuss was about.

It was clear from the start that I was going to like the film. The acting started off strong and I liked the premise – the entertainer due to arrive at a little boy’s birthday party, cancels. Finding a clown costume, his father, Kent (Andy Powers), steps in to fill his rather large boots. His plan works and the kids love him. It isn’t until he tries to take the costume off, that he finds it has literally welded itself to his skin. The big red nose has attached itself to his own and even the wig has fused to his scalp. His wife finds him on the sofa the following morning, still dressed in full costume, feeling rather sorry for himself but not too concerned, making his way to work as normal. He’s an estate agent, so takes himself to one of the empty houses he is selling. Arriving at the house, he grabs a Stanley knife and an electric saw and heads into the bathroom. Neither tool does the job; the costume won’t budge.

Now, it probably all sounds a bit crazy at this stage but honestly, it works. It’s fun, creepy and has you really routing for the lead character.

I don’t want to include any spoilers in this review so I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that the movie has a surprising supernatural twist that I didn’t see coming. It isn’t just the appearance of the clown that our lead takes on, but also the gruesome demon who it belonged to possesses Kent and he becomes a child-eating-clown. You don’t have to compare to Pennywise either, this entertainer is pretty horrific in his own way. Eli Roth chooses to opt out of using pretty much any gore in the entire movie. The most stomach churning scene was when the pet dog eats the guys nose from the floor but if I’m honest, it could have been a piece of chicken (and probably was). Roth chooses for you to delve into your own dark imagination rather than feeding it with his own acts of violence.

The film has a good balance of humour and horror which is an important element of any horror movie that is going to hold my husband’s attention and this one did. Whilst it doesn’t have any laugh out loud scenes, there are a few moments you find yourself kind of laughing at the lead characters’ misfortune because it really is that unfortunate. Especially if you have children of your own you can kind of sympathise with him as we would all do pretty much anything to keep our children happy, even if it means looking and acting like a demonic clown the rest of our lives.

4/5 – loses a star because I would have liked a little more gore.

Steph Boddy (steph_boddy)

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