Clown had a great premise. A real estate agent Kent (Andy Powers) wanted his son to have the best birthday party ever so when a mix up at the party planner resulted in a scheduling conflict, he donned a clown outfit that he found in one of his “houses” and assumed the role of Dumbo the Clown. The clown was a hit with the kids but when he tries to take off the costume, he finds out that the mysterious outfit won’t come off.
Despite the fact that the film was not headlined by A-list actors, Clown did a pretty decent job of developing a dark and macabre tale about the origin of clowns. The manner in which the mystery behind the suit was unraveled was also good as it happened gradually, and almost at the same time that Kent was being taken over by the demon that was the original “clown”.
The story was well paced and managed to establish some empathy with the characters — Kent, a good dad who only wanted the best for his kid, his wife Meg (Laura Allen) who is conflicted about dealing with the demon that has taken over her husband, and Karlsson (Peter Stormare), who holds the key to eliminating the threat that was the suit. That was why when the transformation began and Kent was forced to do things he would normally not do, there was still a sense of the audience wanting things to be okay for the family.
Kudos to the film for employing magnificent practical effects which contributed to the great execution of this horror movie. There was great make up involved in this film as well which made the transition feel organic. The film also delivered on the requisite gore that is required of movies in this genre. These became even more effective as it involves kids so the team pretty much had the shock factor handled pretty well. I was expecting producer Eli Roth to play a bigger role since he was headlining the cast on the IMDB page but he only popped in for a cameo.
All in all, if Pennywise (It) has not yet turned you against clowns yet, this film probably will. If you don’t want your kids to be traumatized for life against red nosed jokesters, don’t have them around while you watch this film directed by Cop Car director Jon Watts. Clown was a great horror movie that delivered just the right amount of terror using tools of the trade that have long been looked over by big name studios and it paid off in spades. It was even so disturbing that it was banned in Italy. Imagine that.