Archive for clown

‘Clown’: This ain’t no kiddie show

Posted in horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2017 by aliciamovie

clown

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Jon Watts

Studio: Cross Creek Pictures

MPAA Rating: R

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

A harried father, wanting to make his sons birthday not clown-less, dons an old clown costume he found in a house he’s renting and soon discovers to his horror, he can’t take the cursed thing off!

One would think, from that oversimplified version of the plot I just spouted, that the movie is just going to be a gore-fest of body-Horror-turned-hack-n-slash, which is fairly standard for Eli Roth’s MO. However, Roth had little to do with the film in the beginning and was half seduced and half strongarm-convinced to lend his name and reputation to Clown. While yes, there is plenty of body Horror, as poor hapless Kent discovers himself literally turning into a demon, and lots of hack n slash as Kent makes his way towards the sacrifice the demon demands, the story behind the clown skin is quite cool and very different, a welcome unexpected treat.

So Kent McCoy (Andy Powers) is your standard real estate contractor type, he sells houses and has a wife and son he loves; your average schmo who’s done not a thing to deserve this nonsense. It just so happens that Kent wants his kid Jack (Christian Distefano) to have the happiest birthday possible, and if that means donning a borrowed clown costume he found in the trunk of some house he’s renting and going out to be the entertainment his damn self, he’ll do it. Good for you, Kent. The trouble is, now, he can’t take the damned clown suit, or that idiotic nose and the rainbow hair, off. Kent’s early attempts to get the cursed suit offa him, or at least cover it up, are some of the bright spots of a very dark movie.

Kent’s wife Meg (Laura Allen), well of course she’s mighty concerned, and it doesn’t help that the bit of clown-nose she managed to get off Kent only to have it eaten by the dog, is now causing the dog to act funny too. Tracking down the costumes previous owner, Dr. Martin Karlsson, proves difficult, but his brother Herbert (Peter Stormhare) has some answers that Kent really doesn’t like. And here is where Clown takes an abrupt turn down a very different Krampus-like path – Herbert informs Kent of the legend of Cløyne, an ancient demon of Northern Europe that requires a sacrifice of five children, one for each month of winter where it comes from, to eat before it is satisfied. That clown suit that is now taking over Kent is no suit, it’s the actual skin and hair from a Cløyne demon, and that is precisely what Kent is becoming.

From there, we have a mix of hilariously dark moments where Dadclown is still trying not to turn into Cløyne by killing himself and it so doesn’t work, or Dadclown deciding to get some revenge for his kids bullying while getting his demon parasite fed at the same time, interspersed with some truly odd moments with Herbert showing back abruptly to try and finish Cløyne off himself. Things come to a showdown in a Chuck E. Cheese’s, of all places, and we are forcibly reminded that there are few things scarier in this world, even moreso than an actual demon, than a mother afraid for her children.

The makeup affects for the body horror and transformation in the film are astounding, and they had better be, considering there’s practically nothing in the way of CGI. The feeling of plausibility that comes across, this could happen to you too in the right (wrong) circumstances, is also well done and gives the movie that extra creepy kick. While the slaughter-y scenes certainly do have Roth’s signature on them, one would be hard-pressed to tell that from the rest of the film. Director of the film Jon Watts, who also did Cop Car (and directed and freaking co-wrote the upcoming Spiderman Homecoming movie), gives us a stylized Horror flick that he clearly felt passionately about. For all Watts’ love of the movie and the Cløyne legend of the demonic clown, we are treated, almost tricked, into a Horror flick that has a bit of everything, and that is what the dark carnival is all about.

Visit the legend of Cløyne in Clown on Netflix!

Rob Zombie’s ‘31’: Send in the Clowns

Posted in Action, horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2016 by aliciamovie

31poster_0

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Rob Zombie

Studio: Bow and Arrow Entertainment

MPAA Rating: R

Review Rating: 7

There’s no real point to an introductory paragraph for this movie, so like Rob Zombie and his singular movie-making style, we’re just gonna dive right into this. No mercy, no pity, and no escape, we’re falling headlong into another Zombie world.

Things kick off with this black and white world of a psycho clown terrorizing a victim in a priests collar, a-rantin and a-ravin to his terrified audience of one. This goes on for a while, and is abruptly ended by an axe in the guts. Now, while I’m personally all for rants from what appears to be the main villain (or one of them anyway), the opening salvo from he whom we learn later is known as Doom-head has no real bearing on what comes later. It kind of reminded me of that gross poor soul in Human Centipede 2, and that can never be a compliment.

Well anyway, backward we go to October 31st, 1979 (it says so in the tagline) and a van-full of what are apparently circus performers. And here, oh man it was inevitable, we are introduced to the eternal Sheri Moon Zombie character in every single last one of RZ’s movies, this one a simpering kerchief-wrapped chick called Charly. Roscoe Pepper is the standard muscle-man braindead type, though he does show some small bits of chivalry when shit pops off. Panda is the token black Rasta character, complete with the accent and the weed; hell, he could be considered the main token black character, as poor Levon is the first to bite it when our circus gang get where they never expected to go. And rounding out our weird-ass gang of friends, we have Venus Virgo, veteran of the circus act trade, a fighter who really should have gotten a better shot at this sick game the Scooby gang is forced into.

A stop at a self-serve gas station and some seriously odd conversations later, and hey next thing we know, Malcolm McDowell in French powdery getup is telling us it’s time for the hunting game known as 31! (I never quite understood why the Big Game itself is called ‘31’, unless it’s always held on Halloween every year.) Other fiends in French wigs and dresses are betting large sums of money on our now-numbered circus gang’s survivability, and indeed, throughout the time period of the Big Game, Father Murder pauses to announce the odds on our victims as they go up or down.

In theory, the game is simple: survive the next twelve hours, no matter what kind of insane hunter is thrown at the gang. The circus performers are even given dubious weapons, though most of them are unable to put them to effective use. And then we have the hunters, each of whom are named “something-head”, such as Doom-Head. Each hunter dresses and acts for maximum, I guess, shock effect, though how effective it truly is remains to be seen. I personally had a really hard time trying to see Sick-Head, the midget hunter dressed in Nazi clown regalia spouting Spanish (I’m not even kidding either), as anything other than a complete joke.

But we go through other hunters and most of our victims, until the victims begin to fight back better and Father Murder ups the ante, calling in their best hunter, we recognize him from the ranting intro, Doom-head, to take care of this years’ victims left once and for all.

There is a good deal of the feel of desolate roads and endless desert hell that RZ tried diligently to portray in The Devil’s Rejects, plus that throwback nightmare homage to Texas Chainsaw Massacre and of course Zombie’s own personal Dark Carnival style in 31. Legend says Zombie read somewhere a statistic that said Halloween is the number one night of the year where people go missing inexplicably, and thought it would be a good premise for a movie. The poignancy of the final end scene does kind of bring that thought home, but it was never particularly expressed in the movie itself, and without it, the film is a kind of forgery unto itself, perhaps lacking in originality but sure ready to make up for it with gore and enthusiasm – like most of Rob Zombie’s horror film work.