Ever since i met my wonderful wife, i was told from the first moment we became a couple, do not give her any clowns. In fact, she still hates clowns. And it is all because of the film adaptation of Stephen King´s It, where Tim Curry played his brilliant performance as the killer clown moster Pennywise. I still think this is a great film, and it may be one of the best performances Tim Curry did in his career. I know most people will say The Rocky Horror Picture Show is his best performance, for some reason i feel that Stephen King´s It proved him to be one of the most well made horror characters. Clowns in general are supposed to make us laugh, especially in circus shows. But for some reason, it feels like clowns have two sides of a personality. And you can´t help to feel that they might be demon possessed. Once you see their big smiles, and their creepy looks, you don´t want to be anywhere near them. Stephen King´s It gave us a look into a different world of a clown, and even until today, people all over the world love this film. Not that long ago, we actually had a great horror film with a clown released, simply called Clown. Directed by Jon Watts and produced by Eli Roth, this film worked out so well because of a great cast, and a great plot included. The way film tried to tell the origin story of clowns, in nordic folk tales, was a brilliant idea. Also great to see Peter Stormare in the cast, he did give this film a performance you will remember. Recently we have been reading in news papers around Sweden, that people are dressing up as clowns, and chasing people with different objects. Kind of spooky reading this, maybe because Halloween is around the corner. There have been several films where clowns are included, and one of the best classics is of course Killer Klowns From Outer Space. This is more of a horror comedy, that still works today. Earlier in the summer of 2016, i read about a new horror film called Clowntown. Not knowing anything about it, except that it was film with murder clowns in a small town, i got a but curious. Since the 2014 film Clown worked out so well, i was hoping we would have another fun clown film in our hands. Just a few weeks ago, Clowtown was released on VOD, so i had to check it out. Is this another great clown horror film, or should you skip this one at all cost ?
Brad ( Brian Nagel ), Sarah ( Lauren Compton ), and their friends are going to see a concert, located in another town. But one of the friends forget her wallet at a small diner, and needs to get the wallet back. She manage to get connected with the diner, and a man suggest they will meet up in a small town near by. But this small town is not the ordinary small town you would expect, a handful of murder clowns live here, waiting to find new victims.
The first time i saw the trailer for Clowntown, i actually thought it looked like a fun idea. Of course, a trailer is not always a guarantee for what you expect. After seeing this film, i can tell you that i have mixed feelings. Sure, i like the idea of a deserted town with only murder clowns. But is it well executed ? I will say this, that some of the clown characters do look a bit creepy. When the film finally gets going, you will eventually feel that this film could have been so much more fun, if you had some unexpected turns through the film. This becomes more of a very simple clown horror film, and you basically get the typical clichés we have all seen before. Now, what saves Clowntown from being a pile of turds, are the clown characters. The scenes where they get to kill these stupid people, are the highlights. Since the plot does not matter, the film rely on the clowns to go insane. And they do, in a few scenes. But not on that level that i would have liked to see. We could have had a much more brutal image done by this concept, because the idea is actually great. What we get is a pretty much basic slasher film, only with clowns instead. Director Tom Nagel have been in a number of films as an actor, Clowntown is his full feature debut film, and i like his idea behind the film. But his vision does not hold up completely, because he chooses to make this film way too simple. He should have tried and use a grindhouse style instead, and we might have had a really fun ride. Instead, we get a horror film filled with all the typical ingredients, made without much effort. Acting wise i can´t say we have that much to be happy about. A horror film can work without great acting, but only if the film works with other elements. Some scenes function, simply because of the clowns attacking. But the main cast, with Brian Nagel ( little brother of director Tom Nagel ), Lauren Compton, Andrew Staton among others, are not really effective. The best character is called Frank, played by Greg Violand. He gives the film another meaning, as the homeless man Frank, who lost his family because of the clowns. He should have had more scenes in this film, because the story around him feels more interesting. Clowntown is not all terrible, just too basic to care about. This is a horror film you probably wont remember. I suggest you check out Stephen King´s It instead. A remake is coming next year, let´s hope it will be good.