"Fear of Clowns" DVD
"Fear of Clowns"
is going to show us two very critical points of the entire concept
of direct to video.
One, you can have original
and truly well designed storylines that'll make you cringe from
the suspense and leave you guessing up until the last few minutes.
Two, you've got to be
really, really careful. Chances are you do NOT have the budget to
do anything really funky with your special effects, and so anyone
who's paying any kind of attention--coughTHECRITICALCOMMUNITYcough--is
going to spot the wires real easily and that's going to hurt your
credibility in the long run.
That having been said,
let's take a look at what's under this particular big top. Lynn
Blodgett is a professional artist who specializes in clowns. And
in a horror movie, you know that's going to end poorly. Indeed it
does, too, as Lynn finds herself, her friends, and her family terrorized
by a clown. The one on the box art too--a real winner named "Shivers
the Clown". Lynn's also going through a rather messy divorce
from her insufferable prick of a hubby and a custody fight over
her son Nicky.
The really big plus about
"Fear of Clowns" is its fantastic plotting. There are
a panoply of options open to us, and it's nigh impossible to tell
just where the plot is going. You've got a clown stalking a woman.
Is this a serial killer getting started? Is hubby out for payback?
Is hubby just trying to discredit mom for the sake of the child
custody? Is this possibly even demons from hell out for Halloween
That's right. Halloween.
This all takes place right around Halloween.
The first five minutes
is stacked high and deep with creepy moments. Thirty seven minutes
in will give you an excellent suspense building sequence with a
good payoff, and more of these can be found throughout.
Which brings me to the
one problem with "Fear of Clowns"--an overambitious special
Oh, where do I begin?
The beginning, I suppose.
Like three minutes and forty four seconds. Way to ruin a perfectly
creepy sequence with lousy special effects, guys! That clown was
plenty scary on his own WITHOUT the poorly done tearaway face effect!
And then, we segue into
this truly godawful sequence featuring a cop at the one hour and
forty eight second mark. If you watch the way the arms are positioned
as the "cop" gets his head taken off, you can tell that
they've just swapped out for a mannequin.
Plus, a human head probably
shouldn't CLATTER when it hits a windshield, nor should a corpse's
leg bend at almost a right angle upward like that (one hour one
minute twenty eight seconds), nor should the eyes on the head close
of their own volition (one hour two minutes thirty three seconds).
Unless of course I've
misinterpreted my limited medical training again, which is always
The ending, shot in a
movie theatre, was a fantastic touch, plus there's an excellent
twist somewhat involving this gruesome clown lamp at one hour ten
minutes thirty seconds.
The special features
include English and Spanish subtitles, English closed captioning,
audio options, and a collection of trailers that I can't seem to
find on this promo DVD I got.
So all in all, "Fear
of Clowns" was a solidly put together movie. Not all of the
bells and whistles work the way they should, but that's not to say
that the underlying movie isn't at least fairly well done. Closer
attention and a bigger effects budget probably would have solved
most problems, so rent with confidence.
GRADE: 3 stars ***
Fear of Clowns
Directed by Kevin Kangas
Written by Kevin Kangas
Starring Rick Ganz, Jacky Reres, Mark Lassise, Carl Randolph
Produced by Marauder Productions
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