Anyone scared of men with painted smiles should run screaming from this wickedly funny ‘killer clown’ movie. It’s like a twisted balloon animal filled with blood and guts, waiting to burst.
Jaded children’s entertainer Richard ‘Stitches’ Grindle (comedian Ross Noble) returns from the grave to take revenge on the 16-year-old party-goers who, six years earlier, mocked and disrupted his magic tricks before accidentally causing his comically gruesome death. Noble’s surreal, discursive style of humour might have over-egged this, but he reins in his exuberance, allowing the character, situations and imaginatively gory killings to do the work for him. Naturally, each of the deaths apes a trick that ‘Stitches’ was trying to perform at the fateful birthday party for ten-year-old Tommy (Tommy Knight), now a clown-phobic teenager unable to decide whether the vicious, wisecracking Stitches is real or merely a figment of his haunted imagination.
Irish director Conor McMahon has come a long way since 2004’s micro-budget zombie movie ‘Dead Meat’, and his knowing variations on ’80s slasher movie tropes are made all the more enjoyable by old-fashioned prosthetic gore.