DIRECTOR: Tom Nagel
WRITER: Jeff Miller
Christopher Lawrence Chapman
Four friends who are on their way to a concert, stop in at a roadside diner in a small rural town. One of the group leaves their phone on the counter in the restaurant. Not wanting to miss the concert the friends call the mobile phone and a man answers. He tells the group of friends to meet him in the next small town over. Little do the friends realise that they are being led to a deserted town that is run by a group of murderous and malevolent clowns.
With the current onslaught and fascination of reported clown sightings from all over the world making their way onto every known news outlet. Clowntown couldn't have picked a better time to be unleashed on the horror community. This movie is almost that exact fear put up on the screen. People are all up in arms at the moment about these clowns turning on us. Could these possible clown sightings become much more sinister as reports claim that a clown 'purge' night may happen on Halloween?
If ClownTown is anything to go by, we may very well have an apparent clown 'purge'. Let's hope that if a real clown purge takes place that it's better than the one displayed in this movie. While I think ClownTown has a few very fun elements and tries to add a twist to the mix. I just didn't love it as much as I was hoping I would. I really wanted to enjoy this as I have always been a fan of those creepy and evil clown movies. This just doesn't make it across the line.
The movie starts off rather interestingly. I was seriously intrigued by the plot being set within this small town that keeps its doors locked and is basically deserted at all times due to three evil, murderous clowns who run the streets at night and murder any out-of-towners that may drive through their small town. I found this entire idea to be very cool. The movie had me glued to the screen during the whole of the first act. After the first act, it sort of stumbles.
I think the introduction of the three clowns is pretty well done. I thought our main lanky, Gary Busey toothed clown is one evil looking son of a bitch. He's easily the most frightening creation of the movie. The other two members of this murderous clown crew seem to look like ex-wrestlers or members of Insane Clown Posse. They just aren't as frightening as our main villain. He's no Twisty or Pennywise but in this film, he's flat-out evil, and it works for the most part.
Once our group of friends is introduced to the three murderous clowns, it all becomes rather routine. This is where the stalk and chase begins. We go from scene to scene with the entire group hiding, being found, running and being killed off. This happens pretty much right up until the credits begin to roll. The movie does try to throw out a twist towards the end that ties back to the opening scene, but you can pretty much guess what the twist is, very early on in the film.
I need to put it out there that I thought Tom Nagel did a bang up job with how good this movie looks. The opening credits scene in ClownTown gave me serious Outcast Cinemax opening credit vibes. The deserted town and overhead camera angles were exceptional. I assume this had a meagre budget going off the unknown cast and indie type production. So the film gets points for delivering a production that looked a lot grander than the budget probably allowed.
Regarding acting, I found the acting to be decent for the most part. Our four friends who are played by Brian Nagel, Lauren Compton, Andrew Staton and Katie Keene all did fine in their roles. All four had good chemistry. Even at times if things got a little cheesy, I still found the overall performances to be worthy. The standout here is David Greathouse as our chief creepy clown. I think his villain will one day be featured in a 'Creepiest Horror Movie Clown' list. You can quote me on that one.
Is ClownTown scary? I think if you have a fear of clowns, this may do some damage to those nerves of yours. For me, I didn't find the film all that creepy. The movie in the beginning scenes has a sense of dread about it all, but once the clowns start to strike, the movie isn't all that scary. If loud noises and quick cut attempts at a jump scare are your thing, then this movie should have you cowering in fear. If you want real clown scares, pick up the original or remake of IT.
DEATH TOLL: 14
BLOOD AND GORE:
- Hit repeatedly in the stomach with a meat cleaver.
- Someone is crushed in a garbage truck compactor.
- A crowbar to the throat.
- A crowbar hook to the face.
- Head smashed in with a crowbar.
- Many people are attacked by clowns.
- A knife in the stomach.
- Smacked in the head with a 2x4.
- Smacked in the head with a crowbar and burnt alive.
- Someone is stabbed in the stomach.
ClownTown has an interesting concept, some solid cinematography, a couple of decent performances from the principal cast and a creepy lead villain. What the movie lacks is some serious suspense, scares, and offering up something original when it comes to the whole clown sub-genre of horror. The movie is middle of the road and standard slasher fare. Those with a fear of clowns may find something terrifying here, but all others will probably have seen it all before.