Director: Jon Watts
Cast: Andy Powers, Laura Allen, Peter Stormare
Release Date: August 23, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
Clown is a story of a loving father who dons a clown outfit and makeup to perform at his son’s sixth birthday, only to later discover that the costume – red nose and wig included – will not come off and his own personality changes in a horrific fashion. To break the curse of the evil outfit, the father must make grim choices with his own family facing danger.
‘Clown’ tells the unsettling tale of a caring father who in order to save his son’s birthday party following the unexpected cancellation of the entertainment, discovers a vintage clown suit located in one of his real estate properties which he makes the mistake of donning in order to save the party. Unfortunately he soon discovers that the suit and its accessories are impossible to remove and before long he begins to change both physically and internally in the worst way possible. Desperate to be rid of the costume and its terrifying effects, his search for answers leads him to the previous owner of the costume who reveals the horrifying truth. Now this loving father must find a solution before the transformation finishes taking effect or the end result could mean terrible danger for those closest to him.
Directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car, Spider-Man Homecoming) from a script he also co-wrote with regular collaborator Christopher Ford (Cop Car, Spider-Man Homecoming), Watts does an outstanding job at the helm of ‘Clown’ (which having been completed since 2013 also marks his directorial debut) perfectly capturing the unsettling aura of this disturbing story. The film also features a relatively unknown cast combined with a few familiar faces and includes Andy Powers (TV’s Oz), Laura Allen (TV’s Awake), Peter Stormare (Bad Boys II, 8MM), Christian Distefano (TV’s Paw Patrol), and more including a cameo by Eli Roth sporting some heavy makeup; nearly all of the cast delivering solid, if not capable performances at the very least in each of their respective roles.
‘Clown’ initially began as a faux trailer released online that claimed to be from filmmaker Eli Roth, and while it was nothing more than a fake trailer with which Roth had no personal involvement, the feedback was so powerful that Roth got in touch with the creators and offered to work with them in order to make it a feature length film, which is exactly what happened. After being completed in 2013 and released in foreign territories beginning in 2014, ‘Clown’ finally arrives on Blu-ray in the US. Unlike many films thrown around in limbo for so long, ‘Clown’ is a fantastic entry in the horror genre and a truly unsettling body flick, as well as creating an impressive and detailed history of clown mythology which works tremendously. Consistently bleak and uncomfortable and daring to tackle some questionable subject matter and death sequences that are often shied away from even in many genre films, ‘Clown’ is a wonderfully terrifying horror film and a notable directorial debut for director Jon Watts who has since gone on to direct the phenomenal ‘Cop Car’ and is currently at the helm of the upcoming ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ along with regular collaborator Christopher Ford. I would strongly suggest any genre and/or evil clown fans give this one a shot, it’s a brutal and wonderfully bleak dark fantasy that you won’t want to miss out on.
Overall, ‘Clown’ is a terrifying, bleak and often fairly gruesome look at evil clowns unlike anything you’ve seen before. Guided with a perfectly fitting sense of uneasiness complimented by dark shadows and contrasting colors by director Jon Watts who makes a fantastic directorial debut with the film, ‘Clown’ is a refreshingly unique and unnerving exploration of clowns that is likely to stick with you after the end credits roll. It definitely comes highly recommended, especially for the fellow horror fans and those who don’t become easily queasy.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Clown’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty solid as a whole, delivering a consistently sharp, detailed and clean presentation throughout that while perhaps not absolutely perfect, still looks quite fantastic. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a highly capable high definition video presentation that should largely please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a clean, discrete and often quite hard hitting audio presentation from start to finish. Utilizing all five available channels regularly in order to fully immerse the viewer within the score, as well as sending some creepy and unsettling auditory effects, along with crowd activity and other common ambience throughout the various speakers, while never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fantastic 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that will further envelop you within this unnerving tale.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Clown’ includes a single extra, a Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘Making Clown’ which includes interviews/comments with producer Eli Roth and more (running approximately 6 minutes in length).