“Dark, creepy and nasty but has its tongue in its cheek.”
When realtor Kent (Powers) finds a clown costume in a house he is trying to sell, he thinks he’s found the answer to his problems when the clown booked to entertain his son’s birthday party calls it off. Donning the suit, he saves the day. The only problem is that the clown costume isn’t a costume at all, but rather the skin of a demon.
Kent finds that he cannot remove the costume, nose or wig, even with scissors. When his wife tries to prise the red nose off of his own, it takes a lot of skin with it. It’s about this time that he receives a tip that the costume is turning him into a demon and the only way to stop it is to have his head chopped off. Kent is understandably hesitant to allow this to happen, and so begins a race against time and a battle with himself before the demon takes him over completely.
It turns out that the demon can only be sated by devouring five children. Interestingly, the film is happy to break one of cinema’s last great taboos – the killing of children – and the demon does it with glee. Another, the death of family pets, is also covered when the dog eats the clown nose and is possessed by the demon as well.
The clown demon is an impressively scary looking beast at a time when we are seemingly starved of great horror icons and monsters. There is minimal but very clever use of found footage and there are some really good set pieces, especially if you’ve ever been pwned (it’s a word, trust us) in an online game of Halo by some pre-pubescent little tyke, or if you’ve ever had to endure one of those giant indoor children’s play areas.
With mostly unknowns – Stormare is probably the only real recognisable ‘star’ on show – it’s dark, creepy and nasty but has its tongue in its cheek, and as ridiculous as the premise is, it is one we embrace in the horror genre. The idea of people being possessed by their Halloween costumes is not a new one, but this covers those same tracks with aplomb.
We await the inevitable sequel and hope that the scare quotient is given a real push as this has the promise of something special.
Director: Jon Watts
Screenplay: Jon Watts, Christopher D. Ford
Starring: Peter Stormare, Andy Powers, Laura Allen, Christian Distefano
Running time: 96 minutes
Release date: 2 March 2015
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