There have been many horror films that mine the scariness of clowns. Jon Watts (Cop Car, Spider-Man: Homecoming) tries to find new ground. And in some respects, he does. Let me begin by saying, if your greatest fear is that a clown will devour your kids? You may want to stay away from Clown.
The film begins with devoted father Kent trying to locate a clown costume when the clown hired for his son’s birthday cancels. He stumbles on one hidden in a house he is helping renovate.
Donning the outfit, he appears at the birthday party and is a hit. He falls asleep on the couch. When he awakens the next morning, he cannot get the suit off. he tries, including using a box cutter and a small hacksaw. None of this works, and the costume remains.
His wife tries to help and successfully removes the nose, but it is is as if she removed part of his actual nose. She questions if he has died his hair, and they discover the wig is now more like actual hair. As things progress, Kent finds himself changing, and the more he changes, the more he desires a special new food source. He tracks down a man who appeared to have owned the suit previously. This old man proceeds to explain that the clown is inspired my a mythical monster that would lure children from the village and eat them. He would eat five children, one for each month of the year. The man promises to help Kent…by beheading him.
Kent flees his family and hides in a motel. Despondent, he attempts suicide. This sequence is a bit amusing because when he shoots himself in the head, the blood spatter is rainbow colored. The demon inside starts to gain greater and greater control. His wife is desperate to help him…and she finds herself in a terrible situation of temptation…can she make sure he gets his last child? Can she sacrifice a child to get Kent back?
The movie is somewhat light-hearted at the beginning, and Andy Powers is both sympathetic and funny. But when we lose Kent and he is the beast, the film’s tone gets brutally dark. There is no way for a happy ending where Kent is redeemed, as he eats four kids in the film, and there is not really coming back from that.
The make-up is quite good and the design of the clown as Kent changes is creepy. Overall, I found the film to be entertaining, and the good stuff is better than the problematic stuff. Clown was made in 2014, and while it has opened throughout the world, it was just released this past September in the U.S. I am not sure why it sat on the shelf for a couple years, as much worse films have gotten released in a timely fashion.