Clown is a movie that gets a lot of gas out of its killer concept; what if you were slowly changing into an actual circus clown and there was nothing you can do about it? The movie takes the potentially hilarious premise of someone who cannot get a clown suit off, having to endure the rigors of the normal work day in full clown attire, and takes the concept one step further; into the crimson waters of body horror. Think of it as The Fly, except instead of turning into Brundle-fly the main protagonist ends up something more akin to Pennywise from IT; a clown monster with an insatiable appetite for the flesh of children, at least until winter passes.
While the premise of the film is wildly entertaining, capitalizing on the inherit creepiness of clowns, there are some minor gaffs that prevent it from elevating from a mere cinematic curiosity to must see splatter. There is some silly made up myth about the “true origin of the clowne” from Sweden or some place, a lot of time spent on exploring how another man had already exorcised the demon clown but it ends up really going nowhere, the only information he can really provide is that decapitating the demon will ultimately kill it. Well no shit. The wife they chose to “save” her husband from becoming a demon clown is a total cardboard cutout of an actress, her reactions to his clown possession are like “well he seems mad at me, he’s acting strange” when her husband has already provided ample evidence that he couldn’t get loose from the cursed clown suit or accoutrements.
As the protagonist and loyal husband slowly transmogrifies into a clown during the film he gets more and more desperate to end the curse through any means, eventually resorting to attempting suicide. In one of the more gruesome scenes in the film the shifting clown-demon-man shoots himself in the head painting his blood in rainbow colors across the wall behind him. The dark humor in that one scene encapsulates the feeling of Clown perfectly for me; it’s a mix between black humor and sadistic horror. The demon-clown eventually totally overpowers his host, cultivating into a kiddy massacre at honest to god Chuck E. Cheese. A literal wave of blood splashes into the ball pit, the demon clown escapes back to his house to lure and kill his son, and the wife finally makes herself useful, decapitating her husband (and his clown dog, yeah that happens too), freeing him from the curse and you know, this shitty no good life.
I thought Clown was definitely worth the rental in this lull of good horror. It certainly kept my crew entertained until the end.