Greetings, fellow horror lovers. I’m gonna be honest with you. I’m not what you would call the biggest fan of horror movies involving clowns as the antagonists. Now don’t get me wrong, I totally get why they’re used. There are a LOT of people out there who are creeped out, if not outright frightened of them, and so it makes perfect sense why they’re used in horror. I personally am not scared of them in the slightest. When it comes down to it, they’re just people with painted faces, and I’m no more or less scared of them than I am of any regular person on the street. Which is why when I do watch movies involving clowns, I prefer to lean towards the movies where the clowns have some supernatural aspect to them. Unless they’re from space like the Killer Klowns, which is still my favorite clown-based movie.
Ahem. Anyway, all that rambling brings us to the review for today, Stitches. It was made and released in Ireland in 2012, and was directed by Conor McMahon, who some years prior also directed a zombie flick called Dead Meat (which I may talk about down the road). Stitches the clown is a rather less than reputable sort who seems to have little respect for his particular line of work, as well as for children. But as they say, he gots to get paid I suppose. He heads to a birthday party for Tom and his friends, and between his half-assed clowning and the kids being little dicks, his performance doesn’t go to well. It ends even worse when a prank by a couple of the kids unintentionally results in Stitches dying a rather bloody death.
Fast forward six years later, where we get re-introduced to the teenage versions of the kids, complete with before and after pics. This would normally annoy me, as I could have figured out who was who. However, I found myself admittedly impressed by the resemblance between the younger and older versions of the characters. Kudos on the casting there!! A few of the teens turned out to be decent enough, but the rest didn’t change much.
Tom tries to get his friend Vinny to hang out over the weekend, but some well placed eavesdropping from his other friends Bolger and Richie, and eventually the three convince him to throw a party instead in his parent free house. Party time comes along and everything for the most part is working out well, until Stitches comes back from the grave to get himself some payback for what happened to him so long ago.
I found myself enjoying Stitches, but it’s not without its issues. This is one of those movies where I found myself not liking the protagonists very much. To the point where, with the possible exception of Tom and Kate, I didn’t really give a shit what happened to them. This has been a bad trend in many, many horror flicks nowadays. It’s almost like filmmakers forgot, or just didn’t learn what the term protagonist even means. You’re supposed to be rooting for them, as by definition they’re the heroes of the movie (future rant in more detail about this down the road). But in this case, I neither felt invested enough, nor plain cared enough about the main characters, which I found disappointing. They didn’t act like heroes, they were little monsters as kids, and most of them didn’t change a whole lot six years later.
On the other hand, I found myself almost rooting for Stitches the Clown, played to perfection by Ross Noble. Aside from his TERRIBLE puns, he was a pretty funny, and overall quite entertaining villain. And I liked the fact that he only went after those who wronged him, and everybody else who just happened to be at the party he left alone. As well, his kills were incredibly bloody, varied, and in a style that told me all he wanted to finish the act he started six years ago. Just this time with people’s body parts……
Despite the negativity I gave earlier, I actually do recommend you check Stitches out. Whether you care about the characters or not, the acting is decent, the kills are over-the-top bloody goodness, and as previously mentioned, Ross Noble does an excellent job as Stitches. This is a great movie to watch with a few buddies, some snacks and/or a few drinks, and your brain shut off. It’s U.S. DVD release was April 2nd, so go rent it and see for yourself. Rest in peace everyone.
Macabre Rating: 3.5 out of 5 tombstones.