"I loved how ballsy they were, issuing a trailer that said, ‘From the Master of Horror, Eli Roth.’”
Beginning its life cycle as one of those fake trailers that seem to be strewn all over YouTube, Jon Watts’ Clown is a nasty piece of work.
Helped along in its evolution into full-fledged feature by Eli Roth--who was billed as the film’s director in the initial fake trailer, and was suitably impressed, not just by the conceit, but by the makers’ cojones--Clown wastes no times before plunging into its simple but brutally effective premise: loving father turns into scary, evil supernatural creature thanks to a demonic clown costume.
There’s some solid cinematic storytelling here by Watts (in his feature debut), ably assisted by a cast that includes Awake’s Laura Allen and familiar genre face Peter Stormare.
It should also be noted that just beneath the onscreen horrors--right underneath the clown make-up, if you will--is the insidious and despicable real life horror of child predators, of the horrendous urges some individuals have, and their choice whether to struggle against them, or succumb.
So yeah, there’s some disturbing child endangerment (and fatalities) in this one, so be advised accordingly.
Parting Shot: I also highly recommend Watt’s follow-up film, Cop Car, in which Kevin Bacon plays a porn ‘stached Sheriff on the trail of two runaway boys who’ve made off with the wrong (and titular) cop car…
And, after that impressive one-two punch, next up on Watts’ director dance card: the Sony-Marvel Spider-Man reboot… (Only in today’s sadly franchise-driven Hollywood does a career trajectory going from Clown to Cop Car to Spider-Man make any kind of sense…)
(Italian Clown and Cop Car OS' courtesy of impawards.com.)