Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jon Watts|
|Music by||Matt Veligdan|
|Edited by||Robert Ryang|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
|Box office||$2.1 million|
Clown is a 2014 American supernatural horror film directed by Jon Watts, produced by Mac Cappuccino, Eli Roth and Cody Ryder, and written by Watts and Christopher Ford. The film stars Laura Allen, Andy Powers, and Peter Stormare. The visual effects for the clown monster were done by Alterian, Inc. and Tony Gardner. Principal photography began in November 2012, in Ottawa. The film was released in Italy on November 13, 2014, and was released in the UK on March 2, 2015, and in the United States on June 17, 2016, by Dimension Films.
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Kent McCoy is a loving, but constantly working, husband and father who hosts a birthday party for his son Jack, complete with a birthday clown. However, the clown assigned to their party is unable to make it due to a scheduling error. Fortunately, Kent discovers an old clown costume in the basement of a house he is selling and puts it on to entertain everyone. After the party, Kent falls asleep wearing the clown costume, and the next morning he is unable to take it off. The body suit, wig, and red nose have adhered to his skin.
Kent is forced to go to work wearing the costume and the three guys who are helping him renovate the house laugh at him. He tries to remove the costume, cutting his wrist with a knife and breaking a vibrating hand saw. He goes home and tells his wife Meg what is happening, so she tries to help him remove the fake nose. But as she tries to remove the nose, it rips his flesh and wounds him. Shadow, the family's dog, eats the clown nose which makes Shadow show strange behavior towards the family. Meg also realizes the clown's wig and makeup have also become attached to Kent and are now irremovable. He goes to the hospital for his wounds where an emergency room doctor treats him skeptically. Suddenly, Kent also begins to show strange behavior and experiences a deep sense of hunger, with a noisy gurgling in his stomach. He eats all the food in the house, wrecking the kitchen.
Kent tries to understand what is happening to him and tracks down Herbert Karlsson, a costume store owner and the suit's previous owner. Herbert tells him on the phone to avoid putting on the costume at all costs. Kent then meets with Karlsson and learns that the costume is actually the hair and skin of an ancient demon from Northern Europe called the "Clöyne", which ate five children annually, one for each month of winter. Karlsson drugs Kent with tea, revealing that the only way to stop the demon is to decapitate the wearer. Karlsson lands a butcher knife in Kent's shoulder as Kent jumps up and asks what he is doing. Kent subdues Karlsson during an ensuing fight and learns that he is becoming the demon.
Kent returns home and, after a series of incidents, moves away from his family and into one of his property listings, where he fights his demonic hunger and attempts to commit suicide. He shoots himself in the mouth, spattering the wall with rainbow blood, but he quickly regenerates and survives. He then meets a small boy outside of the property who asks him if he is a clown but warns him away. Kent attempts to behead himself with a pair of buzzsaws but he loses his courage at the last minute and in a fluke accident, one of the buzzsaws flies off its handle, killing the boy. Kent then consumes the child's corpse and starts to become the demon, devouring his second victim, a child who had bullied Jack earlier at school. Meg becomes involved, trying to understand what is afflicting Kent and to help him fight against the demon. Desperate, she joins forces with Karlsson with the intent of freeing Kent from the suit, although Karlsson is prepared to kill Kent if necessary.
Meg learns from Karlsson that the person wearing the cursed costume can only remove it after eating five children. She also learns that many years ago, Karlsson put on the costume to entertain the children at the oncology clinic that his brother Martin worked for and became the demon. To free his brother, Martin smuggled out five terminally ill children from the cancer ward to feed the demon. The brothers tried many ways to destroy the costume, all in vain. Karlsson also warns Meg that the curse follows any part of the costume, explaining how earlier the family dog Shadow had become afflicted by the curse after eating Kent's clown "nose" after Meg removed it; which forced Karlsson to kill it by chopping off its head.
Kent, now almost fully metamorphosed, succumbs to the demon and begins hunting more children. He sneaks into a local Chuck E. Cheese's and devours one child in a ball pit and another in the jungle gym. With four children now eaten by Kent, he only needs to eat one more to return to normal. Meg finds Kent inside the glow in the dark minigolf course. She tries to comfort him. Karlsson attempts to decapitate him with an axe but fails. Before Kent has a chance to kill Karlsson, Meg tries to get through to her husband. Instead, the demon offers her a deal: feed it one more child, and it will release Kent. It tells her to bring the fifth child to their "special place", otherwise it will go after Jack.
A child from the dental clinic, where Meg works as a nurse, recognizes her and the girl asks for a ride home when she cannot find her parents. Meg drives her to the "special place" and locks her out of the car. She suddenly changes her mind when she thinks Kent is coming, but it turns out to be a police officer (since the Chuck E. Cheese's incident drew attention from authorities). Once Meg realizes that Kent is not there, she drives back home knowing that the demon is pursuing Jack.
Kent, now under the complete control of the demon, sneaks into the house and kills Meg's father, Walt, ripping off his jaw right in front of her. Kent has now completely transformed into the Clöyne. Meg fights against him, but Kent attempts to take both their unborn baby from her womb and Jack. After a chase inside the house, Meg is forced to knock his head off with a hammer. Thinking the creature is dead, Meg apologizes to Jack for everything that has happened. However, due to a piece of muscle attached to the body and head, Kent revives, and grabs Jack's leg. Meg then forcibly pulls the head off, killing the demon and her husband. Meg looks in horror as the Clöyne's skin melts away and turns back into the clown suit, revealing Kent's human form. In the end, Kent's body is autopsied, while the costume is packed away as evidence to be analyzed by the police.
- Laura Allen as Meg McCoy
- Andy Powers as Kent McCoy
- Peter Stormare as Herbert Karlsson
- Elizabeth Whitmere as Denise
- Christian Distefano as Jack McCoy
- Chuck Shamata as Walt
- Robert Reynolds as Dr. Martin Karlsson
- Lucas Kelly as Colton
- Michael Riendeau as Robbie
- Matthew Stefiuk as Detective
- Miller Timlin as Camper
- Eli Roth as Frowny the Clown
In November 2010, Jon Watts and Christopher D. Ford uploaded a fake trailer to YouTube that announced Eli Roth would produce the film; Roth was not involved at the time. Roth spoke about the film, saying: "I loved how ballsy they were, issuing a trailer that said, 'From the Master of Horror, Eli Roth.' Some people thought I'd made the movie, or that it was another fake Grindhouse trailer... I really felt these guys deserved a shot, and that people are truly freaked out by evil clowns. It's new territory to make this a version of The Fly, where this guy can feel himself changing, blacking out only to find blood all over his clown suit. You're sympathetic toward a monster until the monster actually takes over."
Matt Veligdan composed the film's score, and eight songs were featured on its soundtrack.
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||December 27, 2014|
|Recorded||December 27, 2014|
- Benjamin Dickinson – "Frowny the Clown"
- Brian McKenna – "Mexican Lindo"
- Jared Gutstadt – "Taste of Mexico"
- Gods of Fire – "The Long Walk"
- Matt Veligdan – "Sonata La Squarzona"
- Neil Sedaka – "King of Clowns"
- Matt Veligdan – "Hardship"
- Nirvana – "Everybody Loves a Clown"
In September 2012, Dimension Films and FilmNation Entertainment acquired distribution rights to the film. The film was released on November 13, 2014 in Italy. The UK premiere was February 27, 2015, in Scotland at FrightFest Glasgow 2015, followed by the DVD and Blu-ray release March 2, 2015. The film was also released in the Philippines on March 25, 2015 and in Mexico on May 22, 2015. After being delayed, the film was released in the United States on June 17, 2016.
Dominic Cuthbert of Starburst rated it 7/10 stars and wrote, "Clown may be formulaic and filled up to the guts with familiar tropes, but it is tremendous fun and an effective body horror." Howard Gorman of Scream magazine rated it 5/5 stars and wrote, "With Clown the filmmakers have created an all-new monster of demonic proportions and it's a concept that certainly deserves to spawn a sequel or two as the sky really is the limit." Jeremy Aspinall of the Radio Times rated it 2/5 stars and described it as "efficiently put together if a little sedate in pace". Anton Bitel of Little White Lies wrote that the film doubles as an equally harrowing story of "a family man's losing struggle with his own paedophiliac impulses". Brad Miska of Bloody Disgusting rated it 3/5 stars and wrote, "Even though it's mostly a bore, there's still some really cool and fun stuff scattered throughout." Keri O'Shea of Brutal as Hell wrote, "Neither frightening nor funny, here's another lesson to prove that fake trailers are often fine just as they are." Joel Harley of HorrorTalk rated it 2/5 stars and wrote, "What could have been one of the few great killer clown movies winds up as yet another disappointment, being too uneven in tone and pace to be considered a success."
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