It’s strange how clowns have an unsettling effect on so many of us yet are not utilised nearly enough in film. Growing up in the 80’s I can remember three movies with clowns that affected my perception of those that are supposed to spread joy. Clownhouse and Killer Klowns From Outer Space were both evil and creepy respectively but it was Stephen King’s IT that was the real culprit and almost solely responsible for my irrational aversion to the red-nosed entertainers. Maybe Coulrophobia exists because people find it impossible to gauge a clown’s true emotions. Thanks to their make up, we find it hard to distinguish if a clown is as happy or sad as he seems or if he’s actually about to hack someone’s limb off.
Ross Noble, a British comedian I have never really appreciated, plays Stitches the clown who is open for hire. Why anyone would hire him is beyond understanding as he is a bum, in need of a good shower and devoid of any charm. Regardless of his nasty appearance, he is hired for a child’s birthday party where the children (unsupervised?) mock and heckle poor Stitches until one unfortunate prank see’s our clown fall face down onto a kitchen knife. Ouch. Alas, this is curtains for poor Stitches the clown… or is it?…
Fast forward years later and the children are now into their teenage years and about to throw a birthday party of the more adult variety. Who invited the mental clown risen from the dead with a taste for death? Nobody that’s who, yet that doesn’t stop Stitches gatecrashing the party on the anniversary of his death to exact revenge on all those deemed responsible. You see, this is made possible due to a clown cult that yada, yada, yada… lets see some gore! and you will as there is plenty of it even if it is poorly executed with zero tension, suspense or atmosphere. It’s made on a minuscule budget so it tries hard but there is no real conviction as we move from one gore scene to another. It you stick with it you will be unrewarded with an attempt at narrative as the remaining survivors make a dash to seek out an egg, yes an egg, which represents Stitches’ eggistence (sorry, too tempting not to) in the clown world and thus needs to be destroyed. It’s his soul or something. Yawn.
Your enjoyment of Stitches will be largely based on whether you like your horror films scary or silly. This is definitely the latter, even though the jokes fall flat.
“Is everybody happy?” coins Stitches. Sadly, no. As I wont be adding Stitches to the list of clown films that have left their mark on my subconscious and I doubt you will either. Though add another star to the rating below if you enjoy empty splatter.