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MOVIE INFO

Director:
John Watts
Cast:
Andy Powers, Laura Allen, Peter Stormare
Writing Credits:
Christopher Ford, John Watts

Synopsis:
A loving father finds a clown suit for his son's birthday party, only to realize that it is not a suit at all.

MPAA:
Rated R

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English

Runtime: 99 min.
Price: $26.99
Release Date: 8/23/2016

Bonus:
• “Making Clown” Featurette
• Previews


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EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Clown [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 17, 2016)

Does any allegedly innocuous figure inspire as much discomfort as the clown? I doubt it, and that allows these supposed mirth-makers to become the focus of horror movies such as 2016’s aptly—titled Clown.

When the clown hired for his son Jack’s (Christian Distefano) seventh birthday party, Kent McCoy (Andy Powers) comes to the rescue. He finds an old costume and dons it to entertain Jack and his pals.

This comes with an unfortunate side effect. When Kent tries to remove the costume, it won’t come off, and it slowly starts to affect him in other ways – horrible ways, in fact.

At the very least, Clown brings us an interesting premise. Granted, the concept of a cursed item that takes over its owner doesn’t seem particularly new, but the movie twists it enough to give it a little edge and creativity.

Does the execution of the tale do much with it? Ehh. While not a bad horror experience, Clown never turns into anything especially compelling or scary.

Some of this comes from the lack of build-up. Clown goes for so many attempts at scares/drama so soon that it lacks much room for growth. When a scene that resembles a climax shows up less than one-third of the way into the story, we don’t find a good path to greater satisfaction later.

That “too much, too soon” vibe does come back to haunt Clown. Sure, many movies get away with “climax-like” sequences early – everyone who saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981 thought the opening scene would be tough to top – but this factor seems more problematic here.

Maybe that’s because even at its best, Clown fails to become especially scary or dramatic. Even if we buy into its supernatural premise, the story lacks much depth or intrigue. We follow Kent’s descent into demonic madness and vaguely wonder how his journey will end, but we don’t invest a lot into events.

A better version of the sort of story told here comes from 1986’s The Fly. Both feature men overtaken by horrible physical transformations that lead them to commit terrible acts.

The difference is that The Fly offers a strong character piece with real dramatic development, whereas Clown tends toward a more simplistic horror vibe. We get a lot of gross-out moments with little to make the movie memorable.

All of this leaves Clown as a pretty average horror tale. It offers enough creepiness to ensure that it maintains moderate viewer interest, but it can’t develop into anything better than that.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

Clown appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This became an appealing presentation.

Sharpness was mostly good. The occasional soft segment appeared in wider shots, but those instances stayed minor, so the flick offered pretty positive clarity. I noticed no shimmering or jagged edges, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the image.

In terms of palette, the movie usually opted for a desaturated feel. This tended toward an amber or teal tint, and the hues seemed fine given the film’s visual goals. Blacks looked deep and full, and low-light shots presented positive clarity. The transfer consistently worked well.

I also felt pleased with the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1. Though not a rock-em sock-em soundtrack, the audio opened up well on enough occasions to create a useful soundscape.

This occurred most prominently during scare scenes, as those used the channels in an involving manner. A car scene added some auditory drama as well. Other sequences seemed less stimulating, but they still created a decent sense of environment.

Audio quality satisfied. Speech was natural and distinctive, while the mostly low-key score showed solid range and clarity. Effects appeared accurate and dynamic, with good punch when necessary. In the end, the soundtrack suited the story.

Making Clown runs six minutes, 24 seconds and features producer Eli Roth, production designer Lisa Soper, cinematographer Matthew Santo, special makeup effects David Scott, and actors Laura Allen and Peter Stormare. We learn of the film’s roots and development, production design and cinematography, makeup and effects, cast and performances, and the director’s impact on the shoot. Though brief, “Making” has some interesting thoughts.

The disc opens with an ad for Regression. No trailer for Clown appears here.

Although it includes a handful of decent horror moments, Clown fails to cohere into anything truly compelling. The movie relies too much on shock moments and boasts too little real story development. The Blu-ray provides pretty good picture and audio but lacks notable supplements. This feels like a mediocre film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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