Well it made me care, congratulations!
Directed By: Victor Salva (Jeepers Creepers)
Still messing with some clown business here as today’s clown movie leads us to 1989’s Clownhouse! A movie made by Victor Salva who you may recall made the sleeper hit of Jeepers Creepers, a film that I did enjoy when I seen it way back in the day, not sure how I’d feel about it now. Either way, we got clowns here and we got Sam Rockwell, so what more could a man wanting to watch a damn clown movie want? Well..besides blood. We don’t have much of that.
Three young brothers (one of which being a very young Sam Rockwell) are left alone in their very big home while their parents are away. Now like most kids these brothers give each other a hard time and the youngest named Casey gets a lot of crap for being afraid of clowns. After a day of which sees them go to a circus and only further freak out Casey, the local mental hospital has people break out and wouldn’t you know it, they end up in clown suits chasing those three brothers around that big house.
I normally don’t like the more style of substance form of film making. I like blood, I like guts, I like nude ladies, but this movie managed to keep my attention without any of that. Naturally everyone who sees this will compare it to Halloween, and rightfully so. This movie uses the same type of suspense and shots to give you a creepy feeling from start to finish. I really didn’t want to care when I first seen it was going to be like that, but I’ll be damn if I didn’t end up caring as the movie progressed.
I also want to point out that Sam Rockwell does a great job as the asshole older brother here. You know the man can act now, and he had his acting chops working back in the day as well. I’d say pretty much everyone does a good to ok job from him to Cheezo the clown and it really helps the film. After all, without blood and gore you have to have something working to keep your attention right? If I had one real complaint about the film it would be it kinda leaves a little too much open ended but not enough to really matter..I don’t think.
So good suspense, as the film has some nail chewing moments. Good acting, even if the little brother Casey is a baby, and an overall eerie feel really helps Clownhouse. I know a lot of folks don’t like clown anyway and have a pretty big fear of them and a movie like this could only help make that fear sink in even more after viewing it I’m sure. While it’s not as good as Halloween or some other slashers of that decade, for it’s time it’s pretty good and well worth watching I think. If for nothing else, to see a young Sam Rockwell do his thing.
It’s a solid but not mind blowing film. It’s well worth checking out and for you fans of the Halloween style of slashers you’ll really get a kick out of I think. For anyone who has a fear of clowns the clowns here look really creepy and you may find yourself having a hard time sitting through it based off that alone. So if you have yet to see Clownhouse, I’d say give it a go!
The Rating (6.5/10)
EDITORS NOTE*I would like to point out that as I watched this movie and as I wrote this review I was at the time not aware of the back story between director Victor Salva and one of the child actors. And to be honest, now that I know it, I probably won’t be able to watch this film again*