Co-written and directed by Conor McMahon (who is still a fledgling in the directing world), Stitches is a “broad” comedy/horror film that will not appeal to all who watch it. If you have no issues with hearing the “C” word (and no I am not referring to cancer) a few times in the film, you may well like the brand of humour on offer.
Noble plays a clown named Richard Grindle, aka Stitches. (I do have to give the screenwriters a nod here, naming their “monster” after the monster in Beowulf was a pretty good move) He’s not a very good clown, he’ll never get his name entered into the Clown Hall of Fame (if one exists) and he goes to entertain a group of kids at a birthday party.
Once there, it turns out the children are, for the most part, a nasty bunch of ragamuffins who know more dirty tricks than a bar fighter. One of these tricks proves pretty disastrous for stitches and he winds up with a kitchen knife shoved through his eye and face. Wrenching the knife from his face he steps forward to stab the birthday boy and slips on his own blood. Landing flat on his back, the knife, which went airborne when he slipped, comes down and stabs him in the same eye and kills him.
There follows some sort of malarkey where a group of creepy clowns (Say that fast three times! I dare you! I double dare you! Sorry, where was I?) have a special ceremony of their own to mark Stitches death and they tell the birthday boy that the clown will return.
Six years later, he does.
That is pretty much the plot of the film, like a lot of other slasher films with an inhuman monster who is taking revenge on the ones who killed him. Stitches goes after the same group of kids to mete out his own “funny” brand of justice.
I did like this film, it was amusing in some places (there’s a scene with a child’s tricycle that had me chuckling throughout) and impressive in others but for both of these attributes it still fell short of it’s goal. There are two special effects shots that are surprisingly good but, again, not all of them were show-stopping. Although to be fair there is one scene with a air pump and someones head that was “Loony Tunes” funny.
There were other parts of the film where the odd gaffe was made, but it didn’t spoil the film for me.
The only problem I had was that the film tried too hard to be funny. It would have been much better if a little subtlety had been used. As the cast was mainly made up of young actors, there were a few who knew they were funny and it showed; to the detriment of the film.
Tommy Knight played birthday boy Tom who is, understandably, traumatised by the clown dying in front of him (after first trying to stab him in retaliation) and is on medication. He has been working in the business since 2002 and he’s a capable actor. Although his “mooning” after childhood crush Kate (Gemma-Leah Devereux) consisted of him staring a her with a “half-sharp” look on his face.
The rest of the cast did okay overall, but, having a better experience level among the youngsters would have helped.
Still I purchased this DVD for under 5 pounds stirling; roughly 7 bucks American. So not too bad on the wallet. The main problem is that the film’s comedy is too broad and aimed, obviously, at Ross Noble fans. As I had no idea who he was, it was all a bit flat for me. A younger audience will probably enjoy it more than I did.
The final verdict?
If there isn’t anything else to watch, this film is a decent alternative to other, better, comedy/horror films out there. If you want a really funny horror film watch Lobos de Arga it is much funnier and the language is not nearly as coarse.
3 out of 5 stars. Not a bad film, but, it’s not a great one.
- Review: Stitches (pete975.wordpress.com)
- Stitches (2012) (horror-movie-a-day.blogspot.com)
- Countdown – Top Six Killer Clown Movies (dreadcentral.com)
- Stitches Blu-ray (goodmoviesbadmovies.com)
- Ross Noble – Stitches the Clown (blogs.abc.net.au)
- Official Red Band Trailer for Stitches Hits with a Splat (dreadcentral.com)
- Win a Copy of Stitches on Blu-ray (dreadcentral.com)
- Check out the new trailer for killer clown movie ‘Stitches’ (insidemovies.ew.com)