Clowntergiest … Clown-ter-giest. Hmmm, not the best of titles nor is it the best of films. Now unless you’ve got an irrational fear of clowns then there’s not a whole lot to be afraid of here, as Clowntergiest is a cheaply made, poorly put together mess. At only 80-minutes long, the running time feels a lot longer and although there are a few jump scares to be had, the movie never lives up to its potential or even remotely terrifies its audience.
Clowntergiest centres on a college student named Emma (Brittany Belland) who has a crippling fear of clowns. Unfortunately for her however, she soon finds herself having to come face to face with her worst nightmare after an evil spirit in the body of a clown is summoned and starts terrorizing her town. With each of the victims receiving a balloon with the exact date and time of their death, Emma soon realizes that she has to fight against the clock in order to find a way to survive.
Written and directed by Aaron Mirtes in his second feature movie (with a story by Brad Belemjian), Clowntergiest is a criminally boring slog. With a weak script and shoddy directing, there’s an amateurish feel to the whole thing with a number of odd camera angles and questionable editing throughout. Leading actresses Brittany Belland and Monica Baker however are able inject some charismatic performances despite being a little wooden at times. It’s their chemistry onscreen however that is probably the only real highlight, as the majority of the film is disrupted by uneven pacing, poor acting and bad dialogue.
Which then leads us onto the villain of the piece - the demonic, killer clown. Unfortunately for both horror fans and general viewers alike, there’s nothing here that will remotely scare or terrify even the softest of souls. With no imaginative deaths or creepy clown moments, we’re simply left with a man dressed in a clown's outfit, flailing about somebody's kitchen in the middle of the day whilst trying to muster a half arsed, generic sounding screech. It’s a baffling directorial decision and the demonic clown never really looks threatening enough to even ignite those with coulrophobia and instead just feels embarrassingly out of place.
Overall, Clowntergiest is film that should be avoided at all costs. With not much in the form of scares, gore or plot, one of its biggest sins is being imaginatively dull. With a script, which does no favours for its cast members, it's almost impossible to care for the characters onscreen and with a villain who doesn’t instill a drop of fear or revulsion; the audience is simply left with no emotional attachments. With the remake of It coming out soon it’s hard to see the Clowntergiest as anything more than a quick cash in. So our advice would be to sit tight and wait for Andrés Muschietti’s It to arrive in September instead.
CLOWNTERGIEST / CERT: NR / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: AARON MIRTES / STARRING: BRITTANY BELLAND, MONICA BAKER, TOM SEIDMAN / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 12TH