CERT: 15 / PLATFORMS: SKY STORE, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, ITUNES / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Victor Hugo once said, “nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come”. And in 2015 one 65-year-old clown “entertainer” made sadistic (or clever - depending on your view) use of a dark idea. To get paid by parents to come to parties, houses or gardens and scare naughty children. Meet Wrinkles the Clown! A media sensation? A parent’s last resort? Pure nightmare fuel? A future in child therapy waiting to happen? Michael Beach Nichols’ horror documentary looks behind those sinister dark eyes of the Michael Myers-esque mask to ask who - or rather - what is Wrinkles?
Wrinkles The Clown has drawn some criticism for not getting deeper behind the man or the story but this is a horror documentary (tinged with comedy), less about solid answers and more about the human condition and what you can draw from it. And what a fascinating, twisty and shocking watch it is, and very bold in its cryptically misdirecting execution.
A timely documentary about modern folklore, coulrophobia’s origin, viral influence and the dark side of child psychology, Wrinkles The Clown speaks to people who have made the call, kids with an (unhealthy?) fascination and some other talking heads, as it digs into some of its thought provoking themes of ethics, effect and influence. Integrating reality with the allure of dramatic ideas and their roots in human fears, Nichols’ film not only discusses Wrinkles but the societal ripples since, most striking of all the killer clown panic of 2016.
From the Rodney Ascher school of documentary filmmaking, this is a compelling discussion into some funny, dark and actually quite disturbing ideas of perception and how the mind can run wild on a particular idea and make it more horrifying...especially a child’s mind. Go in fresh and enjoy the ride!