04th Jul2019

‘Clowndoll’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Peter Cosgrove, Sarah T. Cohen, Mark Sears, Yvonne Wan, Jon-Scott Clark, Tommy Vilés, Cassandra French, Hattie Willow, Kate Milner Evans, Mike Kelson, Kate Lush, Kelly Juvilee, Carmina Cordelia, Hannah Rogers | Written and Directed by Scott Jeffrey


With Child’s Play and Annabelle Comes Home released this month it is expected that a few low budget alternatives would be around at a similar time. Clowndoll though, is also jumping on the bandwagon of the soon to be released It: Chapter 2, so here we have a killer clown and killer doll all in one form!

Why the lead character ‘Lane’ purchased this doll in the first place I have no idea. There’s some attempt at an explanation which basically boils down to ‘she likes horror movies and it looks a bit creepy’ so she offers the local second hand shop seller £50 and it’s hers. Bargain! The main problem I have with this clown doll (all one word in this film for some unknown reason) is that it just isn’t scary. Not at all. Now I don’t have coulrophobia (fear of clowns) but even if you do you might be okay. I think it’s almost entirely because of the silly cheap-looking and multi-coloured wig that the film-makers have chosen for the doll. It takes any sense of fear that the face has – and in other circumstances it might – and just makes you laugh at how bad it is. The outfit isn’t great either, again looking very cheap. Clowns can be scary, I know that – see Pennywise and Twisty of American Horror Story – legitimately terrifying clowns. And if you are going to go down the doll route, have a doll. This looks like, because it mostly is, a person in a cheap clown outfit.

That said,things that aren’t necessarily scary can become scary if the script is good. In Clowndoll much of the dialogue feels unnatural, as does the characters actions. One scene sees a character touch the clowns face several times in a really awkward manner, even though there’s no reason to suspect it at that moment in time. This is all down to build a moment of tension but it doesn’t work so you get no jump scare on top of the unnatural movement.

Why the main character thinks it’s a good idea to befriend a guy who ‘accidentally calls her phone’ I don’t know. It was like if in Scream the person who answered the phone to Ghostface just started making friendly conversation with them. It just seemed very odd. And I know it’s almost a horror movie in-joke now but the police are as good as useless here.

The actors can’t be to blame too much, the performances range from poor to okay but the script is hard to turn a good performance from. The one highlight comes in the form of some decent practical effects in the death scenes. One in particular as we see a pencil driven through somebodies hand. But the other death scenes are only mildly entertaining.

If you want to see a killer doll this summer, go see Child’s Play or Annabelle Comes Home. And if you really can’t wait til It: Chapter 2 to see a killer clown, just watch the first It again as Clowndoll will not fulfil any of those cravings.

* 1/5


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