‘The reason you’re afraid of clowns’
Clowntergeist is a 2016 American horror film written, co-produced, edited and directed by Aaron Mirtes (Curse of the Nun; Bring Them Home), based on a story by Brad Belemjian. It stars Brittany Belland (The Sleeper), Monica Baker, Burt Culver (Bastard) and Eric Corbin (House of Darkness).
Emma, a college student with a crippling fear of clowns, must come face to face with her worst fear when an evil spirit in the body of a clown is summoned terrorising the town she calls home.
One by one, Emma and her friends receive a balloon with the exact time and date of when it will appear to kill them written on it. After receiving her balloon, Emma realizes that she has two days left to live, and must fight against the clock to find a way to survive…
I know, I know… how on earth do you consider Clowntergeist a serious contender for a decent B-horror film? Yet, this movie is shockingly fun! Never judge a film by its name. I had little to no expectations for this Poltergeist/IT bastard baby of a flick. Yet, it wasn’t half bad.
Coulrophobia is a fear of clowns and our main character, Emma, suffers from this condition. She won’t even eat a clown popsicle! But in this small town, there is a demon lurking about in a permanent clown suit called Ribcage (use your own imagination and conclusion as to the origin of that moniker). Consequently, he is drawn to the panic that dwells inside mostly young female co-eds thereby haunting them until the ‘final attack’ time arrives.
Emma and her roommate Heather are your average college girls, working at a little ice cream parlor/diner and trying to get through their lives like typical ambitious youngsters. When the town is on lockdown to hunt a vicious killer, Emma gets excited. After all, nothing happens in this sleepy town. And now… “We have a murderer on the loose!”
So obviously, we know immediately that Emma becomes Ribcage’s new target and the entertainment begins. With intense jump scares, gruesome red balloons painted with cryptic notes, and plenty of… bloody black vomit? Emma runs and hides every chance she gets. Unfortunately, enhancing her fear only increases Ribcage’s intentions more hungrily.
Brittany Belland (Emma) is actually quite refreshing. She’s a cute plain-Jane, trying to escape this nasty little situation without endangering Heather (Baker) or her handsome boss, Jonah (Sean Patrick Murray.) While Ribcage (Corbin) has absolutely no qualms when it comes to appearing straight out of the blue, he is menacing, creepy and all around gross as he writhes around, screeching like a drowning cat.
There is an interesting if slightly predictable twist at the end, still encouraging the wickedness of clown fear, which is real. Poltergeist, IT, Circus Kane, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, 31, The Devil’s Rejects, etc. Let’s face it: Clowns are scary as Hell! And Clowntergeist just heightens the nightmare.
Meredith Brown, HORRORPEDIA
“While Clowntergeist plays close to the vest, teasing out what is a very standard creepy clown, and then tacking together several strings of strange logic in order to give the story any meat, it is unclear whether this is earnest or presented as an avant-garde take on what we traditionally expect of a horror film.” Bloody Flicks
Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk
“Ribcage’s backstory is absurd (“A paranormal shitstorm”) and there’s nothing frightening about a clown in a daylight kitchen scene being poked with a broom by our heroes and sicking up black goo. It’s an awkward hybrid of clown-slasher and supernatural horror, with feeble terrorisation via balloons and live radio.” Steven West, Horrorscreams Videovault