Another day, another clown-centric movie to review. This time, it is Wild Eye Releasing’s Clownface, which is precisely what you’re imagining based on the title. But given the distribution company’s wild variance of quality, is the dramatic slasher any good, or is it dead on arrival?
Zoe (Dani Tonks) is preparing for her boyfriend Rick (Thomas Loone) to come over for a date. As she finishes up in the bedroom, a masked intruder breaks in, handcuffs Zoe, and ravishes her then and there. The audience later learns that this is Rick, and the couple engages in roleplay and BDSM. Shortly after finishing, they hear a strange noise. Getting up to investigate, the duo finds a man with an axe, wearing a hand-sewn clown mask (made out of human flesh). A struggle ensues, but Clownface (Phillip John Bailey) wins and carries Zoe off into the dead of night.
“…Clownface wins and carries Zoe off into the dead of night.”
Her roommate Jenna (Hannah Douglas) was not there that night but did tell the cops all she can. Feeling like they are not doing enough, she teams up with an investigator of sorts, Owen (Richard Buck), to uncover the truth behind Clownface and possibly rescue her friend. However, following the clues put the two in danger, and now they might become the latest victims of Clownface.
Clownface is writer-director Alex Bourne’s sophomore feature-length effort and an homage to the classic early slashers such as Black Christmas and Halloween. While it is not as iconic or frightening as those titles, it is an admirable, if overlong, effort, that focuses equally on the characters and horror. Zoe’s background is told in flashbacks as she waits in captivity for her ultimate fate. This is very compelling stuff, as the revelations about her than allow the viewer to understand her actions now.
"…an homage to the classic early slashers such as Black Christmas and Halloween."