• Conor McMahon
  • 2012

It goes without saying that some clowns are a bit evil. Some of us spot this early on as children, and some of us are oblivious until we get a bit older and look again at the grotesque make-up and demented laugh, and then it clicks. For Stitches the Clown (Ross Noble), evil doesn’t become part of his job description until he is the victim of an unfortunate accident at a ten year old’s birthday party, in which his head is impaled on a knife. Six years later, when the same child, now sixteen is having another birthday party, and Stitches rises from the dead in order to take revenge on those responsible for his demise, he is undoubtedly a bit of a bastard.

Tommy (Tommy Knight) has, understandably, had some psychological issues that resulted from witnessing a clown die at his 10th birthday party. He’s grown up to be a shy boy, and so when his friends discover his mum is leaving him with a free house for his birthday, they decide to take the reigns from him and invite everyone they know. But there is also the unexpected guest of a murderous un-dead clown.

The humour in this horror-comedy is primarily of The Inbetweeners ilk, but with a darker, gorier edge.

Stitches feels a bit like a mix between the TV shows Pyschoville, for Reece Shearsmith’s down-and-out clown Mr Jelly, and The Inbetweeners. The humour in this horror-comedy is primarily of The Inbetweeners ilk, but with a darker, gorier edge. It is a story of teenagers getting drunk at a house party, but most of the characters don’t really evoke enough empathy for you to be able to invest in them emotionally, and therefore, somewhat crucially, want them to live. So the film becomes a slasher catalogue of inventive ways for a clown to kill off pubescent boys and girls.

There are plenty of fun visual gags and gore to keep you entertained for the duration of this low-budget British offering. And it is intriguing to see stand-up comedian Ross Noble have a go at acting, although on this evidence he’ll probably stick to the day job, as ‘a bit hammy’ would be a polite appraisal of his skills as a thesp. But, for a bit of a non-cerebral splatter-comedy, Stitches is an unabashedly silly and fun musing on what happens to clowns who don’t get to finish a party…

Stitches is in UK cinemas 26th October

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