Plot: Scott (Peter Cosgrove) and Polly (Yvonne Wan) have just endured a horrific series of events, one that has left some of their friends dead and the evidence seems to point at them as responsible. The two are innocent, but no one is likely to believe their stories, as the real murderer was a clown doll. The doll seemed to have some kind of violent, supernatural presence and while Scott tries to burn it, Polly is worried the doll’s destruction will leave them no evidence of innocence. But before he can torch the clown, the doll has a surge in spirit and claims both of their lives, then vanishes. The doll turns back up however, as a new arrival at a small shop, where Lane (Sarah T. Cohen) happens to see it and take an interest. She takes the clown doll home, but is there really some kind of vengeful spirit inside the life sized toy and if so, what price will Lane pay for opening her life to the evil clown?
Entertainment Value: This is one seriously twisted clown. I had fun with ClownDoll, as it is a well made, polished indie horror movie that gives us a life size doll to terrorize the hapless victims. A creepy doll is one thing and a creepy clown doll is another, but a creepy clown doll that’s the size of a person is even creepier. The story is about what you’d expect and doesn’t throw in a lot of surprises, but it hits the right beats and gives us what the premise promises. The doll is given a good amount of screen time and the body count is solid, while the kills are a nice mix of demises, so the slasher style march is fun to watch. I think the psychological aspect is well handled also, as Lane’s already vulnerable mental state continues to unravel, which then opens up some narrative threads and red herring type situations. The pace is a little slow in places, but overall the flow is on point and it doesn’t feel like there’s much filler here, which allows more time to clown around. As with most indie horror productions, the budget limitations are evident at times, but there’s a good amount of polish here and I think the filmmakers make the most of the available resources. I think ClownDoll is a fun watch and while horror fans of all stripes should give it a look, this one is highly recommended for fans of creepy clowns.
No nakedness. There’s no real sexual content to speak of, so the lack of sleaze isn’t an issue in the slightest. This is a movie about a murderous, supernatural clown doll, so of course, some violence is involved. This includes some fun bloodshed, such as a pencil used in a painful fashion, a knife to the melon, backstabbing betrayals, and one kill that involves a lot of red mist in the air. I wouldn’t call the kills graphic, but there is more blood than I expected and the effects work is rock solid, which adds to the film’s slasher movie vibes. I also liked that our clown cries blood at one point and there is a bubble bath to remember, also a plus. So we have blood, a high body count, and a creepy clown, what else could you want? The dialogue is mostly serious, so there isn’t much in terms of wild or outlandish lines here. I also think the cast is better than you might think, so the performances don’t veer into camp or over the top moments, which keeps the dialogue reeled in as well. Sarah T. Cohen shines in the lead performance, while Peter Cosgrove and Kate Milner Evans also have terrific efforts. Evans is humorous as the overbearing matriarch and I wouldn’t have minded more screen time for her character, as she brought a lot to the role. So the dialogue is score is low, but that doesn’t reflect on the quality of the writing or performances involved. As for general craziness, the movie keeps a mostly serious tone, but some b movie elements still comes through, adding some fun.
Overall Insanity: 2/10