31 Days Of Hell: ClownTown (2016) - Reviewed

Clowns are popping up all over the place, so it only seems fitting that a scary clown movie would show up right in time for Halloween and "31 Days of Hell." This one is the new film titled ClownTown which is now available to view on VOD and DVD. While the scenario is completely preposterous, the overall craftsmanship and interesting looks of the clown characters should keep most horror fans entertained. The story is about a group of friends heading to a concert in Columbus, Ohio, who become stranded in an abandoned town that is run by a band of murderous clowns.

The story is the weak link in the chain of this production. You really need to suspend disbelief and just go for the ride, which is in essence a clown gang that has taken over a town like the mafia. The end result is some weird combination of the Droogs from A Clockwork Orange and a Texas Chainsaw Massacre type of family that runs the whole town. That being said, they did make sure to provide the viewers with the required aspects that are standard for the horror genre. There are hot babes in skimpy outfits, nudity, plenty of blood, some gore effects, a decent body count, the usual scares and fake jump scenes, and of course plenty of creepy clowns. There are also some obvious nods to other classic horror movies.

What kept me impressed throughout the whole motion picture was the overall look and quality of the production. First time feature length director Tom Nagel and the rest of his crew have created a wonderful looking independent production. There are a host of creative camera angles, decent camera placement and choices, and several large scale overhead shots. The lighting was simply outstanding, which is something you wouldn't normally expect to hear about a low budget horror film. It was also well edited. The score from Holly Amber Church was nothing short of brilliant, the use of the piano was reminiscent of classic 1980's scores such as A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The acting is what you should normally expect from an independent horror production, with it being fairly average for the most part. Once the clown hunting starts to happen, the actors who are being attacked bring a tremendous level of fear to their roles. They should be commended for that. The stars of the show are of the course the clowns, who end up being a rather eclectic group of memorable characters. There are a total of five that I labeled as the brute, the crazy, the classy, the hobo, and the girl. They all have distinctive and cool looks to them, while also being creepy.

Why so serious?

There is a tremendous amount of potential in the director and the rest of the crew who created the imagery and sounds that were brought to the screen. Given a better script, Tom Nagel could deliver something great. I had some serious issues with Rob Zombie's 31 and find him to be a creative individual that is a poor director. If Nagel were given the script and production values that Zombie had for 31, he would have presented a far more aesthetically pleasing film.

While this will definitely not blow anyone away, there is enough here to scare your significant other and entertain you for 90 minutes. 

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