Every once in a while, a film comes your way that you have a feeling about. One that after it’s over, you instantly re-watch to see if it was really as good as you thought it was the first time around. There is something about those kinds of films that gives you the feeling that not only did you just sit through an engrossing, entertaining and bloody as hell movie, but that you just experienced the birth of a present day horror icon, without that idea being shoved down your throat. Conor McMahon’s killer clown bent on revenge film STITCHES is just that kind of film. One that is chock full of kills that leave your mouth wide open, one liners that make you spit out whatever you’re drinking, and a performance by its main character that leaves you wanting a sequel asap.
STITCHES follows Tom, a little boy who is celebrating his birthday with a party(which is inhabited by some of the biggest brats committed to film in recent years). For the party’s entertainment, Tom’s mother hires a rude, trashy clown named Stitches, a decision that ultimately ends up backfiring when the party is a disaster. The kids (save for Tom) all make fun of and prank Stitches, which eventually becomes fatal, when the clown is accidentally killed during the incident.
Not long after, Tom visits the graveyard where Stitches was buried, and stumbles across a ritual being performed by a coven of Black Magic Clowns having to do with an egg belonging to Stitches (each clown has their own egg). When caught by the clowns, they scare the hell out of Tom, leaving him traumatized and scared of Stitches’ return.
The film then skips ahead a few years to Tom, now in high school and talked into throwing a house party for his birthday, by the same group of bratty kids from earlier in the film. Tom’s still obsessed with what had happened years ago and is scared as hell of the idea that the clown will return for revenge, which happens, as Stitches rises from the grave, ready to crash the party and kill the group of kids who were responsible for his death.
What follows is some of the funniest, most hilarious and bloody kills in years. The combination of mostly practical effects, paired with Ross Noble’s hilarious performance as Stitches elevates the film from the typical slasher fare, to a film that leaves you laughing and holding your mouth throughout the movie’s entire running time. The one-liners that Stitches gives us after killing each character are enough to make your eyes water, and rival some of the best one-liners that Freddy Krueger could ever give in the ELM STREET films.
What sets STITCHES apart from a lot of recent horror films that try to force feed a new “slasher icon” down your throats, is the fact that the film never tries to be more than what it is: a fun time. While I semi-like the HATCHET series, I’ve always felt like the least interesting part of those films was its killer, Victor Crowley. STITCHES gives you quite the opposite, a movie villain that you find extremely funny and interesting, and one that you’re begging to see come back for another movie. You can tell that director Conor McMahon knows his stuff, but STITCHES never becomes a “throw every horror convention into the movie” angle that a lot of other films seem to doing these days.
It’s a wild ride, full of blood, guts, and some of the funniest jokes in a while, and I’m dying to see another film featuring that crazy as hell clown.
STITCHES comes out in a limited theatrical release beginning April 1st, with a Blu-ray and DVD release the following day, April 2nd via DARK SKY FILMS.