For many people, clowns are the stuff of nightmares, and CLOWN TOWN (dir. Tom Nagel) aims to prey on that fear. Part road-trip-gone-wrong and part town-with-a-secret, with heavy references to HALLOWEEN (YEAR), CLOWN TOWN is a film that pays tribute to its influences.
Brad (Brian Nagel), Sarah (Laura Elise), Mike (Andrew Staton), and Jill (Katie Keene) are on a road trip to go see a concert. After passing through a small-town diner and receiving some shady directions to the freeway from the local sheriff, the crew hits the road again. Along the way, Jill realizes she left her phone behind at the restaurant. After calling it, the voice on the other end tells the group to continue driving and says he’ll meet them in a nearby town, which is seemingly abandoned. After dark, the mysterious guy is a no-show. However, someone cut some cables in their car to keep them stranded. They definitely won’t make it to show at this rate.
Then the clowns start to appear. Not funny laughing ha-ha clowns, though. Menacing, creepily smiling, seemingly unfeeling and unafraid, they stalk our protagonists. Are they just mindless murder machines, or do they have some other agenda? That, you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Andrew Staton gives a fun performance as Mike, the snarky, funny best friend of Brad. The cast has good chemistry, and I found their banter in the beginning to be enjoyable. Greg Violand had me feeling so bad for his character Frank, possibly the only non-clown resident of CLOWN TOWN.
CLOWNTOWN was obviously made by a crew with much love for the genre, and it shows. Even if you aren’t afraid of clowns, it’s still a fun ride with plenty of tension and buckets of blood. CLOWN TOWN will be available theatrically on September 30 and on DVD / VOD October 4th, and you can check out their Facebook for limited engagement theatre release info.