Director: Conor McMahon
Starring: Ross Noble, Tommy Knight, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Lorna Dempsey, Valerie Spelman
Stitches is a clown that performs his tricks at children’s birthday parties. He is sick of his job and hates the obnoxious kids that he gets paid to entertain. His last job is done for the little kid Tom and his friends where he ends up dying after a freak accident.
Tom has never been able to get over the sight of the dead clown at his birthday and now that he is a teenager he gets some creepy flashes of clowns coming after him and his friends. His birthday is coming up and since he has the big house all to himself, he invites friends over for a party. This birthday party also ends up being bloody when Stitches return from the dead to get revenge on Tom and his friends.
Congrats to Ireland! Who would have thought that the next entertaining slasher film would come from the land that brought us pubs and leprechauns. Stitches is an attempt at mixing horror and comedy without referring to older horror films, instead creating its own space in the genre. It is filled with gory scenes, teen comedy and suspense.
While it was a fun experience, I did think that the balance between humour and horror wasn’t mixed all that well. I think it could have been even better if they had either kept it a little darker or made it even lighter and more humorous. The comedy makes the final fifteen minutes not as suspenseful as they were going for and the dark nature of Stitches makes some of the comedy not work.
I would have prefered that they either kept the victims at a young children’s age of 8-9 years and kept Stitches like they had him in this film and done it in pure horror or changed Stitches up to be an even more funny clown if they were going for the premise they did here. I think both of those directions would elevate the film from good to great.
The story is kept very simple, clown dies, clown comes back, clown kills. It doesn’t need anything more than that either, easy and simple the way it wants to be. The death scenes are fun and very gory. The effects are good, but could have been better. The teenage characters worked, a nice mixture of teens that all seemed original enough to keep them from becoming clichés. Most of the teens also looks like teenagers instead of being 20 year olds playing younger roles, which is always a plus.
The acting is for most part good. Tommy Knight does a good performance as Tom, he is struggling with his anxiety but yet he doesn’t become a “crybaby” for better lack of words. It’s kind of funny how none of the main characters are blonde, I think there is only one blonde person in this film and that’s a little hottie (she is young and if she is too young, then I apologize!) named Lorna Dempsey. The comedian Ross Noble plays Stitches, which is strange since I didn’t find the clown to be very funny. He is a very dark character and I think he could have used more work and as said earlier, more funny and more clown antics with this premise. His makeup could also have been done better, he will not top any scariest clown makeup lists if there are people out there that make those.
The film is directed and co-written by Conor McMahon. I’m betting that he is a horror fan and I applaud him for not letting it become a self-refering film like so many newer slasher films seems to become. It never takes jabs or laughs at other slasher films and I’m thankful for that since I never seem to enjoy those type of newer slasher films. There are some great visual shots of Stitches standing around watching the kids that are great and hopefully McMahon keeps on getting more chances to work within this genre in the future. He also gets a big plus for making the teens party to Cutting Crew – I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight!
Stitches is not a perfectly crafted movie, but it is a lot of fun. There is heart behind this project and there are plenty of intestines being shown in the film aswell. It’s a gory mix of comedy and horror and it is one of the best slasher films I’ve seen the last years.