Damien Leon (director)
London FrightFest 2022 (studio)
August 29, 2022 (published)
Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) is resurrected in a very strange way and then sets his sights on the town of Miles County as before. This time it’s Halloween and the focus of everything that motivates him is a family that recently lost their father. Mother Barbara (Sarah Voigt), daughter Sienna (Lauren LaVera) and serial killer obsessed Jonathan (Elliott Fullam) with whom Art seems to have a psychic connection.
Really, there’s not much to it other than when the clown comes to town, he kills anything that seems to piss him off or annoy him. And some don’t, because it’s not about complex motives and psychological profiling. Thus, a salesman is massacred for asking him to pay while someone in a laundromat finds himself with a pole in his mouth to be there.
And it’s mostly about the violence of the killing. It’s not a grandiose Saw-like puzzle from writer and director Damien Leone, it’s just whatever we can get our hands on. A truly vicious attack that leaves the victim nearly flayed and barely alive is reminiscent of Mary Kelly’s photo after the Jack the Ripper attack. The mother shows up and then we see her brain is hollowed out and filled with candy which Art then offers to the Trick or Treaters.
The characters are fine while LaVera and Fullam work well as siblings. The others aren’t so rounded that they’re there as artistic fodder.
There are weak attempts at black comedy with the eyes and mannerisms of the clown, but they fail because these murders are far too cruel and sinister for humor to be gleaned. It ultimately depends on the taste and tolerance of the individual viewer.
What It’s About, and confirmed late in the film, builds on the first film by increasing the violence and adding a little girl who might be art-related. It is the construction of the franchise and the “universe”.
It has a full theatrical release and I suspect it will have to make some money the first week as I don’t see much wanting to repeat the experience.