I know, I know, I've been gone for a while now. I wish I could explain why and whatnot, but long story short is I've been busy. With that out of the way, here's my first review in nearly a month, and it deals with the clown themed supernatural slasher "Stitches."
Stitches (Russ Noble) is a clown that works birthday parties and isn't exactly popular with the kids. At one party, he's accidentally killed in a freak incident-something that has haunted then birthday boy Tom (played as a teen by Tommy Knight) ever since. Years later, Tommy is throwing another party-one that has all the kids who were there the night Stitches was accidentally offed. For Stiches, this is great, as he's been brought back to life by a ritual from a clown cult, and he has revenge on his mind.
In a lot of ways, "Stitches" is something of a throwback to the days of the 80's slasher movie, right down to it's cliched characters (the fat kid-whose also the token gay guy, the horndog, the asshole and his bitch girlfriend) and party in a house setting. Thankfully, it manages to work better than other like minded slasher throwbacks thanks to some strong acting, better than usual directing, creative kills and warped sense of humor. The kills are all clown and circus based, and while not all of them work, the best ones (especially an umbrella themed murder and a head kicked off like a football) managed to genuinely make me laugh. Speaking of which, the jokes don't always hit (the lamest being a few bad one liners and a teacher with the worst comb over ever), the ones that did actually got me the laugh (especially a bit involving Stitches trying to ride a tricycle up a hill) really helped.
I also like how director Conor McMahon isn't trying to make the newest iconic slasher villain. So many slashers post "Hatchet" want the villains to have loaded back stories and iconic moments so much that they forget what makes these movies work. Little of that is here. The movie just says "Here's a clown, he was wronged (though to be honest, he was kind of an asshole when he was alive) and he's back for revenge." So many modern slashers could benefit by keeping it simple but not too simple, and this one thankfully does just that.
There's little about "Stitches" that screams classic to me, as it's flaws (such as the rather convoluted explanation for how the killer came back from dead) are pretty glaring. Still, it's a better than usual modern slasher that manages to get away with some funny moments and some awesome kills and gore as well. Sometimes, it's the little things that count.