Stitches is a 2012 British/Irish comedy horror film written and directed by Conor McMahon (Dead Meat). It stars comedian Ross Noble (Nails), Tommy Knight and Gemma-Leah Devereux.
A group of teenagers are stalked by the undead Richard Grindle, otherwise known as “Stitches” (Ross Noble).
Years ago, Stitches arrived at the birthday party of the bratty Tom. Together with his friends, they torment Stitches, eventually resulting in his death after a shoelace tying prank results in him falling on a sharp kitchen knife.
Now as a teen, Tom is so jittery and nervous that his friends decide that he must attend a huge party to loosen up, unaware that a black magic clown cult is intent on raising Stitches from the dead so he can seek his revenge…
Ross Noble has such a one-dimensional part here – it’s just looking sinister and muttering puns in a raspy voice – that I can’t really criticise his performance, simply because there’s little performance involved. The rest of the teenage cast are uniformly dreadful though. The best you can say about them is that they play a group of self-centered, charmless, obnoxious tossers with consummate ease.
The only thing that Stitches has going for it are the practical gore effects, which are bloody, splattery and gross. But it takes more than an exploding head, a disemboweling and a brain-scooping to make a film work. Everything else here is just awful. Watching Stitches was, quite honestly, painful. Don’t put yourself through the same ordeal.
David Flint, MOVIES & MANIA
” … most of the film’s humor attempts fall flat, with tired jokes involving fat kids and pot brownies and the like. There’s not much in the way of atmosphere or style either … Every murder is ridiculous, inventive and extremely messy — and yes, the clown makes a balloon animal out of someone’s intestines. Best of all, almost all of the gore effects are practical, even the most absurd ones.” Brian Clark, Twitch
“The comedy itself isn’t slap sticky, nor is it laugh aloud funny, but it carries a “fun” tone that makes it an easy watch and a candidate for repeat viewings … Stitches is a relentless and brutal slasher that’s not only ultra violent, but also off-the-wall gory. But the icing in the ice cream cake is how original the death scenes are taking the genre to an entirely new level (think Killer Klownz weird).” Bloody Disgusting
“McMohan lays on the blood and gore with a trowel but also with a spiky sense of humour. If would be a better film if it was structured more strictly and less determined to murder not just the rather nasty teens one by one but probability too. Even so, there are laughs to be had, Knight is good, and Noble revels in playing a second-rate clown who takes first-class revenge”. Derek Malcolm, London Evening Standard
“Stitches is home to some of the most diabolically brilliant kill scenes to hit the screen in years, with such a rigorous sense of care and detail put into them that the smile on your face will be likely to have you looking a little clown-like, yourself.” Gareth Jones, Dread Central
The horror stuff is obvious, but staged with showstopping flair and buckets of blood … Noble manages the trick of playing a failed clown who tells unfunny jokes well enough, but the film would have been stronger if Stitches were funnier at first and scarier later on.” Kim Newman, Screen Daily
Ross Noble is a genuinely amusing stand-up comedian and so it is surprising that he didn’t figure out that this juvenile one-joke teen comedy barely contains enough meaty material to warrant a funny feature, instead, coming across like a short with too few narrative ideas beyond its gloriously gory deaths.
Aside from the intermittently entertaining murderous mayhem, the additional running time is fleshed out with wince-inducing and lengthy school and party scenes. For an entertaining Irish comedy horror film, rent or preferably buy, hilarious Grabbers instead.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES & MANIA
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