Gags the Clown – USA, 2018 – reviews

‘The jokes on us…’

Gags the Clown aka Gags is a 2018 American horror feature film directed by Adam Krause from a screenplay co-written with John Pata, based on Krause’s 2016 short film of the same name. The Head Trauma productions feature stars Lauren Ashley Carter, Tracy Perez and Aaron Christensen.

Plot:

A small city in Wisconsin is terrorised by a mysterious clown who roams the streets late at night with nothing more than a handful of black balloons.

The local news stations scramble to break the story on who he is and what he wants while a group high schoolers see the clown’s arrival as an excuse to create a little trouble themselves.

The police try to maintain order in a city that has gone clown crazy and a conservative podcast host vows to put a stop to the clown known as Gags while broadcasting his “clown hunt” on social media for the world to see…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …there are some interesting insights into how people view bizarre, un-quantifiable threats — with fear, with aggression, as an amusement, etc. Carter and Christensen give very good performances that add significantly to the overall impact, and the story builds to a conclusion that is as ingenuous as it is creepy.” Mike McGranaghan, The Aisle Seat

” …an offbeat, unusual horror film that totally has its own identity. Many of the same found footage frustrations still apply, like when the camera cuts away or becomes distorted at precisely the moment that it ought to be showing us what’s happening.” Patrick Bromley, Bloody Disgusting

“Landing somewhere between a thinking man’s horror film and a popcorn movie, Gags is assuredly not a film for everyone, but genre fans looking for something different should definitely keep this one on their radar. There are more than enough twists and turns to prevent the film from feeling too familiar, and there’s something timelessly fun about killer clowns.” Blair Hoyle, Cinema Slasher

“Krause exhibits an excellent eye for positioning flashlight beams, street lamps, and other illumination sources just right to surround Gags in insidious shadows. Put Nicholas Elert’s simple yet unsettling score underneath and imagery easily induces chills. I personally would have preferred to see Gags the Clown subdue its silly streak and go all-in on the horror instead.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

…Gags feels like something of a letdown; there is a genuinely good idea at its core (I love that Krause tries to explore that recent trend of weird clowns just showing up everywhere), but his approach never really works for me as a viewer. Most of the characters are bland and unlikeable, and the scares are few and far between.” Heather Wixson, Daily Dead

“Director/co-writer Adam Krause and editor/co-writer John Pata keep the pace brisk throughout the film’s running time, with a steady stream of jokes and creepy set pieces. The finale really kicks the proceedings up a notch, and the final shot provides a perfect punch line to the whole film. Gags is funny, wild, and a great, inventive example of how to make the “found footage” style practical and effective.” Jason Coffman, Daily Grindhouse

Gags is a creepy story with a fascinating meta concept. This is not a movie for the faint of heart (especially those who faint at the sight of clowns). With stellar atmosphere and chills, Gags is a must-see flick.” Michael Pementel, Dread Central

“Much of the terror within the film could be solved with a few characters not putting their lives in danger for a little extra exposure. The film, even for its budget, is a class example of how to make great culturally conscious horror on the thinnest of margins. But mostly, it’s a fun and creepy time worth having.” Robert Daniels, 812 Film Reviews

“Appropriately, a film about a killer clown named Gags is as darkly funny as it is scary, with a bit of self-referential humor and clever satire aimed squarely at our media-obsessed culture — taking shots at everything from the 24-hour sensationalized news cycle, to political podcasters who gain fame by fueling hate and hostility, to the YouTubers desperate for the next big viral video.” Morbidly Beautiful

“The horror elements lean more towards the creepy than outright frightening. Gags method of getting victims is clever and what happens to them is unnerving. It all builds to an effective climax and final shot at TV news. Eric Heuvelman does a good job as the silent clown…” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony

“As events progress we get into increasingly abstract, nightmarish territory which defies clear-cut explanation, and – without spoiling anything – it’s fair to say the very last scenes leave things a bit open to interpretation. But the film does give us some of the most effective scare sequences I’ve seen from found footage in a long time…” Ben Busey, Warped Perspective

Release:

Gags the Clown was released theatrically and on VOD platforms on September 3, 2019. Previously, the movie premiered at the Cinepocalypse film festival on 26 June 2018.

Cast and characters:

  • Lauren Ashley Carter … Heather Duprey
  • Tracy Perez … Chrissy Renard
  • Aaron Christensen … Charles Wright
  • Evan Gamble … Jake Gruber
  • Wyatt Kuether … Dale Russell
  • Jake Martin … Wayne Barlament
  • Michael Gideon Sherry … Tyler Zepnick
  • Squall Charlson … Chris
  • Halley Sharp … Sara Renard
  • Eric Heuvelman … Gags
  • Steve Herson … Ralph Jungwirth
  • Fiona Domenica … Ashley
  • Zarai Perez … Rebecca Chambers
  • Aidan Arendt … Eddie
  • Giuseppe Battista … Running Employee

Image credits: Morbidly Beautiful

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