CLOWNS IN THE WOODS (2021) Reviews of hate crime horror

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‘Revenge is a dish best served sweet!’
Clowns in the Woods is a 2021 American horror film about a mentally disabled young man who is bullied and accidentally killed.

Written and directed by Adrian Esposito (Greetings from Tromaville; Reed Unbound: The Joel M Reed Story) and Curt Markham (The Search for Silverspear; Saberfrog; Curse the Darkness).

The Espocinema production stars Dalton Letta, Roselyn Kasmire, Biz LaChance, Adrian Esposito, Arlowe Price, Greg Lentz and Luther LeBron Layne.

Marcus (Dalton Letta), an obese young man with a minor mental disability, is bullied by ignorant college students and killed after a prank goes wrong. In the afterlife, he meets a group of ghostly clowns who help him exact revenge on those who have wronged him…


Clowns in the Woods is a low budget horror flick that highlights the issue of hate crimes against disabled and queer people by reactionaries, particularly in small communities. There are also a couple of jibes about Trump. Most of the production is competent, despite a few faltering performances, and the clowns’ makeup is reasonably creepy.

Unfortunately, the vengeful deaths – the focus of the film – are pretty feeble despite a couple of splattery moments. A tighter edit and shorter running time would also have benefitted the movie. Patient fans of trashier horror who don’t suffer from coulrophobia may find Clowns in the Woods worth a look, if really desperate, but most people would be wise to avoid it due to the shoddy presentation and inert delivery. A painful rap over the end credits hardly adds to the film’s appeal.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

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Main cast and characters:
Dalton Letta … Marcus
Roselyn Kasmire … Amy
Biz LaChance … James
Adrian Esposito … Rosco
Arlowe Price … Jingles
Greg Lentz … Jekko
Luther LeBron Layne … Jester
John Karyus … Mr Punch (voice)
Hailey Anne … Liz
Anthony S. Creek … Brad
Michael Ciesla … Zack
Kevin Millane … Jerry
Amy Zubieta … Alice
Nolan Tierce … Dan
Amelia Favata … Kelly
John Renna … Mr Belson
PJ Ryan … Peter Bannon
Rhonda Parker … Aunt Debbie

Technical details:
1 hour 30 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

$35,000 (estimated)


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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