Clownz R Us (2020)

Directed by Evan M. Philyaw [Other horror films: N/A] & Seth M. Philyaw [Other horror films: N/A]

This found footage film, inspired by the 2016 clown sightings that permeated the country, was a pretty simple movie, though not one without promise. It ran for just 46 minutes, and featured pretty much what you’d expect out of a lower-budget found footage movie. By no means groundbreaking, Clownz R Us still did a serviceable enough job with what they were going for.

And that may sound like faint praise, but it’s not meant to. The story here isn’t that involved, as a bunch of kids are terrorized by three clowns (not unlike Clownhouse, only this is obviously far more unpolished), and they run around the house and yard trying to get to a safe place. There are plenty of spooky clown scenes, some of which actually caused me to jump, but at the same time, there’s nothing particularly innovative here, for whatever that’s worth.

Seeming to star the Philyaw family (all five credited performances appear to be members), the acting was weak. I don’t much hold that against the film, especially given what they were working with, but it could be said that if anything hurt the film, that did.

Certainly there were some story elements that felt off (such as two characters arguing about who should have locked the side-door for half a minute as opposed to quickly locking it as soon as they realized they missed it, or the kids sitting around a dead body in a rather casual manner), but I think a lot of that could probably be hand-waved away as these characters were all pretty young, so of course they may not be the most logical of individuals.

I did enjoy the opening tone, as the film began with news clips from various creepy clown encounters (some of which were definitely creepy), and that set this up well as potential real footage, despite the shabby acting. Still, Evan M. Philyaw was decent as the main character (the one making the video), and I thought that, all things considered, Seth M. Philyaw did pretty well also.

Given the film is only around 45 minutes, it’s not too difficult to get through, and generally keeps a good pace, but I will admit that a few things felt a bit repetitive to me, especially during the frantic scenes in which it was somewhat difficult to tell what was going on (such as the scene in the closet, or any scene in which they were running in the pitch-black outside). Luckily it wasn’t as bad as other found footage films can get (the one that immediately comes to mind is Atrocious, a Spanish film from 2010), but Clownz R Us is not without it’s flaws.

Generally, though, I would say that they did most things right. Nothing here reinvents the wheel, but if you’re looking for an easily-digestible found footage horror movie, this may be worth looking into. It’s not special, and ultimately ends up around average, but I definitely appreciate what they were going for.

7/10

Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

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