Amusement Review

Amusement (2008)

Starring: Keir O'Donnell, Katheryn Winnick, Laura Breckenridge
Directed by: John Simpson

So, for those who don't know, I've signed up for NaNoWriMo or the National Novel Writing Month. From November 1st to the 30th is a run to put out the first draft of your novel, approximately 50,000 words. Basically, this means I'm going to have a long month ahead of me, but it'll be for the best. The plan is to shotgun more focus into No Dreams For Henry and see what may come of it.

But on another note, today we're looking at the title, Amusement. This title I was a bit skeptical about to begin with, but I like clowns, so it was worth giving it a shot.

Amusement is the bizarre tale of three female friends who are stalked by a killer bent on revenge from an incident reaching back into their childhoods.

Like I said a second ago, this movie is bizarre. There's a great opening sequence in which one of the girls is kidnapped. There is a cameo by actor Kevin Gage (known for Dee Snider's Strangeland and the gore fest, Laid To Rest) as the truck driver that I truly enjoyed. The following scene with the clown is by far one of my favorite creep out moments in a movie. From there, Amusement takes a little bit of a different approach to providing the creep. Switching from the scary clown to a house that approaches Bat Cave levels of "what the fuck??" magnitudes.

I did find the film a bit weird to follow, but ultimately it was glued together pretty decently. Just about every scene in the movie is enough to give you a bit of a chill. Just creepy enough to keep you plowing through. When it wasn't quite creepy, it was good exposition.

The pacing and editing in Amusement is done pretty well. As said before, a little weird, but still well done. To be honest, it plays out almost like how one would play an indie survival horror game. As a matter of fact, I'd love to see someone make a survival horror game based off of this movie. Get on it, code monkeys!!

Easily, the character I liked the most in this film was "The Laugh", played by Keir O'Donnell. This was a character that reminded me somewhat of the Joker, albeit in a far off way. I felt the performance was done fantastically and he definitely got across the bizarre and creepy nature of the character. The rest of the characters in the movie were great. The three leading characters, Shelby, Lisa and Tabitha, are all gorgeous and easy on the eyes, which helps in a macabre movie like this.

There are no nudity scenes so don't expect any peek-a-boo tit shots or shower scenes.

The atmosphere in Amusement is pretty dark and sickening. The worst of it is when Lisa (Jessica Lucas) is captured. The inside of the "hotel" is dirty and nasty. Next to the clown scene, this was probably my favorite.

Amazingly, for a movie like this, there isn't a lot of blood and gore. There are some dead bodies and a really good punch dagger scene later in the movie, but the best gore...well, I won't spoil it as it's part of a twist towards the end. The flashback scene involving the mouse was good and nasty. Unfortunately, though, there's not a lot of real gore or nastiness in the film.

I will say, I was surprised by this film. It was creepier than I'd really expected and more enjoyable than I'd originally given it credit. If you suffer from coulrophobia or the fear of clowns, this movie may not be the best choice for you, but ultimately, I'd suggest Amusement for any horror freak out there. It's a decent flick that's worth the ride.




Special Effects

Overall Rating: Amusingly Nasty

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