May 23, 2019 Clown Motel (Movie Review)
Horror fans in love with evil, supernatural clowns running amok taking out humans left and right will adore A Shadow In The Dark Production’s low-budgeter Clown Motel, which arrives to DVD on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 through ITN release.
With a name like Clown Motel, most are probably wondering what in the world it could possibly be about. The story centers around four ladies on the way home from a bachelorette party, and three ghost-hunting dudes searching for ghost-haunted places, all of whom become stranded at a seemingly-deserted motel on the side of a major road in Nevada where they must fight to stay alive against an army of angry clowns.
A synopsis like that should reel in any Horror fan looking for a good time, and indeed the hook will bury itself through both cheeks as each scene unravels before the eyes. Holding the fishing-reel is Writer/Director Joseph Kelly (Community Service The Movie 2012, Bloody Island 2016) whose imagination and love for movies is the hook-line-and-sinker-reason Clown Motel is absolutely a sight not to be missed.
For starters, Clown Motel was made on a super low budget, but that just means there is more charm and character in every nook and cranny Kelly needed to fill. His movie succeeds in many departments because of this. Every character has a unique personality; and each actor filling the shoes of his or her role transforms the characters into living, breathing human beings. The audience will be drawn to the characters for many different reasons, keeping the hope that everyone will survive the nightmare unfolding upon the big screen.
Kelly proves having a knack for writing dialogue because what spews from the mouths of his characters is equal parts funny, sincere, and genuine. It will sometimes appear the actors used “improv” on most of their lines. Nothing feels too scripted, which is a plus when it comes to fictional characterization. The beginning is a little weak, possibly from a confusing fire sequence where two people were killed when… maybe they were not supposed to be?—but after this quick last minute, the movie really grabs hold.
That in mind, the actors involved are a great bunch, and seem to have worked really well together. The evidence is in how real their conversations and reactions feel. Regardless of the subject matter, regardless of how little the budget, everyone on board Clown Motel showed interest in making something great with however many pennies jangled in the back pockets of their jeans.
So many actors to name, but to be brief, Elinor Price (Wick 2010, The Realtor series) as the bride-to-be Brooke, Steven Vogel (Jump The Line 2018) as ghost-hunter Ian, and Eric Prochnau (The Door In The Woods 2018, The Book Of Legends 2019) as ghost-hunter Spencer, are standouts among the credits with their unflinching way of bringing realness to their characters. To be fair, all of this realness would not be if not for the other actors involved; all of whom do so well in delivering each line, and reacting to what horrors Kelly throws at them.
Much like the underrated low-budgeters such as 1989’s The Dead Next Door and 1994’s Shatter Dead, Clown Motel sits alongside some of the greatest works of art that needed no budget to tell a good story. Adding to such a good story is the significant amount of gore splashing almost every frame, portraying some unique – and funny – ways for someone to be killed at the hands of an angry clown.
Filmed at a very real motel by the same name in Nevada, which features shelves upon shelves of ominous toy-doll versions of clowns, all of it ingeniously becomes part of the movie. Joseph Kelly shows he was definitely not clowning around while making this film. Throw in some veteran actors such as Martin Klebba (Feast II 2008, The Hungover Games 2014), Tony Moran (Halloween 1978, Beg 2011), as well as Ari Lehman (Friday The 13th 1980, Leaf Blower Massacre II 2017), toss in a pinch of an awesome musical score, a splash of a fantastic crew behind the cameras, decent special effects, along with quality costume designs, and the result is a bodacious, fun-filled circus ride like no other.
For a quality group of actors, a bevy of talented crew members who had worked behind the scenes, and for a great storyteller from Joseph Kelly, Cryptic Rock gives Clown Motel 5 out of 5 stars.