There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
2019 Netflix Halloween Countdown
For my third annual Netflix Halloween Countdown, I will once again be watching and reviewing some of the spooky, scary, gory, chilling, and horror-themed movies on Netflix. With each review, I will be including an up-to-date table that ranks these movies from best to worst. If you are looking to get in the Halloween spirit, by watching some Halloween-style movies, then these articles are for you!
Stitches (Ross Noble) is a crude, birthday party clown. He arrives late to a birthday party for a young boy named Tom, but when he arrives, he does his best to entertain the kids. Unfortunately, this group of kids are not very entertained by clowns. These brats are flipping him off, pouring their drinks into his magic hat, and yelling at him. Nonetheless, Stitches decides to juggle on, and as one boy throws a ball at Stitches' face, another boy ties his shoelaces together. Stitches then falls into the kitchen where his face lands directly on a knife sticking out of the dishwasher rack. With Stitches dead and blood all over his kitchen, it is safe to say that Tom has had a traumatic birthday party.
About six years later, the kids are all in high school. Tom's mother is going away on the weekend of Tom's birthday, so Tom (still traumatized and scared to be home alone on his birthday) decides to have his friends stay at his house. Invitations are sent and it becomes a huge high school party. All of Tom's friends (from when he was a kid) are there, and the party is going well, but there is one problem. A certain clown has come back from the dead and plans to crash the party. While Tom is trying to enjoy himself and finally put his horrific past behind him, a resurrected Stitches intends to give him a birthday party to die for.
The Pros & Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
The Plot (-5pts)
The Kids (+4pts)
The Tone (-3pts)
The Deaths (+5pts)
The Egg (-4pts)
Pro: Stitches (+6pts)
I was surprised that I enjoyed this character so much. He was a rude and crude party clown at the beginning of the film, except the children he was supposed to entertain seemed to find amusement in his misfortune. I think most adults will be able to relate (in some way) with Stitches in the beginning of this story. Having to deal with misbehaving and wild children who you have no power to discipline. It is something that I think most adults have had to deal with at some time, although hopefully not to the same extent that Stitches had to deal with it. This made Stitches pretty relatable and made me actually sympathize with him.
I do not think most normal adults will be able to relate to him coming back from the dead years later and wanting to murder all of those children, but Stitches was very entertaining after he is resurrected. He had all sorts of killer clown related puns and he had all sorts of deadly clown related gadgets. I do not want to give any examples, as I do not want to ruin any surprises, but know that he is not simply running around murdering people with a random weapon. Each kill involved some ridiculous clown related gadgets, and the kills were pretty entertaining. Ross Noble also did a pretty good job balancing the tone of creepy clown and cheesy clown, which gave this movie a unique vibe. The movie was not scary, but it had plenty of entertaining slasher-action, and plenty of humor, and it was all thanks to Stitches.
Con: The Plot (-5pts)
One major issue with this movie was unfortunately its plot. A couple of kids pranked a clown, which in the death of said clown. Then years later, the same birthday boy as the one from all those years ago was having another birthday party, the wind blew an invitation from a kid's house all the way to Stitches' grave, Stitches was resurrected, and Stitches was on his way to kill the kids. That is the plot of this film, and I know, it sounds ridiculous.
While this film was intended to be ridiculous, and was entertaining as such, I still could not get past the ridiculous plot. The worst part about it was how predictable it was. As a viewer, you will know (pretty early on) which kids will survive and which ones will not. This kind of took a lot of the suspense out of the movie. Then there was the ending, but that ending deserved its own section in this review, so just sit tight and read on.
Pro: The Kids (+4pts)
I was pretty entertained by the kids in this story. First when they were young kids, then when they were teenagers. At first, the children were pretty hilarious. They were yelling profanity at Stitches. They were also flipping him off, pouring things in his hat, and doing various other mischievous things at the party clown‘s expense. They were really just terribly behaved children, but it ended up being pretty amusing for this movie.
Then they grew up and everything was different. Some of them were bullies and others were sex-craved teenage boys. Then there was Tom who is a well behaved kid, but was still traumatized from the incident with Stitches at his birthday party all those years ago. They were all very different from one other and each seemed to fit into a different stereotypical high school clique. I liked the variety of their personalities and I liked how they all came together at Tom's party. Their friendships (or rivalries) seemed genuine, which definitely made it easy to buy into each of their relationships, and made this movie a lot more entertaining than it would have been if it were about a group of kids who I did not care about.
Con: The Tone (-3pts)
For the most part, the comedy in this film was very effective, but there were a few scenes that were just too ridiculous. There was the slinky arm, the air pump, and the egg yolk—out of context those things mean nothing, but they were involved in some of the movie's more annoyingly ridiculous moments. I want to be clear that for the most part, the movie's comedy was very entertaining. However, there were a few scenes that were too over-the-top for me.
I also thought that the movie was lacking in horror. It is rare for filmmakers to be able to balance comedy and horror equally, but the filmmakers of this movie did not even try. It focused very heavily on ridiculous comedy and did not seem to attempt horror. It is a horror-themed comedy, that felt more like a parody of a horror movie than a horror movie itself. That can work for a film, but I thought that Stitches could have benefited from having at least a little horror injected into this story.
Pro: The Deaths (+5pts)
I was pretty entertained by the deaths in Stitches. Each time that Stitches killed someone, he would throw out some very cheesy pun and kill his victim using some ridiculous clown prop. This movie had its gimmick and the filmmakers knew it, and went all in with it. They really focused on how ridiculously silly a killer clown could be, and each of the deaths involved a different clown related "trick", and it was pretty entertaining.
That being said, there was one that did not work for me. I do not know why, but even though I liked the silliness of this slasher, I thought the air pump kill (you will know it if or when you see it) was just a bit too silly for me. It took me out of the movie, but luckily that was the only one I had issue with. All of the others (and there were a lot) were pretty amusing.
Con: The Egg (-4pts)
Okay, this was definitely the dumbest part of the whole movie. This was a dumb movie and that generally made it more entertaining, as the filmmakers leaned into the dumbness in a fun way. However, the entire egg thing was ridiculous. The movie opened to Stitches having sex with a woman who ended up seeing an egg (in a mystical looking jar) that was painted to match Stitches' clown paint. Then when Stitches died, there is a weird clown ritual where they (other clowns) took his egg and put it in a tomb with a ton of other clown eggs. I do not want to get into the specifics of the ending, or how the egg was involved in it, but just know that it was egg-stremely ridiculous—see what I did there?
I thought the whole thing with the egg was really dumb. Why was there a need to explain the magic behind the clowns resurrection? Sure, the entire film was ridiculous—so why stop at the magic behind his resurrection?—but I thought that most of this film was ridiculous in a good way while the opposite was true for everything that had to do with the eggs.
Grade: C+ (78pts)
It was clear that the filmmakers never took this movie too seriously, and it made for an entertaining movie. It seems to try very hard to be as ridiculous as possible and that worked pretty well through most of this film. We got a ton of death related puns and cheesy one-liners from the clown as he was killing people, and it just made this a fun slasher movie. Unfortunately, however, it had a very weak plot,but the silly nature of this movie made the weak plot somewhat forgivable.
Stitches was funny, the kids were funny, and the deaths were funny. While I thought this movie's tone mostly worked, I thought there were a few scenes that suffered due to how ridiculous the tone was. For those scenes, I really thought the movie could have benefited from having some actual horror. Stitches was a pretty entertaining, bloody, and ridiculous movie that never took itself too seriously. It was missing horror, but (again) it was a pretty entertaining and bloody slasher film. It would be a decent film to watch if you want a silly horror-adjacent movie that you do not plan to be too invested in or if you are having a horror movie marathon but could use a silly one to take a break from intense horror movies.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Train to Busan
In the Tall Grass
Hold the Dark
Would You Rather
The Eyes of My Mother
Meet the Blacks
The Open House
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House