Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I first heard about this movie in the latest issue of Fangoria (#280), where they did a whole four page spread on it and I was immediately excited because it looked and sounded awesome and, well, i'm a total sucker for horror anthologies. Not to mention it looked gory as hell and there was a killer clown in one of the stories. It just came out on DVD/Blu-ray on January 20th and I quickly snatched it up from Netflix. It was originally intended to be given a theatrical release but I believe the company behind it was shut down so it was relegated to straight to video release. Or maybe it just sucked too bad to be released theatrically, i'm not exactly sure. Either way, I should've immediately lost interest in the movie when I found out that Jake Wade Wall scripted it. He previously wrote The Hitcher and When a Stranger Calls remakes, afterall. That being said, the movie is not totally without merit.
Without giving too much away, Amusement tells the three seperate tales of Shelby, Tabitha, and Lisa, who were inseperable in their youth but haven't spoken or seen one another in many years. All three are linked by a disturbing childhood incident that brings them together in the film, and not in a good way.
Shelby is on a road trip with her boyfriend when a creepy man they meet on the road turns out to be more than just the usual creep. Tabitha is a babysitting niece who is haunted by a seemingly living clown doll in the house. And Lisa returns home from a night out on the town to discover that her roomate is missing. Each of the three stories runs about 20 minutes long and end with major league cliffhangers and then the final half hour of the film is when all the stories merge into one another and everything is explained, sort of.
Like I said, it's not completely without merit. At times, the movie is actually quite a fun little roller coaster ride of an anthology. Most of that fun however takes place entirely in the Tabitha clown segment, which is really well done. I'd almost suggest just checking that segment out then sending the movie right on back to Netflix! It's in the last half hour or so that the movie really falls apart. You've been kept guessing and kept somewhat interested for the first hour and then it just becomes a total cluster fuck of a let down wherein you question why you were ever into it in the first place. And then you get mad at yourself for enjoying any part of it.
Amusement had a lot of promise and a cool premise, but it's far too poorly executed for me to even suggest you check it out. I guess the whole reason i'm making this post is to tell you to stay away from this one! So stay away! The way I see it, it's my job as a horror blogger to tell you what flicks to watch and which ones to avoid! But if you already did sit through it prior to finding out you should not have, please leave a comment with your thoughts.