Today: February 29, 2024

Stitches DVD

If an original and complex narrative is what you look for in a movie then Stitches is not for you.

If an
original and complex narrative is what you look for in a movie then Stitches is
not for you.
However, if you
revel in relentless gore and have the urge to witness novel ways to bump off a teenager
then look no further.

Comedian Ross Noble
is failing clown Richard ‘Stitches’ Grindle who turns up for a gig at 10-year
old Tommy’s birthday party, only to show himself up as a miserable and bungling
act. Mocked by Tommy and his
bratty friends as they play tricks on him and laugh at his expense, Stitches
suffers a horrible death by inadvertently falling on an upturned cake
knife. Six years later preppy geek
Tommy (The Sarah Jane Adventures’ Tommy
Knight
) is still wracked with guilt, on anti-depressants and bullied by
super-bitch, Sarah (Roisin Barron) and
her lunk of a boyfriend, Paul (Hugh
Mulhern
) (who you just KNOW will get eradicated
first). While haunted by gruesome
daydreams about the fated clown, with his mum away on business, Tommy is
railroaded by his horny teenage mates into using his empty home for his 16th
birthday and a night of drunken raucousness. He has much to be worried about as a clown cult prepares to
summon Stitches from his grave so he can wreak revenge on each kid he holds
responsible for his untimely demise:
apparently ‘A clown that doesn’t finish a party can never rest in peace
and the joke is never as funny the second time round.’

The kids in this film are pretty decent actors and their
characters do live up to clichés to an extent, with examples like Tommy’s love
interest Kate (Gemma-Leah Devereux)
– a rock chick/goth, his horny, dumb best friend Vinny (Shane Murray Corcoran) and gay friend/chubby kid Bulger (Thommas Kane Byrne). However, unlike the usual stereotypical
high school horror characters, these ones are real teenagers; spotty, geeky and
full of hormones. In the high
school there are no fun Glee-esque
teachers to be found, all toned physique and coiffed hair – these are aged, boring,
jumper-wearing nerds with comb-overs.

Clowns can be the most terrifying of icons, particularly when
they are portrayed as inexorable, homicidal maniacs who grin with perverse joy
as they scare the living hell out of a kid (think Pennywise or the grinning horror at the bottom of the bed in Poltergeist). Ross Noble’s crazed clown however, although equally homicidal,
is much less terrifying and blatantly leans heavily on the characterisation of
Mr Jelly (Reece Shearsmith) from the
BBC series Psychoville. Stitches sports
a seemingly Manchurian accent (even though the film is set in Ireland), looks
demonic in his worn, dirty costume and smudged make-up, fails in his comedy act
and spouts tongue in cheek one-liners at every opportunity. Noble doesn’t pack a punch quite as
well as Shearsmith, but he clearly enjoys the ludicrous gore that his shuffling
zombie clown character allows for. He revels in violent, farcical scenes of limb
wrenching, head slicing, brain scooping, gut yanking, and head exploding gore,
juxtaposed with scenes of normal events carrying on elsewhere. It is unlikely that you will see a mad
clown making a balloon animal out of the intestines of a wailing teenager or
opening another’s skull with a can opener in any other film. There is comedy to be had here and it
comes in the form of slapstick and cheap laughs with the gore, the cheesy one-liners
and clown clichés of the punching arm on a spring and riding a tiny trike like
a comedy clown bike.

Stitches is lacking in many ways but ridiculous, sickening
and funny in its own way, it is a movie for those who enjoy gory voyeurism and
blatant, tongue-in cheek laughs.

Misha Wallace - Social Media Editor

From the age of 4, Misha Wallace became transfixed by movies like Halloween and The Birds from behind the couch, unbeknownst to her family. This has developed in to an obsession with fantasy and horror films (and a considerable number of cheesy 80s and 90s flicks – but she will not be judged). If she was a character in a film she'd be the girl at the end of a horror movie, doused in blood but grinning victorious. Email: misha.wallace@filmjuice.com or find her any time of the day or night on FilmJuice social media.

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