Ross Noble as a killer clown ticks a lot of the right boxes, with gore galore.
A seriously violent comedy horror, Stitches marks a first feature film role for comedian Ross Noble, as he plays an undead clown determined to get revenge on the little bastards who killed him years earlier.
Noble is actually very good fun, with his performance recalling some of the high points of The League of Gentlemen, and as his scuzzy character goes about his twin fortes of physical comedy and grisly murder, we find ourselves unsure whether to support the murderous harlequin or the wide-eyed youths he is trying to slaughter.
There are a number of things about the script of Stitches that hit that awkward space between black comedy and outright horror that the residents of Royston Vasey have so successfully exploited down the years. The supernatural origins of Stitches himself are great, and some of the kills on show are gleefully gory and inventive.
As with any high-concept horror flick, the central idea does run out of steam a little, but the script has a sprinkling of genuine wit throughout it, even before the clown re-enters the picture. The now grown-up kids fit the standard horror archetypes fairly well, although to employ this device un-ironically in the post Cabin in the Woods horror landscape feels like a bit of a waste. The banter between them is fun, and most of them are unlikable enough to get the audience invested in seeing their gruesome ends.
Great fun then, and Noble is more than just a name for the poster as he proves a great fit for the vengeance-obsessed clown. There is plenty of blood ‘n’ guts to keep gorehounds happy, and enough comedy in the script to make this an entertaining diversion.