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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: River Road (short film) (2019)

Film Review: River Road (short film) (2019)

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Three kids happen upon a creepy clown on Halloween.


More short films, kiddies! Today we have RIVER ROAD, written and directed by Doug Strong. The film is brought to us by Strong Brothers Films, a collaboration of Indie filmmakers based in Cincinnati.

In the real world, most of us remember a few years ago when there were tons of reports concerning evil clowns appearing in strange places and scaring the crap out of people. Turned out it was part of a grass-roots promo campaign for the re-make of Stephen King’s IT but wasn’t it a trip?

The town in the film has been reporting clowns showing up every Halloween, following people and generally being creepy. There are also many missing children, which we are to assume go missing around the time of the clown appearances.

Our story opens with Dani (Meredith Grace Dabney) and her boyfriend Noah (Austin Rose) in the car, heading for a Halloween party. Dani’s little brother Liam (Zak Kowolonek) is in the back seat. As a prank, Noah dares Liam to go into a water conifer and honk a clown horn. After some negotiation, Liam agrees to do it.

Alas, in this world, the clowns are not so benign as it turned out to be in the real world. Enter the ever-so-creepy Tux the Clown (Tyler Craig), and the beginnings of some serious shenanigans.

This is how stupid teens die in movies, folks. This is textbook stupid teen. And it doesn’t matter if you know how it will end. It’s what they freaking deserve for being stupid.

I gotta say…I love Tux. Not your standard clown design at all. More of a vintage, cabaret style clown. It’s far more spooky than the average rainbow wig and big shoe type.

The production quality is viable. The sound is a bit wonky, but filming in the echo chamber of the water tunnel is a serious challenge and I can only imagine the post-production nightmare of trying to clean that up.

Cheers for the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD reference. Fantastic use of it in this film.

Overall, this is good stuff. I know I am biased in favor of indie filmmakers, but this is a really fun film. I think any horror fan will dig it.

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