Halloween night. A night filled with fancy dress costumes, candy, screams and blood. And then there’s the ‘trick-or-treaters’.
Splash Area is an indie film from the UK. After watching it, I did a bit of research and found some interesting facts about the production that I must mention first –
1) this film was made for 500 British pounds. In American money, that’s less than 800 dollars.
2) This film won two awards (Jury’s Choice and Best SFX) at the 2012 Freak Show Horror Film Festival in Orlando, beating out the big budget picture, Spiders 3D. Spiders 3D, by comparision, had a budget of over 2 million dollars.
3)Writer/director George Clarke founded his own production company, Yellow Fever Productions, based in Northern Ireland, which has new films coming out all the time. http://www.yellowfeverproductions.com
Let’s hear it for the little guy! At first glance, the film may not seem like much. It is a low budget affair, with everything good and bad that entails. But you guys all know by now that I will give love to any indie, even if it kills me. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t too hard to find love for this one.
Our story takes place on Halloween night. After a hilarious cold open about a guy who has better things to do than give out candy to trick or treaters (and pays the price for it),our entrance into the story proper comes in the form of Uncle Tom (Tom Dart) who gets roped into babysitting his niece and nephew. He decides to pass the evening by reading the kids a story from a new children’s book.
it is through this device that we meet our main characters – a group of young people on their way to a Halloween party.
Mike, Toni, and Alex (Anthony Boyle, Leanne Marks, Ruby Campbell) are out for a good time when it all goes wrong. After a few turns scaring each other, they encounter another group of costumed revelers all dressed as clowns. Just another bunch of party goers, you say?
yea, no. Sorry. Homicidal clowns. Why it always gotta be clowns?
Blood starts flying and the bodies start to drop all over Belfast as the clowns move through the city like a plague, killing every one they encounter. It’s up to our young heroes to stop them before there’s nobody left.
The story swings back and forth between comedy and horror. I was laughing my butt off one minute and dropping my jaw the next. There are some moments of pure comedy gold. In a way, the overall effect felt a bit like the style of Edgar Wright (Shaun of the dead, Hot Fuzz). Perhaps the writer was inspired in some way by the Cornetto Trilogy? Hard to say. But the best moments in the film are given to the evil clowns.
The clowns are the stars of the show in this film. They remind me so much of the Joker Gangs from post-apocalyptic Gotham (Reference – Batman:The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel. If you’ve never read it, do so now).They are frightening and ridiculous all at the same time. If you weren’t afraid of clowns before you see this film, chances are you will be when it’s over.
The clowns, along with pretty much all the other actors in the film, have almost no experience in film at all. Some of them have appeared in other productions with Mr. Clarke, and there are a few fairly well known UK actors who make cameos, but on the whole this is a completely amatuer film. Even the special effects team are new to the industry. Knowing this fact makes the film all the better of an experience to watch.
The make up and gore effects (for which they won one of their aforementioned awards) are quite good, especially for a low budget feature. They run the gamut from cartoonish splatter to some pretty nasty looking full-blown effects.
The beginning of the film might be a turn off. I almost didn’t get past the first 20 minutes. But the film gets stronger as it progresses, and it’s worth sticking with it. Once things really get going, the editing gets tighter, the action ramps up, and it really becomes an extraordinary indie effort.
So on a scale of one to ten, ten being awesome, I’m giving this film 7 evil clowns