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Amusement (2009)

  Tags: Amusement, anthology, Jessica Lucas, John Simpson, Katheryn Winnick, Keir O'Donnell, Laura Breckenridge, Tad Hilgenbrinck

Your rating: None Average: 7.3 (3 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
6

amusement.jpg
Rating #: 
6/10
Director: 
John Simpson
Runtime: 
85 minutes
Cast: 
Keir O'Donnell, Katheryn Winnick, Laura Breckenridge, Jessica Lucas, Tad Hilgenbrinck


This is actually a movie that I've been looking forward to for quite some time. Originally sporting an early January '08 release, the film was thought to be going to theaters, but was delayed a handful of times before settling on a straight-to-DVD release a year after the initial date. Written by Jake Wade Wall (When a Stranger Calls '06, The Hitcher '07), with Bernerd Ross (Candyman) originally attached as director before getting replaced by John Simpson, the film had surprisingly above-average production values compared to your standard DVD fair.

The story is told as somewhat of an anthology, following three different girls as they're captured by the man, whom was sent to a mental institution as a child due to his twisted sense of humor that the girls didn't find very amusing. He returns several years later to scare the hell out’ve the girls in distinctive ways that only he finds humorous. The first segment involves a girl on a road trip with her boyfriend who's a big fan of convoys with strangers. They end up following the wrong person and find themselves lost and fighting for their lives.

The second segment revolves around a girl babysitting a couple young boys. There also just so happens to be a room filled with clown memorabilia, and one particular clown isn't part of the collection! The third story follows a girl who forces her boyfriend to enter an old hotel, which she believes is the last place where her missing roommate went to. Naturally he doesn't come back out, so she enters the place herself only to discover several beds filled with dead bodies (never a good sign).

Each story proved to be pretty interesting, but not the least bit scary. Even the clown segment wasn't as creepy as you'd expect, unless of course you're afraid of clowns. The stories are also a bit short, only clocking in somewhere between 15 to 20-minutes each, and once the three stories are finished the film pretty much goes downhill from there. The biggest flaw the movie has is the script and the fact that there's pretty much no character development aside from one brief half-assed scene depicting the leads as kids, while the script itself is just full of holes, especially towards the end.

I also expected a bit more gore than what was actually given. A few of the deaths were too quick to show anything, and a couple other scenes proved to be a waste of time, but the final death scene was a great eye-opener in the gore department. As far as straight-to-DVD horror goes, this isn't entirely bad thanks to its above-average production values and I enjoyed the anthology aspect it offered, but the rest of the movie is a disappointment. I especially hated the half-assed ending with the narration attempting to explain why the killer did what he did.

A decent straight-to-DVD horror flick with above-average production values. Had it not been for the horrible script and lack of a story this could've actually been a good movie. Never-the-less the film had its entertaining moments. Worth a check if you go in with very low expectations, but I'd advise skipping this otherwise.

Posted on November 14, 2012 - 5:57pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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