March 3, 2013

Filthy Review - 'Laughter'

Laughter (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

Of all the many fears that folk have, one that pops up time and time again, is Coulrophobia, or the fear of clowns. Why? I have no real idea. Sure, when they appear in a horror movie they can be downright creepy, but aside from that their floppy feet do not illicit any fear from me. I suppose when I think about it I can sort of understand it, but regardless of this they do pop up in horror flicks time and time again. This time it is the turn of young director Adam Dunning to throw one into the fray.

Aside from Blue Valentine, which of course is not a horror flick, the last genre flick that I saw which was filmed locally was the creepy little gem, Head Trauma. If you get a chance you really should check that out, by the way. Laughter is another locally filmed movie, with many locales familiar to me. Hell, if you lived here you might think you were in a horror movie too. I jest of course, but it is always cool to see local talent utilizing some of the great locations we have around here.

Laughter, which I will start off by saying is a very low budget independent flick, takes us on a journey into familiar slasher movie territory, with a dash of I Know What You Did Last Summer thrown in for good measure. Although, don’t let that last comparison deter you from watching Laughter.

The plot concerns a group of school kids who get together for a party out in the woods. Whilst there they tell each other spooky stories, as you would. While out there one young kid, Joey (who is the constant victim of bullying) decides to play a prank which inadvertently results in his death. The other kids, at the behest of the jock of the group, decide that they are going to keep quiet on this. So, you just know that the shit is about to get hurled at the fan, pronto.
Before you can say “holy shit, that clown’s gonna kill us”, someone dressed up as a clown starts killing people in all manner of gory ways.

That’s pretty much your meat and potatoes in this movie. What more could you want? The clown is a creepy looking bastard, the kills are cool and nicely staged and the kids aren’t quite as annoying as in many other slasher flicks. In fact, Dunning seems to have taken the effort to give Laughter a script, that whilst not wholly original or without flaws, a bit of flesh to it. As such the film pays just as much attention to the kids and police investigation, or lack off, as much as it does the homicidal clown.

Laughter is another great case of heart and soul, and a lot of passion, being put into making a movie. As I have said before, budget is no indicator of whether or not a film is good or not. Sure, it is a little rough around the edges, but I’ll take rough around the edges and fun, over mega-budget and soulless any day of the week.

As I write this I can tell you that the sequel to Laughter is currently in pre-production, so expect me to pop down and annoy them when they start filming. Hopefully the passion that has gone into this film will spill over into the second film, along with a little more fine-tuning.

Laughter is by no means a perfect film, but it is fun, gory and goes to further show that clowns are not to be messed with. File under F, for fucking good fun!

For more information about Laughter, check out the movie's Facebook page.

[Since writing this review I have learned that production on Laughter 2 has been put on hold, although I have been told that it will happen in the not too distant future.]

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