Stitches (2012)

The premise is a simple one; on his 10th birthday party Tommy accidentally kills a rubbish clown called Stitches, impaling his face on a knife (ouch!). Six years later – and haunted by the incident – Tom hosts a 16th birthday party with ‘some’ of his friends. ‘Some’ means ‘his entire school’ including some unsavoury bastards from his past.

Unfortunately – due to some incredibly thin reasons – Stitches the clown is resurrected as a ghost / zombie / evil Lazarus and he decides to attend the party, seeking vengeance on the kids who humiliated and killed him.

Stitches is incredibly violent: skulls are opened, limbs torn off, eyes pop, guts spill and heads fly. It is fantastically well done and thoroughly enjoyable, with some superb special effects and gallons of blood. Awesome and inventive.

But this film isn’t just about blood and death, but about comedy. Will this film have you in Stitches or will it be as funny as my crap pun? Well… both. Stitches has a bizarre script that has some excellent dialogue and some superb moments (the bike chase had me in tears) but it also contains a lot of puns and cheesy, tongue-in-cheek dialogue – ‘he’s floating around somewhere’ – that occasionally feels forced and really bloody awkward.

Ross Noble is spectacular and utterly demented as Stitches the clown, who – even before death (and undeath) – is a filthy, disgusting pervert. Noble especially excels in Stitches when he’s being a psychopathic clown, gleefully eviscerating children in some brutal, horrible and hugely inventive ways.

This insane and brilliant stand-up comedian (if you haven’t seen a live show, buy a ticket. He’s amazing) brings a memorable new villain to the horror world. At least I know what my Halloween costume is this year…

Most of the characters are well-rounded and enjoyably daft, with the exception of Bulger, who plays the ‘fat gay kid who is always eating’. Despite being really likeable, the character’s obsession with food seems forced and awkward.

Some may also find Tommy’s anxiety-issues completely needless too, although it does provide some enjoyably horrible hallucinations, which may or not be trigged by his forthcoming birthday.

This ‘may or may not be triggered’ issue also represents a number of unclear things about Stitches which an audience member can choose to easily ignore (and enjoy the violence) or become annoyed with. Has Tommy been vividly hallucinating since the incident or is it suddenly getting worse? Why does Stitches come back to life after 6 years?! Why does Kate look like she’s 22?!

Tommy Knight (of The Sarah Jane Adventures) is excellent as our protagonist Tommy and his unrequited love Kate is very well portrayed by Gemma-Leah Devereux. Their relationship is excellently developed and surprisingly sweet for a horror movie…

Story wise it is a little lacking as – once Stitches is resurrected – we’re treated to a simple stalk-and-murder slasher flick, but with more creative kills. Luckily the film rarely bores and the comedy element always ensures you’re enjoying yourself.

Overall Stitches is hilarious fun. Despite lacking in originality this is destined to become a cult classic, featuring some seriously memorable deaths and buckets and buckets of gore. Noble is superb throughout. Excellent, brutal, bloody and thoroughly enjoyable; it has it’s faults but Stitches is well worth watching.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

One Comment on “Stitches”

  1. Matt Blythe says:

    It’s recently been released (in the UK, so I guess that it’s worldwide, cos we get shit kinda late) on DVD. I can say nothing more than… go get it.

    Ok, I can. It is very tongue in cheek. An awfully black tongue in an increadibly shadowy cheek. As Mr S said… It is not original. It is not filled with the most shocking effects that you will have seen. It does have periods of ‘um, can we get on with it now?’.

    But my overall feeling of the film is way better than many… perhaps I should rephrase that… MANY, that I have watched before.

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