I’ve mentioned before how I’m not really a fan of horror – but when I got the chance to see stand-up comedy legend Ross Noble in his feature film debut, I had to check it out.
He plays the eponymous Stitches, a clown whose waning enthusiasm for the art form has left him somewhat cold to visiting yet another kids party – thrown for 10-year old Tom. Unfortunately, Tom and his friends are all little sods, and an unfortunate chain of events leads to Stitches’ death at the party. Later on, Tom stumbles across a black magic ritual in the graveyard being held by a group of clowns involving an egg with Stitches’ face painted on it.
Fast forward six years, and Tom is still somewhat traumatised by the dead clown at his party. With another birthday coming up, Tom is reluctant to celebrate until his friends twist his arm into throwing a big party for all the kids from school – including Kate, the object of his affection who was also at the party on that fateful day.
With all the same people in attendance on this night who were present at his death, it seems the perfect opportunity for Stitches to rise from the grave and have his bloody revenge…
Stitches does its best to break the boundaries of what’s become the most overdone and formulaic genre, but it’s let down by a couple of things; namely the couple of pounds that it clearly only cost to make. It looks good in places with great editing and cinematography, but the low budget really shows, especially in each gruesome death. Rather than add to its charm as some low-budget films can, it really takes away from the atmosphere.
The cast is fairly strong, apart from the school bullies who, rather than boo as the pantomime villains they’re supposed to be, I strongly disliked as actors; as if they were too good at their terrorising kids.
Ross Noble is brilliant though as Stitches; there’s not much call for his stream-of-consciousness comedy which we all know and love, and there are a few lines that cross too far into corny, but Noble is by far my favourite element in this film; it’s better just for his being there.
Worth a watch if you’re a Noble fan or a die-hard horror buff; otherwise missable.