This is the first game I’ve played where I cared more about the cut scenes than the actual gameplay itself. The zombie apocalypse setting is pretty standard stuff we’ve seen before but its the emotional story at the heart of this that makes it so special. Ellie is a fantastic character, voiced evocatively by Ashley Johnson, & I was astonished at how much of an emotional attachment you form with her as you play her father figure Joel. Being a teenager during the zombie apocalypse isn’t easy so its very rewarding when Ellie has moments of adolescent levity amidst the horror all around (I loved the scene with her & Joel as they drive in the pick up truck). The best part of the story is when Joel emotionally comforts Ellie at the end of her terrifying ordeal during the Winter chapter. The human emotions here are eerily real. Grade A
“The reason you’re afraid of clowns” and any ice cream shop with a guy named Pops
By Leonard Torres
What do you get when you cross a clown, a horror movie, and a buddy comedy starring a red balloon with bipolar disorder? This movie. . . The one in the title.
ClownterGiest, produced by High Octane Pictures and directed by Aaron Mirtes, is the story of Emma, a college girl who is just trying to deal with her horrible coulrophobia (Yeah, I looked up the proper term for fear of clowns, I take this that seriously). She must come face to face with her worst fear when an evil spirit in the body of a clown is summoned to terrorize the town she calls home. One by one, Emma and her friends receive a balloon with the exact time and date of when it will appear to kill them. After receiving her balloon, Emma realizes that she has two days left to live, and must fight against the clock to find a way to survive.
The movie opens with the murder of a woman who, all intents and purposes, seems to have a serious internal bleeding issue and was probably happy to be no longer spitting up blood. . . Though she does come back and, well, spits up more blood while blaming her dad for her death at the hands of a possessed immortal clown. I blamed my parents for a lot of things in college, too.
The movie uses an old urban legend as its opening scene. The one where a person is home alone, usually a babysitter, and asks to cover the creepy clown statue only to be told run out of the house by the owner because… WE DON’T HAVE A CLOWN STATUE! Except in this one, she dies and the cops do not catch the intruder.
We find out that this demon clown marks its victims with red balloons (IT), and also enjoys licking people (Decisively not IT). While this can be creepy, especially the licking, it seems that we get a lot of red helium text messages from our evil spirit– which makes these balloons less of a fear inducing, pants pooping foreshadow of the danger to come and more of a funny way to take a prank too far. Emma is startled awake one night and finds one of these shiny red death bringers in her bathroom, along with what was once her dog.
Now getting serious here, the movie has some technical issues. Audio is a bit all over the place and we get to see the crew in windows and during long two-shot dialogue sequences. There are continuity issues, but nothing so terribly distracting that it take you out of the film. The creators of this film built a one road town but that road has some creepy freakin people in it that have a very interesting way of deal with the looming clown threat– by not dealing with it until the thing is attacking them. The film has its tense moments and its well timed jokes, but does lack the polish and overall dark undertones major horror films have.
As for the acting, it actually is pretty okay at times. Emma’s friends, Heather and Jonah, are decent– with Heather being a scene stealer at times because her comedic timing and high strung attitude over shadows Emma’s quiet and meek nature. Then there is ice cream shop owner who. . . Well, he is something to pay attention to. The actor who plays Pops delivers a creepy performance and is pretty darn good for an indie actor. I feel the need to mention that any ice cream shop owner who only hires college kids and asks them to call him “Pops” is basically asking young people to call him daddy, and the people of this town don’t seem to be alarmed by this which explains the ignoring of the clown problem as well.
Our evil clown is creepy until he comes on screen. At that point we need to question the direction the that was taken with his movements, vocals, and overall look really. The clown spends most of the movie going between walking like a zombie, walking like he spent the last month riding a horse to catch up with his posse, and crawling around like a monkey– with the occasional clicking noises and hisses. When you actually see him it’s very disappointing, but, in brief glimpses he can be a bit unnerving. Sadly, and I do mean sadly, most of the creepy moments are quickly turned slightly ridiculous with the over exaggerated movements and the lack of subtlety.
Overall, this is a fun, and at times creepy, indie horror film and is recommended to be watched with a group of people who enjoy a not so serious horror flick. I give this a 6 out of 10 emo red balloon.
If you’re interested in watching ClownterGiest it will be available VOD on September 12th. Now then, I’m going to go destroy anything in my house that is clown related, and I suggest that you do the same.
Daniel Barosso and Miranda Haut interview writer and producer Jeff Abugov at Comic Con Palm Springs. They delve into his illustrious career working on shows such as That’s So Raven, Roseanne, Two & A Half Men, and many more. Geek out, as we did for Jeff Abugov.
Playing this has been one of my most memorable gaming experiences ever. Admittedly I’m biased because the game is set in my own homeland, the Mayan world of the Caribbean, & being able to explore it during the Golden Age of Piracy was a dream come true. I loved being able to sail my ship across the sea, visit breathtaking uncharted tropical islands, explore Mayan ruins in the jungle, swim with manta rays, dive into shipwrecks, engage in epic naval combat & board enemy ships to battle its crew & steal their plunder. The 18th century Caribbean is a wonderful place to explore. It’s the type of open world game with lots to discover (My favorite discoveries were the secret pirate coves). Though I do agree that it would’ve been even better without the AC lore, the story still has a lot of emotionally compelling moments that are very moving & the soundtrack is excellent. After 186 hours logged in I made it to 99% completion. The best Pirate game of all.