With horror short films there’s virtually no end to what can be used to scare you, or hope to scare you. Even if the subject is one that’s seemingly been done to death, it can still be used in such way that some unnerving experience can be had.
The Strangler Films short “Welcome to the Circus” is creepy experience and that’s about it. I can’t deny that I wasn’t intrigued. Its a short about a clown, how could I not watch this?! I do also find it ironic that I’m now finding out about this short. Who would’ve thought that clowns would be that interesting and pop up a lot in a single year? I guess this short will have to do until Pennywise returns to terrorize people once more.
Send In The Clown
For a short about a semi-creepy clown, as you can see from the image, it manages to get a few things right. Sadly being scary isn’t one of them. There are no scares to be found. Nor are there even really attempted scares. Mostly it’s all about how creepy the clown can be and the set up that gets you to the end of the short.
Firstly, just to get it over with, the clown is a clown. So it’s automatically creepy. Helping to immediately put you a bit on edge, is the way that this short opens. It opens with a Jack-in-the-Box. So, along with a decent scare from the score, you also get a miniature clown popping up at you. Certainly surprised me. From there, it’s everything else that makes this short fun and enjoyable. No, really, this short did seem to be a bit fun and almost silly, but perhaps that’s just because the clown make-up isn’t all that menacing or anything that you’d expect.
What this short excels at is creating some sense of suspense. While it’s not the best or most effective suspense building in the world, for a film that’s a little over four minutes, it could’ve completely bombed. After the opening, when we discover the clown’s mysteriously disappeared from his box, it’s all about the slow following of a red balloon. It’s slow and eerie. Bit by bit. I found it great because I somehow got caught up in the eeriness and believed that something scary would happen. It never did. Not really. But I was fine with that. There’s still enough to learn from this. Perhaps it just depends on the writer and type of story trying to be told. Perhaps it’s the overall nature of this short and all the others in the “Scary Endings” short film series.
Originally Released: May 28, 2016
Written and Directed: John Fitzpatrick
Starring: Adrienne Smith, Guilford Adams and Miles Chandler