DIRECTOR: Joe Dante
May Contain Spoilers!
PG-13, 12A? Seriously! If ever a film was under rated, this is one of them. Joe Dante, most notably of Gremlins (1984) fame, has made a career out of having some fun with the horror genre. Gremlins being a prime example, which was basically a family horror film for all intents and purposes and this looked like something similar. It delivered as it was but this is, for kids and teenagers alike, still somewhat scary. With demonic clown dolls, a ghostly little girl with blood oozing from her eye and a large murderous beast, all hunting our leads, two of which are teenagers and one is a child, this pushed the boundaries of family entertainment to bursting point.
But this is a well conceived and well drafted screenplay, with a solid tone, cause and effect and some real tension, all wrapped up with some decent performances. Not brilliant, with Chris Massoglia letting the side down somewhat but it was good enough to entertain and do so with some weight. The ideas of fears being conquered is a noble one and the fact that fear is such great fun to play around with, certainly in horror films and with children, it is well judged. But beware, this is most defiantly as 12 certificate, in the U.K. anyway, even thought I would have thought that 15 would have been more appropriate, but is best respected as such. Dante handled his darker subject matter well but as a result the tone can be unsettling for younger kids and teenagers alike! Certainly those afraid of clowns!
I saw this is 2D but the 3D cinematography was clear and it looked great, certainly when we finally get into The Hole. Certainly recommended and an enjoyable watch.