Cineopocalypse 2018: GAGS Review – A Nightmare Inducing Clown Story
Starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Tracy Perez, Aaron Christensen
Written by Adam Krause, John Pata
Directed by Adam Krause
Remember seeing those viral videos of the creepy clown walking around Green Bay, Wisconsin? No one knew who he was other than the name given to him: Gags the Green Bay Clown. His appearances went viral, with some speculating if he was part of a marketing campaign for a horror movie. Turns out they were right because Gags (the film) made its appearance at this year’s Cineopocalypse.
The film opens on a very meta note; we are shown clips of different newscasters commenting on Gags’ random appearances. These are real broadcastings that took place when Gags was first making his rounds throughout Green Bay (in real life). We then cut to a fictional newscaster talking about Gags, stating that it has been eight days since he has made his appearance.
From there the film plays out into four different stories across the night the plot takes place. We have a group of kids who play pranks on different citizens by having one friend dress up as a clown. There’s the newscaster from the beginning and her camera guy following new leads related to the clown. We have two cops working a string of disturbances. And we follow a conservative podcaster who decides to go out hunting for Gags.
Immediately the film sets up an interesting premise based off its meta component. There’s always this chilling feeling that keeps you guessing what is going to happen next. There are some shocking elements that play with the realism of the story, adding an extra layer to keep viewers engaged and curious. The picture quality keeps to a consistent graininess throughout, presenting an uneasy tone to the movie. This atmosphere, as well as the story, are the main selling points for Gags.
Of the four stories, none of the characters are that interesting. It isn’t one of the film’s goals to set up characters with great depth, but rather, use them as plot devices to help things progress. Because of this the dialogue can suffer; whether it’s someone trying to act too tough or acting too goofy, there are moments where characters come off too cheesy. That said, this brings a sense of humor that, at times, feeds into the weirdness taking place throughout Green Bay. Again, the movie does a stellar job of keeping things weird and providing an uncomfortable aura throughout its plot.
Gags does a great job in presenting and pacing the tension. The film’s atmosphere, along with some great creepy imagery, will certainly keep viewers engaged as situations escalate. The last 20 minutes are a whirlwind of craziness; the adrenaline rises with each passing moment as all our character’s stories begin to collide. However, while the third act is an overall blast, the film’s last moment comes out of left field and disrupts the flow. It’s a bizarre ending that plays into the escalating weirdness, but is a bit too sudden to make a sincere impact.
If you love horror movies with creepy clowns, then Gags is absolutely worth seeing. This is the sort of movie where you find yourself lost in, excited and on the edge of your seat for what is to come next. Even with an odd ending, Gags is a terrific film that will give you chills.
Gags is a creepy story with a fascinating meta concept. This is not a movie for the faint of heart (especially those who faint at the sight of clowns). With stellar atmosphere and chills, Gags is a must-see flick.