Director: Conor McMahon (2012)
Starring: Ross Noble, Tommy Knight, Gemma Leah-Devereux
Find it: IMDB

Those who suffer from caulrophobia but love horror movies could do worse than Conor McMahon's Stitches - after all, whoever could be scared of cuddly Ross Noble? The stand-up comedian and serial QI gobshite tries his hand at horror movie villainy in this, an odd Irish cross between A Nightmare on Elm Street, IT and The Inbetweeners.

While attending a friend's birthday party, a gang of bastardly children accidentally murder  sweary clown-for-hire Richard 'Stitches' Grindle (Noble). Years later, at Tom's (Knight) sixteenth birthday party, Stitches is resurrected and out for revenge. Beyond its strange choice in lead actor, Stitches is an old-school slasher movie in the mold of A Nightmare on Elm Street (if you thought Freddy's one-liners were bad, just you wait until you hear one of these beauties) or Maniac Cop. His victims may be younger than we're used to, but Stitches pulls no punches in his bloody vengeance. Heads are kicked off, faces impaled, bollocks pulled off, intestines unravelled and that's not even the half of it. There's a shocking amount of gore in Stitches - very much earning the film its 18 rating.

Unfortunately, like everything else that's not James Bond, Sinister or Paranormal Activity 4, Stitches was utterly shafted upon its UK cinema release. I found myself huddled up in a completely empty screen at a shitty cinema in the middle of nowhere at 9:20 at night, so sparse were showings of the film. That's a shame, because Stitches is one of the few horror movies of 2012 that I wasn't disappointed by. Mind, I am a sucker for seeing horrible children get their deserving heads kicked off by zombie clowns.

This is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. Black as the comedy might be, the film is played entirely for laughs. The over the top gore makes it impossible to take seriously. Unless you have, maybe, very severe fear of clowns, Stitches isn't remotely scary. Like Noble's stand-up routines and panel show rants, the film does ramble on a bit towards the end, the youths are exceptionally horrible and the acting a bit duff. Noble is fantastic as Stitches, but alas, the hook-handed shadow of Psychoville's Mister Jelly looms large over the film. Were it not for the existence of Reece Shearsmith's fabulous creation, Stitches would be a great creation. As it is, he's merely very good.

A comedy horror with guts, gusto and plenty of grue, Stitches truly is a noble effort.


  1. Glad that you enjoyed it.
    Saw it at this year's Slash Filmfestival and enjoyed it a lot. One of 2012's most awesome horror-flicks so far.

  2. Ah yeah, I loved it.
    And zombie clowns are always welcome.