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You’ll die laughing….doubt it – ★½

Ross Noble, Ross Noble, Ross Noble , Ross Noble that famous “oddball” comedian stars in Conor McMahon’s new feature Stitches. So anyway Ross Noble plays the clown Stitches who comes back from the grave to kill those pesky kids who kinda, sorta, but not really, killed him 6 years ago. Got it? Good, oh and Ross Noble is in it.

The film is pretty terrible from the get go, you can’t help but feel that you’re watching a strange cheese strings commercial. Stitches (Ross Noble) turns up late, tut, to Tom’s 10th birthday party and after being suitably harassed by the bunch of terrors a series of events combine to leave poor Stitches (Ross Noble) face down in a dishwasher with a knife through his head. After Tom witnesses a Wicker Man style clown ritual he becomes traumatised and flash forward 6 years into the future and he still hasn’t come to terms with Stitches’ (Ross Noble) demise.

The dialogue is atrocious, with no character getting credible lines as they have to fumble through scenes attempting not to look embarrassed. Only when Ross Noble, sorry Stitches, starts wreaking havoc do we get some witty quips, but they in no way make up for what has come before. The film has been classified as 16 which will stop a large number of the target audience legally going to the film and it’s hard to imagine anyone older finding the humour amusing. To call the film misogynistic would be imbuing the piece with a level of intelligence it doesn’t have, it’s merely puerile, juvenile, ugliness, masquerading as humour. The final scene in particular is baffling at its inclusion and would make you think the people involved had never even conversed with a women.

Credit must be given to the props and special effects department as the saving grace of Stitches are the grizzly deaths. Aoife Noonan, Ben O’Connor and Terri Pinnell all did an excellent job in the various disembowelments, beheadings and eye-popping scenes. Some of the blood is too clean and shiny though making it look fake or CGI-esque which takes away from some of the gore.

An interesting enough concept with some novel ideas which fail in their execution. Stiches is obviously going for the horror-comedy genre made famous by Shaun of the Dead and takes the well-established creepy clown character out for another ride. Conor McMahon’s promising debut feature Dead Meat  looked like we might have a new star on our hands but if he is to continue in this field a new writer must be sought out.

Typical of a film transition year students, or younger, might direct, Stiches is an unfunny, sexist venture into the world of horror. Grow up.

UK  /  Directed By: Conor McMahon  /  Written By: Conor McMahon, David O’Brien  /  Starring:  Ross Noble, Tommy Knight, Gemma-Leah Devereux  /  86min  /   Comedy, Horror  /  Release: 26 October 2012 (UK/Ireland)