Faceless After Dark review 2024

FACELESS AFTER DARKDark Sky Films has released the new killer clown home invasion mash-up Written by Jenna Kanell & Todd Jacobs and Directed by Raymond Wood

Stuck in a rut the heroine Bowie is a typecast actress who is looking to branch out from killer clown horror movie roles. She’s trapped with a catchphrase, dislikes her admirers and detractors and is dissatisfied with a secret relationship with a more successful partner who has left for a role in London, innit. While left behind she has to deal with being pestered by sexters and slated on social media.

Her story is likely inspired by the acting industry, and it might be what Hollywood is like behind the scenes but this approach creates an unsympathetic self-centred character. Maybe that was what lead writer Jenna Kanell did to distance herself as lead writer from the character while drawing on her experience as an actress in a killer clown horror role (Terrifier).

Left alone Bowie drinks herself to oblivion and wakes to find a clown with shears in her midst looking to recreate a scene from her film. What starts with a solid take on the trope of a potentially vulnerable lady using her brain and guile to fend for herself is not sustained: odd camera effects, sluggish pacing and social commentary feel jammed in. The soundtrack is subpar – with the focus on neon, chillwave or synth-wave might have fitted more than screamy uptempo guitar tracks.

Bowie embarks on a revenge fantasy and decides to entice more visitors: there is a solid core of an idea with why the victims are selected, why they deserve harsh treatment and why social media is a blight but it feels rushed, which is odd considering how long it takes for each visitor to call over and get comfy. The scene with the cop calling by also seemed rushed.

There’s a scene where Bowie has a breakdown, darkly mirroring Joaquin Phoenix’s tai-chi movements as he ascends to the Joker but here it is a reflection in a fun house mirror more than a bathroom mirror. It feels it has been tacked on. Unlike Frogman, I was neither interested nor invested in the main character’s fate.

Faceless After Dark’s nfluences include the Purge, IT and the Mike Myers-inspired Terrifier (styling, music and shared co-writer but I am unsure if it is part of the world’s canon). I was waiting for a reference to too many clowns (or people) being in her small car (alive or dead). That was a letdown. Which sums up the film. It tries to be a Girl Power answer to the Joker. Watch the Joker or Terrifier instead.

Faceless After Dark is like Marmite: you will either love it or hate it. Final Score for me – 4 /10 🤡🤡🤡🤡

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