Wrinkles the Clown (2019)

He's just a phone call away.

In Florida, parents can hire Wrinkles the Clown to scare their misbehaving children.

Since I already knew that I wouldn’t be seeing “Joker” on opening weekend, I figured I could watch a documentary about a real-life creepy clown opening opposite. It doesn’t disappoint, although at the same time it might not be entirely what you expected. It’s very difficult to fully analyze this film without talking spoilers, but I’m going to try.
Do you remember all the real-life creepy clown sightings that were reported a little while ago? This film argues that they were inspired by the legend of Wrinkles the Clown, which is where this film becomes relevant and (sort of) timely.
“Wrinkles the Clown” follows the exploits of a real-life urban legend. Wrinkles is a guy in a creepy clown costume who lives in Florida and hires himself out to scare children. Parents call him to scare their misbehaving children straight, threatening them that if they don’t start behaving that Wrinkles will come and get them. What started as a guy finding something to do turned into a viral phenomenon after a video of him hiding under a little girl’s bed. It takes off from there. He’s become a hero to some, a villain to others, and gets compared to other viral legends like Slenderman.
I can’t give too much away, but there’s a twist to the story about two-thirds of the way through that adds a whole new dimension to the story, but at the same time does feel a bit like they may have been trolling the audience through the first part of the film, which while being part of the point, may still put some people off and likely result in some hate. At the same time, it was pretty clear that this was where it was going if you just do a little research.
It’s not quite as in depth as some might like. There’s some touches on the history of clowning, why we react to them the way we do, and some interviews with psychologists and other clowns critical of Wrinkles activity. There’s also some short profiles of kids who are fans of Wrinkles. I think we might want to keep an eye on those kids. It gets deeper in the final third of the movie after the aforementioned twist, which causes the audience to turn a mirror on themselves and their preconceptions. It’s actually a great look at how urban legends take off and inspire others in unexpected ways. Worth a watch.

By Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker.
Stars: Christopher Barcia, Trevor J. Blank, Andrew Caldwell, George Holden.

Genres: Documentary, Comedy, Horror, Mystery

10/04/2019

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