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Friday, November 1, 2019

Review: Crepitus

Director: Haynze Whitmore
Screenplay: Eddie Renner and Sarah Renner
Year: 2019

Clowns are frightening and there is no way around that. This feeling has become more present after the case of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who dressed up as a clown to attack his victims in the city of Chicago in the United States and recently with the so-called clown epidemic, where people dressed up as clowns to cause fear and do some misdemeanors also in the United States. Horror cinema has made good use of these characters, the most famous being Pennywise from “It” and the bloodiest one being Art from “Terrifier”, but in this case, we have horror legend Bill Moseley interpreting one.

In “Crepitus” Elizabeth and her younger sister Sam, move along with her mom to the recently inherited house that was their grandpa’s. Not much time goes by before strange stuff starts happening that is even more frightening that the constant abuse they receive from their alcoholic and mentally deranged mother. Something worse inhabits this house, the cannibal clown known as Crepitus.

The plot of this movie revolves around the Crepitus character, its identity, and its objective. While we know more details about the clown, it promises to be a dark and perverse one, but neither the character nor the plot manages to be disturbing enough. Every time this character appears on the screen, its participation is lackluster and every time the plot suggests something obscure and uneasy it ends up being resolved in a boring and predictable way.

The Crepitus character is interpreted by horror legend Bill Moseley (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”, “Boar”, “The Church”, “Shed of the Dead”) who, as usual, does an excellent job. However, he doesn’t have much to work with as the script by Eddie Renner and Sarah Renner presents a villain that creates high expectations, but that later falls short of satisfying them. On top of that, Crepitus talks in rhymes, which at first is cool, but is overused and quickly grows stale. 

The acting, besides Moseley, is not the strong side of the movie, For most of we follow both sisters, interpreted by Caitlin Williams and Chalet Lizette Brannan, the first one in her first acting role, and the second one with an extensive list of credits, but neither manages to be convincing in their interpretations. Some of the blame goes to the script, which provides dialogues that are frustratingly bad and situations that are a bit absurd.

In what “Crepitus” excels is in the unnerving design of the house and the frightening look of the clown. The house always gives a feeling of uneasiness and of constant danger and only the sisters’ room feels somewhat more secure, even when it really isn’t. When the clown does its first appearance it clear that its looks are frightening thanks to the great clothing and makeup choices, which are reinforced by great acting from a man that enjoys portraying eccentric characters.

“Crepitus” is one of those movies that had the right idea to succeed but fails in the execution. Its main issue is that it always falls short of reaching the level it promises, especially in the clown’s intentions that all remain lingering in the rhymes he sings, and when you are about to give up on this movie, the weird ending comes to rev up this feeling. It’s a shame that this movie fails in so many aspects, as it could have been a great horror movie with the ideas it brings, its atmosphere and the look of its villain. 

Crepitus is distributed by Indican Pictures and will be available in selected theaters on November 1st and on digital platforms on December 13, 2019. For more information about Crepitus, visit the movie's web page.

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