August 3, 2017

Movie Review: Circus Kane

Wading into the realm of VOD movies can be a treacherous one. I have been taking that dive more and more in recent weeks. The results have been a decidedly mixed bag. You really need to factor in how much leeway for budget and effort exerted. I don’t know, expectations are just different when watching these films. At the same time, I don’t want to go to easy on sub par product. Of course, sometimes I just let myself go and allow myself to get into the movie and enjoy it for what it is. I guess that is what it comes down to, if you are entertained by a movie, it is a worthwhile endeavor. In this case, Circus Kane feels derivative but it is entertaining and worth spending time with.

Circus Kane was directed by Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray, whose previous projects include Megaconda, 2-Headed Shark Attack, 3-Headed Shark Attack, Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, and Mega Shark vs Kolossus. I know, I don’t normally list that many films, but when you have titular gold like that, you just have to share. The story was by newcomer Sean Sellars and the screenplay was written by James Cullen Bressack (13/13/13, To Jennifer, If Looks Could Kill) and Zack Ward. Yes, that Zack Ward from A Christmas Story and Titus, it turns out he has gotten into writing and directing.

Alright, Circus Kane, what’s it all about? It is a horror movie based around a traveling horror attraction. More specifically, it is about the return of an enigmatic and charismatic mastermind who is making a comeback following a far in the past tragedy that left him disfigured and disgraced. Beyond that, it feels like a mash up of House on Haunted Hill and Rob Zombie’s 31, perhaps with a dash of Saw for flavor.

We are introduced to Rob Zombie impresario Balthazar Kane (Tim Abell). He is making a comeback and sends out invitations to a select group of people to come and experience his new horror experience. The invitations are referred to as golden tickets (Ahh, a Willy Wonka reference) and those invited all seem to be a different member of the horror community, a collector, a shop owner, a scream queen, a super fan, etc. They are lured with the promise that the winner of the experience will go home with $250,000. However, the attraction is considerably more dangerous than you would think.

The characters (one of which is played by Jonathan Lipnicki, the little boy from Jerry Maguire) all fill their roles admirably. They move around the nicely designed sets, they scream, they run from mutant clowns, the maneuver Jigsaw-esque traps, and they die in gruesome fashion. Then, when the ending comes out and flips what you think you’ve just seen, well, I didn’t see it coming. Yes, that’s right, it doesn’t happen often.

No, the movie is not perfect. The characters are mostly flimsy and without substance, although I did like the different backgrounds the characters came from. It was nice to have a reason for these people to be together other than a random, unbelievable friendship. The movie moved at a good pace and held my interest. It is a fun romp.

Circus Kane is a serviceable horror romp. It does not escape its low budget roots, but it is executed with enough style to make it seem better than it is. Also, Tim Abell’s performance is quite good. He brings plenty of menace and charisma to the screen. He just owns every scene he appears in. So, in the end, spend some time exploring this horror experience.

Circus Kane arrives on VOD on September 8, 2017.


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Post a Comment