Whoever made the trailer for this thing deserves an award. I mean, I'm an experienced enough movie goer at this point not to be suckered so easily by a well-edited commercial for a film, but I admit: this movie's trailer got my hopes way up.
Apparently it was created based on the success of a few internet clips of the clown that features prominently in the film. That's fair enough. It's a creepily done clown in most ways. The film itself: not so much.
First of all, it's an anthology film. No points lost for that. These appear to be gaining popularity. Although it means the films often lack cohesion, it also gives it multiple chances to win audiences over.
The over-arching story here is about a baby-sitter with the personality of a toothbrush taking care of two abrasively over-acted kids on Halloween night, all of them so meticulously make-upped and lit that it's impossible not to imagine the rest of the crew standing mere feet away (made even easier by the fact that there's virtually no establishing shots, with everyone in close-up). One of the kids, an alarmingly skinny boy, receives a blank videotape in his bag of Halloween candy, and they all sit down to watch it. Lucky for us, this family still owns a VCR, because the video contains our three scary stories.
STORY #1 - CREEPY TRAIN STATION IS CREEPY
A young woman has a close encounter with the film's scary clown villain while waiting for a train at a station that more closely resembles an elementary school boiler room. There are a few creepy scenes and moments in this one, and the actors really give it their all. The story, however, degenerates into random nonsense and monster make-up that is a fang or two shy of really selling itself. It also includes a bad guy who keeps awkwardly licking his lips, like chapped skin is scary.
STORY #2 - WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD!
A young woman is unpacking boxes in her new home. Great pains are taken to illustrate how isolated the location is. Nothing happens for about ten minutes, although the electricity does go out and the women gets scared by bright lights from outside. Then she discovers the alien. Or rather, the skinny guy in the easily damaged alien costume. Cue screaming and running and absolutely nothing else.
STORY #3 - THE GASH STATION
In the goriest of the three clips, a young woman (must it always be young women?) encounters our clown friend at a gas station, where he begins terrorizing her because he's evil or something. This section of the film is shot in a gritty, sepia-ish tone that makes it feel more engaging, and the effects are the strongest of the movie. There's more of an attempt at a story -- although not much -- but the ending is so desperate to be shocking that it comes across as almost laughable.
I'm going to let you guess how the movie ends, although I recommend not being too imaginative with your guesses. All in all, it's not the worst horror film I've ever seen, but it does seem to think that a creepy bad guy and some intermittent gore are good substitutes for plot and character, leaving the whole thing pretty hollow.