Director: Christopher Ray
Cast: Jonathan Lipnicki, Tim Abell, Richard Moll
Production Company: DeInstitutionalized
Runtime: 88 minutes
Coulrophobia is the term used to describe an irrational fear of clowns. This particular fear has grown over the years, and the movies probably had something to do with it. Add an evil circus master and a house of horrors to the mix and you’ve got Circus Kane (2017).
In the movie, Balthazar Kane invites a group of horror aficionados to the revival of his haunted house attraction. Kane promises $250,000 to anyone that can make it through a night of total terror. His real scheme proves to be much more sinister…
The film owes a lot to haunted attractions and escape rooms. There’s a lot of death traps in this movie that would be right at home in a classic episode of Scooby Doo. That’s actually a good thing! I thought the horror was balanced perfectly with the humour.
The eccentric characters are the main highlight of this film. Each of them represents a different faction of horror fandom. The range of personalities is wide enough that you’ll find someone you can relate to in the movie. This is especially true if you’re already a horror fan.
My favourite character is definitely Big Ed, who is played by Ted Monte. He’s also appeared in Super Shark (2011), Megaconda (2010), and Vampire in Vegas (2009). His character here reminded me a lot of Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark in Iron Man (2008).
It was also great to see Richard Moll in the movie. Moll is a veteran of a lot of horror films, including Night Train to Terror (1985), House (1985), Spiders II: Breeding Ground (2001), Nightmare Man (2006), and Ghost Shark (2013).
The gore effects in the movie are exceptionally well done. A moment involving some barbed wire even managed to remind me of the spectacular finale from Hellraiser (1987). I also appreciated that all the effects were practical, instead of digital ones.
It’s fun trying to guess who will die next or who might end up surviving the night. In that way, the film is a lot like House on Haunted Hill (1959). There’s a great twist ending too. Circus Kane will be sure to entertain you before taking a bow…
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…