Amusement (2008)


Directed by: John Simpson

Written by:
Jake Wade Wall


Keir O'Donnell .... The Laugh
Katheryn Winnick .... Tabitha
Laura Breckenridge .... Shelby
Jessica Lucas .... Lisa
Tad Hilgenbrink .... Rob
Reid Scott .... Dan
Rena Owen .... Psychiatrist

Kevin Gage .... Tryton
Brennan Bailey .... Danny
Preston Bailey .... Max

Release Date: Limited Theatrical: November, 2008




A maniac everyone called the Laugh (Keir O'Donnell) seems to stalk and trap three women who were involved in his childhood past in school and were longtime friends with one another that went their separate ways.
One of them named Shelby (Laura Breckenridge) was in a car with her boyfriend Dan (Reid Scott) and encounters a beat up woman who was thrown out of a truck and they try to catch who did this only to have her boyfriend slaughtered.
Another named Tabitha (Katherine Winnick) discovered that a babysitter who was hired was missing and had to keep an eye on two children named Danny (Brennan Bailey) and Max (Preston Bailey) in which they have a huge clown collection that gives her the creeps in which she spots a person sized clown but the parents on the phone she talks to tells her they don't have a clown that big.
The third friend named Lisa (Jessica Lucas) and her boyfriend Rob (Tad Hilgenbrink) goes to search their other friends that were missing in which they resided at a mansion of some sort but Rob's luck just ran out.
Tabitha is in a ward with a psychiatrist (Rena Owen) after what she encountered on her babysitting job but later on seems to find her friends there too with the grasp of this maniac as they try to find a way of escaping but don'r know where to go.


The film shows a good beginning with a couple of people named Dan and Shelby in their car having a discussion bringing it to life as well as some good angle shots on them in the car.
There's many good takes on the car and a black truck driving with them giving it a nice creepiness to what's going on. We have a good shot on a woman in the truck landing onto the windshield of the car giving it a good shocking moment.
There's a good brief discussion with both Dan and this woman about catching the truck driver with her doing well by acting weak in pain on the ground.
We have a good moment with Dan speaking to the character known as The Laugh when he's injured and choking out his words which looked impressive and mysterious on why this is happening with the assaults from the truck driver.
There's a good shot on The Laugh standing behind a house acting nervous next to a window with Tryton talking on a phone and then about to head out of the house with The Laugh whacking him with an axe which looked brutal while spotting this and then cackling evilly coming up towards a few other people in their vehicle getting scared as that looked greatly twisted.

We spot nice camera takes on the character Tabitha opening a door to talk to someone outside with a shot on The Laugh standing outside in the rain with a raincoat speaking very strangelike.
There's also a good shot on her in a room acting a bit uncomfortable with what's in the room with camera shots a bunch of toy clowns which gives you a chill as the camera shots on them looked horrorlike.
There's alos some good discussions with Tabitha spending time with two of her children in their bedroom in which the setting looked nice and peaceful.
There's a good moment with Tabitha going up to a giant toy clown slowly reaching and trying to touch the clowns face as well as reaching for a tv clicker this toy is holding hoping the toy won't leap out which looked really scary since everything was still with the rain falling outside and thunder clapping at times making her jump which is a good jumping moment too while watching this.
There's a nice close up shot on her lying in her bed with a background shot on the clown moving it's head towards her.
Things seem impressive when she is talking on the phone complaining about a giant clown giving her the creeps and then the person on the other line telling her they don't have one that big in which her blocking looked great when she turns around and realises the clown is out of it's chair in which this gives you a chilling impression here when we spot on how she reacts to this.
Things look even more suspenseful when we spot her running into the children's room and locking the door acting very frightened and panting along with good shots on some sharp objects breaking through the door.
There's good shots and discussions between a psychiatrist and Tabitha in a room in with her acting disturbed by what all has happened as this leaves a perfect impression to the story.
We spot a good discussion between The Laugh acting strangely towards the character Rob about a large type of music box and getting him to wind it up to play music. There's a good shot on him peeking through a hole in the music box with a sharp object quickly stabbing his eye.
There's a nice moment with a character named Lisa running away in a mansion and then having a discussion with The Laugh acting like a deaf person which was nicely done making it look strange and twisted. Then later on we have a good shot on him showing some evil expressions and cackling towards her.
There's another good moment with the psychiatrist speaking to Tabitha in which she is acting snappy like towards her and showing frustrations too as this drew in perfectly.
We have some good shots on Tabitha walking out in a hallway discovering that she is in some sort of a mansion with the dark and gloomy shots surrounding her.
We also spot a good chase between her and The Laugh as he still does well with his evil laughter during all of this. There's a good shot on him flashing his flashlight to his face laughing evilly.
There's a nice shot on Tabitha acting intense near a glass wall seeing The Laugh taunting Shelby with a knife while she's chained up
There's a perfect close up shots onThe Laugh laughing and Winnick too showing crazy expressions.
Bottom line is that this film was almost like a horror anthology showing different stories with the character but yet at the same time it was a movie in one. It very much seemed like a tribute to those other well done horror flicks but let me explain.
The beginning of the movie was incredibly mysterious about some of the people chasing after some truck driver after an injured passenger is thrown out which reminded me very much of Joyride as it even had the same dark feeling to it too along with what is going on a totally unsolved mystery about to be unraveled.
Second chapter of the lead woman babysitting some kids and having a feeling someone else is in the house after spotting toy clowns and then a giant clown wondering if the clown is a person watching her reminds me of When a Stranger Calls but a different twist with the clown story.
The rest of the plots however were a bunch of other kinds of horror flicks in a Tales from the Crypt or Twilight Zone type of fashion with the creepy mansion and the maniac taunting the women there as well as slowly killing them.
It's about time we see a good film instead of a remake as I hope that this film will inspire other good horror films too. Definetely check this one out if you were a fan of the movies I just mentioned that this one seemed to pay a tribute to.

The acting is excellent as lead actor Keir O'Donnell (The Laugh) was a true gifted horror film actor showing so much versitality to his role as the character called the Laugh and disgusies himself terrifically as I was convinced that these were different people at first. He also showed terrific insane expressions and a terrific evil cackle too. He was also terrific with his brutal behavior especially with his blocking actions while doing in someone. I honestly think that he deserves an award for his role in this film if he hasn't already.
atheryn Winnick (Tabitha) knows her stuff too as the lead target for this maniac showing great emotions and aggressions too. She also knew how to acted stunned or frightened for the various scene's that were necessary for her to be that way too by getting scared stiff with perfect shocked reactions by what she spots. She also has perfect struggling energy too with what she does.
Jessica Lucas
(Lisa) had good energy to her role in the film especially her struggling attitude on how to escape from a strange looking mansion. She proves herself worthy as a character actress indeed if I do say so myself.
We have a supporting performance by Rena Owen (Psychiatrist) even if she didn't have a whole lot of scene's as a psychiatrist but I had to give her credit as well cause she really came across as mysterious and untrustworthy too with her words as I was convinced that something wasn't right about her and she really made her part the key to this horror story too. She also does well by getting snappy in one scene which is a nice change of a character for her.
Reid Scott (Dan) had a nice effective supporting role in the flick in which he shows off great energy when he lunges in for a struggling moment as well as acting believeable choking out his words when he acts injured in a scene of the film.

An axe is plowed in a truckers head with blood gushing out
Insides of a rat is exposed
A person's eye is stabbed
Barb wire objects are impaled in people lying on old beds
A woman's insides are exposed
The maniac is stabbed through the head with two sharp objects

Some deep low grinding sounds along with the classical music as well as the odd high quivering violin music. We hear the odd low piano tapping too. There's some nice screeches for when someone approaches a childs room with creepy looking toys. Of course we get great sharp deep violin music for the silent moment when something terrifying will unravel later on. There's many intense violin chants too. All of this was composed by Marco Beltrami and so far it's the best orchestral music I've heard in a long time.