Directed by Adam Dunning
Written by Adam Dunning
Stars: Rocky Petroziello, Kris Marconi, Sam Rovin, Erin Rovin, Shauna Farhad, Rebecca Henning, Tim Merli, Jessica Lindgren, Ian Anderson, Madison Caudullo, Melissa Simoson, Marc Colby Sr, Robert Storm, Christopher Weite, John Murray and Gruesome Hertzogg.
Big thanks to film maker Adam Dunning for sending me a screener copy of his second horror feature Laughter. Laughter is a fun, low budget slasher movie with a great benefit in having a vindictive clown as its killer.
The story involves a deeply unhappy young man named Joey who suffers both at the hands of his abusive father and the mean kids at school. Joey also has a, lets say obsession, with clowns as they are something he associates with his deceased mother. Concocting a silly prank with his two friends to scare some of the other kids at a party is the start of a far bigger nightmare and as is always the case in these types of films - the past always comes back to haunt you.
So the prank clearly doesn't go off as planned and results in a death which the other kids foolishly cover up. Fast forward six months and the guilty teens are now living an existence far removed from those they had planned for themselves. I guess that kind of guilt and remorse will do that to you! But that's only the beginning of their troubles as a grotesque clown soon makes his appearance and starts taking them out one by one, by one... Ok so you may have heard this all before. Personally I can take a slasher movie with the standard cover up/revenge scenario any old day so I'm happy. One thing, to its credit, that Laughter tries to do a bit differently is to include a few original death scenes which I really appreciate. Further good points are the films score which is really effective and I would even say haunting and some of the characters were really interesting. On top of all of that the clown costume is SCARY!
There are some not so good points about Laughter and I feel these are important to highlight as viewers who are not so well versed in the more lower budgeted movie may struggle. Firstly, there is a running sound issue meaning you have to adjust your volume quite a bit. This can prove a bit distracting although its not something that bothered me too much and did seem to improve toward the end. There are also some weaker performances and some very repetitive and unnatural dialogue in various parts of the movie.
That said, on the performances, there are some impressive ones also. I thought Rocky Petroziello as Joey did a superb job and wish there could have been more him as he played the tormented soul very well. Both Kris Marconi and Sam Rovin did a good job also as Joeys mischievous friends, Chris and Brian; brought back to earth with a bang after the events of the party. I also really enjoyed Erin Rovins performance as Kate, a sweet but slightly edgy girl and thought she came across as the most natural actress in the film.
All in all Laughter is a good time, with admittedly its flaws, that I would recommend checking out. It has a good story, some good performances and interesting characters and a few cool death scenes. I really look forward to seeing what Adam Dunning comes up with next as he clearly has a sound working knowledge of the knows the horror genre. If you want to find out even more about the film please check out my interview with Adam HERE!