Amusement is one of the newer additions to the revenge on those that caused psychological damage during the tender years of school genre. To be successful in this overused sub category you have to do things in a fresh new way and really blow the audience away. Amusement does neither.
A boy with an unusual sense of humor gets rejected by three girls in school due to a truly bizarre project. Flash forward and the boy wishes to get bloody, violent revenge. The antagonist reminds me of Dr. Giggles while some scenes appear to be as thought out as traps from the Saw series. Unfortunately this film doesn’t know what it wants to be.
There is an attack in the beginning by an assailant in a clown suit, which is quickly forgotten. After that, bodies are stitched into beds at a large hostel, hospital, or hotel. The three main women who wronged the junior psychopath are then terrorized in a glass enclosure with moving walls and posed victims. I enjoy a good existential film that explores complex emotions by breaking them down into seemingly disjointed highly visual scenes. I also enjoy a good mindless popcorn movie that expects nothing from its viewer than to forget their own petty lives for 90 minutes. This film, unfortunately, didn’t hit either extreme and I came away feeling disappointed and abused.
This film suffers greatly from an identity crisis. The creative team needed to pick a direction and roll with it. The cast is solid and the effects are good. If there had just been a clean cut direction or theme for the film it would have been at least twice as good.
I don’t know if this film wanted to be camp horror or not, but having a killer that sometimes dresses as a clown and always laughs like a hyena definitely sent it down that path. There were a few well-placed uses of gore that seemed more like placeholders or a ruse to lull the viewer into believing that they were actually watching a horror movie. The only people who might get a few jumps out of this film or even find anything scary would need to possess either an irrational and debilitating fear of clowns or an equally irrational fear of psychotic laughter.
With a more targeted killer this film could have been good. If you want to experience a shunned boy getting revenge on the school girls that forever warped his fragile mind, skip Amusement and find the film Valentine. It explores the same scenario with far more focus, uses a better cast, and even has a better ending.