Film / Amusement

Amusement is a 2008 American horror film directed by John Simpson and starring Katheryn Winnick, Laura Breckenridge and Jessica Lucas. The film was stuck on The Shelf of Movie Languishment for quite some time before going direct-to-video in January 2009. It was the last film distributed by Picturehouse Films before their revival in 2013.

Three women are faced with a psychopath with a penchant for sadism and twisted humour from their childhood.

Tropes presented by this film:

  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Tabitha uses one in the form of a cupboard that she puts on a front of a door. The Laugh effortlessly pushes out the drawers from behind and climbs straight through.
  • All According to Plan: For a while, it seemed that The Laugh had every move planned out to completely trap Tabitha. Then the truck stalled.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Laugh. Altought while being a sadist and psychotic Serial Killer he's quite intelligent and manipulative.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: The Laugh abused a rat as a kid, it's pretty clear he's the bad guy.
  • Big Bad: The Laugh, a sick invidual who is after the three women who he knew from his childhood.
  • Bond One-Liner: Said by Tabitha after she stabs The Laugh in the face with one of his weapons.
    "Now that was funny!"
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Lisa's phone isn't but how she uses it is. She could have used ti to call the cops but that would ruin the plot.
  • Creepy Basement: The one in The Laugh's cabin is so creepy and so unreasonably big, many fans mistook it for Chamber of Secrets.
  • Creepy Child: The Laugh, as a child, though that gutting animals was a funny thing to do. He puts a rat into a torture rack, slices open its stomach, and stretches it open with hooks and asks "is it funny".
  • Creepy Doll: Subverted by having the doll actually be The Laugh sitting very, very still.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Laugh stitches people into beds and leaves them for death. And he later does the same thing to Tabitha's friends or so it seemed at first.
  • Death Trap: Of the "closing walls" kind.
  • The Doll Episode: Tabitha's Babysitter plot in Act 2 has being surrounded and creeped by clown dolls.
  • Evil Laugh: The film's calling card, so much so that the villain is credited as "The Laugh". The laugh is pushed by the story itself to be the killer's most distinguishing trait.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Lisa's boyfriend Dan is killed this way when the Laugh has his "metal scope victrola" shoot a dart into his eye from the phonograph horn. Because it can.
    • Happens when Tabitha stabs the Laugh in the face with his own weapon.
  • Final Girl: Out of three girls that the Laugh is targeting, Tabitha is the one to survive and defeat the villain.
  • For the Evulz: The Laugh finds mutilation and murder a funny thing to do. His whole plan revolves around being a sadistic asshole for the sole reason that it's funny to him.
  • Hell Hotel: The Laugh owns that hasn't been used for years as evident by all the dust and upturned chairs. Whether or not it's connected to the cabin via the dungeon of a basement is unclear.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Very poorly too! The Laugh pretends to be a clown doll in the guest bedroom... despite being a life-size "doll" and the only scary looking one out of them all. It still works.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Laugh gets killed by his own weapon, while looking through his peephole to taunt Tabitha no less.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: The "metal scope victrola" is basically a large music box and plays a creepy song that shoots darts from the phonograph horn.
  • Once Is Not Enough: Just stabbing the Laugh in the neck with a scalpel barely slows him down.
  • Power Trio: Tabitha, Shelby and Lisa used to be this when they were kids.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: The Laugh hadn't changed for years, remaining the same sick little kid for years.
  • Monster Clown: The Laugh hides in plain sight in the second segment by dressing in a clown costume that's lacking its nose.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: The Laugh pretends to be a (large) clown doll in a room full of clown dolls.
  • Urban Legends: The film is practically a rehash of popular urban legends mashed into a single storyline. The 'clown doll' story in the second act is a particularly notable example.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm Scream and a woman's scream make a ridiculous appearance for little reason.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: The torture chamber has a huge room with glass walls that close in onto Tabitha just so The Laugh can torment her some more.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: The Laugh tormented a rat for his class project and then had harbored a grudge for years because three girls didn't think it was "funny".