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Film / Stitches (2012)

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"Everybody happy?"

Stitches is a 2012 Irish Slasher Movie, starring Ross Noble as the title character. Also starring Tommy Knight and Gemma Leah Devereux.

After Stitches the clown is killed brutally at Tom's 10th birthday party, he is brought back to life six years later by a cult of clowns and seeks revenge on the children that brought about his untimely demise. Just in time for Tom's house party to celebrate his Dangerous 16th Birthday.

Stitches contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Sarah is one, surprisingly - too bad that her shoving her stiletto heel into Stitches' throat doesn't work, what with him being undead and all.
  • Action Survivor: Tom.
  • Alpha Bitch: Sarah
  • Antagonist Title: Tom is the protagonist.
  • Asshole Victim: Paul and Sarah.
  • Back from the Dead: Stitches is brought back to life via a ritual - apparently no clown can leave a party without having finished the job.
  • Big Bad: Stitches is a Monster Clown on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Birthday Party Goes Wrong: It happens TWICE for poor Tommy, when he turned 10 and a clown died in a freak accident, and when he turns 16 and said clown returns from the dead to commit some freaky killings.
  • Black Comedy: It's a Slasher Movie starring a murdered clown - it'd be a shame if this wasn't included.
  • Bland-Name Product: Vinny gets word out about Tom's party via MyFace.
  • Blown Across the Room: Kate is knocked across the kitchen after Stitches sucker-punches her in the face.
  • Came Back Strong: When Stitches is resurrected, he goes from being an average guy to a super strong, nigh unkillable zombie. In a rather unique case, it also seems to have made him much better at clowning.
  • Camp Gay: Downplayed, but Bulger has an eye for decoration, is active in the music department at school, and has a complete lack of interest in gym - but can do a split on a dime. He might even be Camp Straight; before the party begins, he describes it as a 'fanny fest' (fanny being slang for female genitals), and it's not clear if he means that in a good way or not.
  • Cassandra Truth: Although how many would believe being told "there's a killer clown on the loose"?
  • Chekhov's Gun: Tom's birthday present comes in handy when he and Kate need to make a getaway.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Of the weirdest variety.
    Bulger: Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.
    • Subverted. Stitches interrupts Tom from using this to defeat him.
    • But then played straight when Vinnie's ability to tie someone's shoelaces together without them noticing ends up putting Stitches down for good.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Tom and Kate.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Conor McMahon cameos as a lonely partygoer Bulger sees and mocks for his appearance.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Were you thinking that a Monster Clown would kill his victims normally?
    • Paul gets his ear and arm ripped off before getting decapitated by Stitches kicking his head off.
    • Bulger gets his skull cracked open with a can opener before Stitches scoops up three balls of his brain as if it were ice cream.
    • Sarah gets an umbrella rammed through her head from behind. When it opens, it gets messy.
    • Richie gets partially disemboweled and Stitches makes a balloon animal with his intestine, before grossly inflating his head with a balloon pump until it bursts into a bloody mess.
  • Daydream Surprise: Tom's teacher scolds him for talking, but as Tom looks up to face him, his teacher is a clown. He then proceeds to rip off Vinny's genitals and tie them to a helium balloon, before taunting Vinny who is desperately trying to retrieve it in front of the class, who are by now laughing at him. He turns to Tom and tells him his time is "up", before Tom snaps out of the daydream when his teacher says that the time to finish his work is up and to hand it to him.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Stitches.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Stitches holds Bulger in his arms after killing him.
    • Poetically fitting when, at the exact same time, the rest of the party are dancing to the Cutting Crew song of the same name.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The In-Universe reaction to Paul impersonating the titular Clown moments before the real one's appearance.
  • Egg MacGuffin: The only way to kill a resurrected clown is by destroying the one that has the clown's face on it.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The movie ends with the Motley Clown gluing Stitches' broken egg back together. Once it's done, its cracks slowly disappear and it cuts to black before we hear Stitches' voice saying "Everybody happy?"
  • Evil Plan: Stitches comes Back from the Dead and seeks to get revenge on the kids who killed him.
  • Extendo Boxing Glove: As a killer revenant, Stitches is able to throw extended spring-loaded punches.
  • Eye Scream: Stitches trips and falls, landing face-down onto the dishwasher, and receives a steak knife through the eye. After pulling it out to try and kill Tom with it, he slips in his own blood, releasing the blade to fly back up and land in the same socket at a different angle, creating an X-shaped scar centered on his eye.
    • Stitches throws an umbrella through the back of Sarah's head, popping the eye out of the socket. The body then falls backwards, forcing the entire umbrella through the socket.
  • Final Girl: Kate.
  • Gorn: Just look at Eye Scream for one of the more horrific examples.
  • Groin Attack: A very vivid one in the Daydream Surprise.
    • A second one gets delivered when Tom tries to snub a Paul and Sarah out of a party invite.
  • Gilligan Cut: Just as Kate reassures Tom that "not every party ends with a dead clown", Paul, dressed as a clown, is being murdered by Stitches.
  • Horror Comedy: Definitely on the comedic end of the spectrum, but there are some rather gruesome deaths depicted on-screen.
  • Jerkass: Kate's boyfriend, Dan, is extremely self-centered.
  • Karmic Death: Stitches' preferred method of murder? Dispatching his victims using the same tricks that they'd ruined during his show:
    • Paul cruelly botched Stitches' Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat trick when asked to partecipate and Stitches pulls a rabbit out of his throat before promptly kicking his head off.
    • Bulger threw a scoop of ice cream at Stitches and the clown cracks his head open and treats his brain like ice cream.
    • Sarah threw Stitches' umbrella at him and flipped him off and Stitches would throw the umbrella at her. In a much more Darker and Edgier way.
    • Richie popped Stitches' crappy balloon animal and the clown makes a balloon animal out of his intestine before popping him.
  • Kick the Dog: Stitches beating Tommy's cat to death for happing at his nose.
  • Kids Are Cruel: While Stitches was a really bad birthday clown, Tommy's friends push their brattiness too far ending up accidentally killing the performer.
  • Lonely Funeral: Only four people attend Stitches' funeral: the priest, and presumably three prostitutes he slept with.
  • Male Gaze: Vinny has a pronounced case of this throughout the movie.
  • Monster Clown: The Movie! Well, the other movie.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Tommy Knight. The film takes places in Ireland. Even his mother in the film has an Irish accent.
    • Ross Noble doesn't do the local accent either, but given his character, it could just be that he plays an English clown who just happens to be working in Ireland.
  • Not Quite Dead: After falling and landing onto the knife in the dishwasher, Stitches stands up, pulls the knife out and tries to grab Tom. However, after tossing the knife in the air, he slips on his own blood and lands on his back, just as the knife falls back down and stabs him in the head again.
    • The film ends with the Motley clown cultists carefully reassembling Stitches' egg, potentially bringing him back to life once more.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Stitches is brought back from the dead because of a Black Magic-practicing clown cult, for the sole purpose of avenging himself. As long as his clown egg isn't destroyed, he's an unkillable undead Magical Clown with Super-Strength and minor Reality Warper powers.
  • The Peeping Tom: Literally, as Tom uses his telescope to spy on pretty much everything in the neighborhood - nothing perverted, though.
  • Perky Goth: Despite Kate's fashion sense as a teenager, she's one of the nicest characters of the film and cares for Tom's feelings.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: The pose Stitches assumes after digging Bulger's brains out with an ice-cream scoop.
  • Potty Failure: Paul misses the mark by virtue of his costume having no zipper.
  • Right Behind Me: Tom's impersonation of a teacher is quite ill-timed.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Rather than help Tom with Kate after Stitches attacks her, Vinny makes a run for it - he comes back to help at the end, though, with the same prank that caused Stitches' death killing him again.
  • Shoutout: Tommy is taking Hypnocil.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Played With, as Kate kisses Tom in the graveyard in order to stop his hiccups, as they were giving their position away.
  • Stoners Are Funny: Tom's misadventure with the "house cookie" borders on this, partially because it's so out-of-character for him.
  • Tightrope Walking: Stitches evokes this with an overhead power line he walks on to reach the cemetery faster than Tom and Kate.
  • Time Skip: The opening scene is set during Tom's 10th birthday party, then it cuts to six years later where the rest of the film takes place.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Tom finally plucks up the courage to rescue Vinny and Kate from the party by any means necessary... even if that means standing up to Kate's boyfriend by punching him in the face.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Ever since the accident that happened on his 10th birthday, Tom has reservations about having a birthday parties, but Vinny convinces him to do it since Tom's mom will be missing on his sixteenth birthday meaning that he'll have his large house for himself, which is perfect grounds for a big party... and thus Stitches awakens.
  • Volleying Insults: Bulger and Sarah engage in some of this after Paul's "prank".
  • Your Head A-Splode: Richie, courtesy of a handheld balloon pump.