This is definitely one of those films that makes it hard for you to pinpoint how you feel about it. It almost had a student film vibe at times (mostly in the opening scene), but the acting was good. The problem may be that it’s going for several different tones which makes it slightly confusing. It’s just so weird and bizarre, although that is the reason I felt intrigued enough to keep watching. I’m pretty sure I like it – mostly because of the clown’s performance who reminded me of a very unsettling version of Mr Jelly from ‘Psychoville’. However, the story didn’t quite go in the direction I had hoped. It seemed like it would go with the option of using its chapters to tell an anthology series within a film – separate stories that don’t intertwine but perhaps linked themes like Todd Haynes’ ‘Poison’. Instead, it linked the first story with the second, but then abandoned the character from the first. Nothing really seemed to be explored enough; there are plenty of weird-looking characters on display in the film (such as during the dancing scenes) that would have been interesting to have looked into more. On the other hand, one thing I particularly like is the carnivalesque imagery on display. It adds to the strangeness of the film and somehow makes it darker and more eerie. And as I mentioned previously, the clown is the best character – he has the best dialogue and has a lot of charisma.
In summary, this is a really weird and interesting film. It’s worth watching without knowing anything about the story, just to be baffled more and more as it goes on. It could have been developed and refined more in terms of the tone it’s going for, but it’s still a fun time as long as you don’t mind potentially being left a little confused about it.