Indie Horror Movie Review: THE LAUGHING MASK (2014)

Hi again ghosts and ghouls!  I’m back, and this time, I’m here with a film review!  I was given the gift of a screener link from Shannon (you all know her as the Fearless Leader of Nightmarish Conjurings, and who I lovingly call Boss Lady), as she knows how much I absolutely love creepy masks, because I’m weird of whatever.

I sat down on my couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, so ready to be absolutely wowed by a film who’s IMDb page boasts a storyline of: “If you’re guilty, beware The Laughing Mas.  Jake Johnson lost his wife and child to a psychotic killer known as Laughing Mask and goes to extreme measures to achieve his revenge.”

I probably should have known how this was going to go when their IMDb page had a typo.

The film does immediately draw you in, using old-style cartoons and really loud 30’s music to entice you.  It’s kind of cool, really – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horror film use creepy-looking cartoons as an introduction so that was a welcomed change.  From there, things just get stranger, when the entire police force of Kissimmee, Florida is brought on to catch this masked killer known as Laughing Mask, who walks around in a mask made to look a little bit like the face of a snake when it unhinges its jaw before it feeds.

He wears a full suit, minus the jacket – i.e. dress pants, button-down shirt (sleeves rolled up, ladies. Yep.  Delicious), tie and vest, and the mask.  It really is quite a sight…he’s basically every creepy woman’s dream.  The fact that I found him attracted really freaked me out to be perfectly honest, but you know, there’s no shame in the horror game.

Other than his awesome get-up and delicious laughter, however, the film is a total bust.  I’m convinced that the 5-star ratings of the film are the cast and crew reviewing it to make it more popular.  I genuinely wanted to be nice writing about the rest of this film, however, I can’t exactly find the words to express it kindly.

The cast is awful.  The acting is borderline unbearable, almost as if someone jokingly casted them thinking they could turn a comedy into a horror film.  The dialogue between the characters is BRUTALLY awkward – an example being a cop at a crime scene saying, “I’m going to need a new pair of undies.”  Bad timing, made no sense, supposed to be humorous but came across as “I’m reading this off a script.”

I spent an hour and 40 minutes cringing through a bad script, the only sense of relief being Laughing Mask and the fun look into his carnival-themed lair, complete with mutilated and mutated victims.  In terms of the film itself, it looks like a student shot it on a camera from film school – the coloring is constantly in a state of blue, like the whole thing is supposed to look like one hour-and-forty-minute murder scene.  It ruined the ambiance of scenes that could have been salvaged, but it leaves a taste in your mouth of “these people don’t know what they’re doing”.

The story ends up having a “twist” that was so predictable, I think I knew what it was before this film was even created.

I almost wish I had the opportunity of reviewing this film taken away from me, because this was as nice as I could possibly be about it.

Now that I’ve established myself as the rudest (most adorable) film critic on the internet, I should probably take my leave!  Here’s hoping that if you’re looking to spend your night laughing, well, you put on The Laughing Mask.

Until next time, stay spooky,
Taylor Terribe <3

Taylor Krauss
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