Send In The Clowns With ‘Big Top Evil’ (2019) – Movie Review

With IT: Chapter 2 (read our review here) coming out, we just couldn’t obsessing over clowns. Luckily for us, we have a new feature film from Sean Haitz (Mangrove Slasher 2 2011) offering us an entire circus full of cannibal clowns. Big Top Evil focuses on five friends on a road trip. When the group stops for the night, they find themselves entertained by a circus. However, it’s not the kind of show with funny clowns and animals. Big Top Evil is a throwback to campy B horror movies. One character even admits, “It’s like a bad B horror movie.”


Five disparate youths, lost on a road trip to the location of the infamous Mangrove Slasher, end up being pursued by a cadre of cannibal clowns.

Sean Haitz not only directed the film, but he also co-wrote the script and acted in the film as the main character, Jay. John Morrisey was the other co-writer on the film, and Chris Potter co-directed the film with Haitz. The film stars Rob Zombie alumni Bill Moseley (read our interview with him here), J. LaRose (All The Devils Are Here 2015), Jisuara Cardinale (PowerPuff Girls: The Long Way Back 2018), and newcomers Chanté Demoustes, Cameron Hall, Morgan Ferreira, Grace Haitz, co-director Chris Potter, and Austin Judd.

What Worked

Big Top Evil is all about the gore, which were created with practical effects, making it feel all the more realistic. Even the sanguinary soup supper made me cringe and wince. I was thoroughly disgusted. Some of the shots depicted what I would see in an actual circus. The music for the film also added to the creepiness of these cannibal clowns.

Bill Moseley was a great choice for an evil circus ringleader. He made a domineering presence in his scenes. His character was cruel and brutish, and at times sarcastic, teasing the clowns. It would have been interesting to see more of him in the film. Some background of his character would have added to the overall story.

What Could be Improved

I had no empathy for any of the five youths. I couldn’t wait until they died. Although, even when they were picked off, there was no satisfaction. The relationships between the characters should have shown more of a connection. There was really no chemistry within them; they were just pigs for the slaughter. The dialogue, at times, felt unrealistic, especially with nerdy character. Maybe they should have expanded upon the characters and made them into more than just the typical horror archetypes: the nerd, the rich bitch, the jock, the outsider, etc.

Big Top Evil Poster

Final Thoughts on Big Top Evil

Big Top Evil had its moments. Some were great while others fell to the floor. The film is heavy on gore and provides practical effects that will make any horror fan cringe. I was mostly disgusted and grossed out through the entire movie, right up until the climatic clown chase. This is definitely an indie film, although if Sean Haitz had a bigger budget, I bet he could have brought more to the final product. The film’s shining light comes through horror veteran actor Bill Moseley.

If you like gore with a minimalist story, then this is your film. Big Top Evil is available on Amazon, iTunes, Vimeo VOD, and Red Box Demand. Will you be attending Big Top Evil? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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About Dani McKinney

Dani loves horror movies ever since she saw Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers with Danielle Harris. She loves vampires, her favorite movie is Interview with a Vampire. She reads constantly and mostly books about the supernatural and is also a paranormal investigator.

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