Wrinkles

The documentary “Wrinkles the Clown” follows the titular creepy-clown-for-hire who scares misbehaving children straight when their parents reach the end of their tether.

Wrinkles the Clown premiered at Fantastic Fest in Austin last week, and it was one of the most intriguing titles in the weirdo litter. I mean, who wouldn’t want to know more about a documentary that centers on an unidentified clown living in Naples, Florida, who (for a fee) will scare misbehaving children of desperate parents?

Any parent knows trying to iron out the behavioral kinks of your kids is a tough gig. So maybe traumatizing your babies for life by employing a terrifying clown will make the headaches go away. Of course, I’m kidding. But it is sure is fascinating to meet the parents who thought it was a good idea.

Captured and steered by filmmaker Michael Beach Nichols (Welcome to Leith), Wrinkles the Clown kicks off as a standard documentary that introduces us to an older man who claims he is the titular terrorizer. He’s just a dude living in his van (down by the river) trying to make a quick buck by putting the fear of God in preteens.

Nichols walks us through the process of getting into contact with Wrinkles (you can call 407-734-0254 right now to leave a message and book an appointment) and features sit-downs with children and parents who used his services.

You see clips of the clown in action, the principle one being Wrinkles hiding underneath a sleeping girl’s bed (look it up on YouTube). But then the film seems a bit off and goes in an unexpected direction that has so much more on its mind. Oh, I’m itching to tell you the truth.

What unfolds is a twisted experience that is unlike any other documentary. The journey of being wowed, confused and shocked is something that will never leave your memory. It’s a new kind of nightmare.

Hurry! See it before someone spills its secrets.

PRESTON BARTA is a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association. Read his work here, on FreshFiction.tv and on RottenTomatoes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PrestonBarta.

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