Circus Kane (2017)

Director: Christopher Ray

Writer: James Cullen Bressack, Zack Ward (Screenplay) Sean Sellars (Story)

Starring: Jonathan Lipnicki, Tim Abbel, Victoria Konefal, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Sinjin Rosa, Nicole Arianna Fox, Bill Voorhees, Scott Thomas Reynolds, Mike Jerome Putnam, Rigo Obezo, Jonathan Nation


Plot: A reclusive circus master invites a group of social media stars to his house of haunts. Anyone who can make it out before being scared into submission will earn $250,000 – but the stars soon learn they are not only competing for money, but also fighting for their lives.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Twisted Gore Delight


Story: Circus Kane starts as Roxy, Greg, Billy (Lawrence), Scott (Lipnicki) Eddie, Carrie (Fox), Tracey (Konefal) and Jake receive a mysterious invitation from Balthazar Kane (Abbel) to take part in a night of terror for a chance to win $250,000, with the contestants all having connection to promote Kane’s big return through their social media audience.

As the contestants continue with the game they learn that this is the deadliest haunted house they have come up against and now they must fight to survive the haunted house.


Thoughts on Circus Kane


Characters – Scott claims to be fearless, he is selected because of this but the house will test his lack of fear. Balthazar Kane is the circus magician that wants to bring his house of horror back but this time he will push the limits of fear, through the film we discover his motivation for the game. Tracy is one of the contestants who is involved game, she is telling the story which we learn about in the opening present day scene. The contestants are a mixture of the ones you would expect to be picked off during this style of horror too, but this works for the direction the film goes.

PerformanceJonathan Lipnicki made a name for himself Jerry Maguire as a child actor but now he is trying to make a name for himself as an adult, while circling indie films he does show that he can lead horror films with this good performance, Tim Abbel as the menacing Balthazar Kane is great once we see the true nature of his character, Victoria Konefal is good as the trademark ‘final girl’ through the movie, the cast does all does do well with film.

StoryThe story is follow a group of contestants entering a house a horror to win a prize but the game turns out deadly. The story is filled with a magician pulling the tricks with riddles as the group ust work together to solve the situation. It you could imagine Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meeting Saw that is just how twisted the story feels.

HorrorThe horror comes from the gore created through the house of horrors, most of it comes off great but there are moments you can tell it is just a bucket of blood being thrown.

SettingsThe house is isolated away from the world and even after one of the characters calls for help they learn they are 2 hours away from any sort of rescue. The location does help because it does show us the time limit the characters would have to escape.

Special EffectsMostly practical effects going on here and sure this is great throughout showing us you don’t need to be doing CGI gore, there is though one trap that does seem to rely on the CGI to become effective.

Scene of the Movie – Razor’s Edge.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The characters are selected for their social media followings but we don’t see them using it through the film, which did seem like the point, to make it feel like a live interaction experience.

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightfully twisted horror that is gore filled and by the end you will want to return through the film to pick out little clues you might have missed first time around.


Overall: Gore filled horror treat.





4 comments on “Circus Kane (2017)

  1. I am sorry, this movie was so disjointed and a clusterfuck of ideas, it never found its edge nor its conclusion. I felt like it was the beginning of a movie and the end of a movie put together with the middle left outside waiting to be put in. The acting was just so horribly bad. That it was actually fun to watch just for that. I think the guy doing all the impressions was just AWFUL. It’s like he said to the director “Hey, Please put my impressions in the movie! It might get me another role!”. Only problem is, he can’t act. Think of this as “Saw” wiith really annoyinng characters you WANT to see die. The premise is good. Which is what drew me in. But the opening credits with its cheap video CGI overlay make me roll my eyes and take a deep breath. But you pays your ticket, you takes your chances. This movie could be really good if made with a good director, a complete re-write with more attention to the back story and with people who can, oh I don’t know, maybe, ACT?. By the way, EVERY death in this movie was done in Saw I, II and III. So, be warned.

  2. By the way, Jonathan Lipnicki and Tim Abell were awesome in this. Kane is actually one of my favorite horror protagantists now. Him and Pennywise scare the shit out of me LOL

  3. Upon second viewing and third and fourth and with my friends, this is just like what I had thought with The Shining and 10,000 Maniacs. Hated at first. But then, a chance to sleep and reflect. Something drew me back to see it again. I didn’t understand it at first, but then, going through it again. I caught things I didn’t the first time. That led to a great realization that this might be the Citizen Kane (No pun intended) of Horror movies. The inside jokes. My fave, I won’t ruin because its a good one LOL. Balthazar Kane says it near the end LOL. Get this movie and make it a Halloween treat for your friends. Wish I could delete the first one I did. But, let it stand as a testament to just how good this director is. Can we get a Circus Kane 2?

  4. Pingback: ABC Film Challenge – What I Enjoyed in 2017 – C | Movie Reviews 101

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