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Send In The Clowns
roode9371 October 2016
I dig Rob Zombie films. Devils Rejects, the Halloween reboots, Lords of Salem…all personal favorites. So much so that I contributed $150 to the crowd funding of 31. It was promised to be the movie RZ wanted to make as well as the movie he thought his fans wanted to see - an unapologetic and uncompromising slaughter-fest. Well, I finally watched 31 last night and unfortunately it does compromise and it isn't even much of a slaughter-fest. It's simply another "we-kidnapped-some-innocent-people-for-the-purpose-of-torturing-them" retread. And not a very good one at that. I'm bummed.

There are certainly moments that make 31 worth watching. But those moments just aren't enough to make it a good movie. Much of the criticism of 31 has been directed at the lack of character development. My comment to that is "who cares?". This is a movie where I wanted to sink into my seat and cover my eyes due to the extreme and unrelenting gore. I wanted to feel like I did when I first saw Dawn of The Dead in theaters in 1980 - unable to look, but unable to look away…utterly horrified by images I'd never seen before…walking out exhilarated, out of breath, and laughing at myself for being so freaked out by a movie. If anyone could do it, Rob could.

Alas, most of 31 is just another quick-cut, shaky-cam exercise that does manage to force the viewer to look away - just not out of disgust, but to keep from getting a headache from the excessively annoying hand-held shots and machine-gun editing. More often than not, you can't even tell what's going on in the action scenes. There are lots of half second images of blood- soaked faces, and blood-soaked clothing, and blood-soaked weapons…but we can't tell who's getting chopped up and who's doing the chopping.

31 opens with a monologue from villainous clown Doom Head. It's a great scene that draws you in. The idea that he was, of course, going to show up again by the end of the film was the only thing that kept me from walking out. He does show up in the final 15 minutes, but it's too little, too late. It was already to the point where I couldn't care less what happened to these people and I knew however the inevitable deaths were played out wasn't going to be anything interesting or inventive. I was right. In between the opening and closing Doom Head bookends there is absolutely nothing of interest. A little unsuccessful character development…silly villains that are far too easy for our heroes to kill…pompous ringmasters that add nothing and could have been cut out completely…it all made me want my $150 back.

I assume there will be an unrated version somewhere down the line that I'll watch and re- evaluate, but I can't imagine it saving this waste of fake blood and Malcolm McDowells talent. If you want to see an interesting, scary clown movie try 2014's Clown (he eats children!) …if you want gut-wrenching gore watch the Evil Dead remake again. The only reason to see 31 is it's an RZ flick and to be properly schooled in modern horror you need to see all RZ offerings - at least for now. A few more throwaways like this and Rob will just be another straight to Netflix hack director.
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Do not pay to see this
bwhelveston16 September 2016
I'll start by saying this, I know there are some that will claim "He wasn't going for a traditional scary movie. People that don't like it just don't understand his perspective." I'm sure that in all of the conversations they had with Mr. Zombie these points were covered and clearly they have a much better understanding than anyone else. This review is for those that have been excited about seeing this because Rob Zombie's pieces in the past have had that intense shock factor and were delivered very well. Unfortunately, this one does not. It is kind of sadistic and if you put yourself in the position of one of these actors you can imagine it would probably be terrifying. Then again, you wouldn't use poorly scripted cheesy lines and engage in badly choreographed fights. Personally, I have been looking forward to this film since I first heard about it last year and have kept myself up on the release date so as soon as it was available I could treat myself to it. I couldn't have been more disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed his other films and would watch another if he made it. I realize fanatic Zombie lovers will disagree with me when I say this but for every one that like it there will be several that don't. I can't decide which was worse: the ending or the overall acting. I must give credit where credit is due, the intro is entertaining and you will probably enjoy Doom Head (the guy in the opening scene). Again unfortunately, he is in the movie all of about 10 minutes non-consecutively. Had the movie centered around him and a twisted hunting obsession perhaps I would be writing a very different review. The acting is over-the-top and awful. Not in the same way that some movies are so bad they're good (like Zombeavers or Axe Giant) but more like super low budget projects filmed on an iPhone. For a movie that has reasonably good quality in most scenes I was so let down to see the acting was so unrefined. It probably could have been worse, I'm just not sure how.
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These Clowns Are All Talk And Not Enough Bite
venusboys319 September 2016
I had no anticipation or information about this movie going in... except for it being a Rob Zombie movie and my enjoyment of all his other movies so far. None of them are perfect but none of them are boring, all of them bring something interesting to the table. Not so much with 31 though... One thing I've generally liked with Zombie's movies is that, unlike a lot of horror films such as Hostel - which promise all sorts of transgressive horrors only to bait and switch with some relatively tame eyeball gouging, Zombie's movies generally follow through on their threats. I never feel safe in his movies (except I'm pretty sure Mrs. Zombie's characters will survive to the final frame). Unfortunately, 31 let all the air out of that balloon dog for me. It didn't ever come close to crossing any lines of standardized horror. Oh sure, Its clown's show up and promise all sorts of vile entertainments... but they never materialize. Instead, we get some badly filmed fight scenes and routine kills that could be out of any war/crime/fantasy film. There's little or no suspense, barely any atmosphere outside of the clowns' initial entrances and Malcolm McDowall's nonsensical prattling. The movie takes its time building up 'Doomhead' but what is he but another loudmouthed guy in a clown suit? I assume he'd go down just as easily to a well-aimed blow to the head. There's really nothing special about him except for the amount of time he gets on screen. He even does the loathsome 'golf clap' routine that should be forever banished to Cliché-land. When the clowns do get their hands on someone they're not likely do do anything surprising at all... just stab them and move on. Unless something nastier was edited out of the version I saw... which I kinda doubt.

The carnies themselves had the potential for being the sort of interesting protagonists I'd pull for... and I DID like that they weren't just a bunch of squealing teenagers (Meg Foster especially was fascinating to look at. Older women like her are so seldom allowed on screen in heroic roles). But they're mostly reduced to just goofing around and swearing at each other... maybe it was just bad improv because the writer couldn't think of what to do with them?

This is BY FAR the least interesting thing I've seen come from Mr. Zombie. I'm still a fan of his previous films, I'll still watch whatever he makes next... but this one is the bottom dweller. Not that it's such a bad generic horror movie, as just that alone it's fairly average... but it's certainly a bad Rob Zombie horror movie. And being that, it's pretty disappointing.
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A Rob Zombie fan no more
ishmaelmontiel1 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
To start off, I have loved previous Zombie films. House of 1000 Corpses and Devils Rejects were at one point two of my favorite films. With that said, this film is just bad. I just came from the Fathom Events and was so disappointed by this movie I opened this account just to write this review. There are numerous things this movie lacks and going into this film I did not expect a masterpiece, but instead good ol bloody fun. Sadly, the blood could not save this film.

We find ourselves with a simple plot revolving 5 individuals forced to play a game called "31". They must fight to survive the night and win the game. The killers have a clown based appearance making for what appears to be a fun ride.

After the premise is revealed the film immediately goes down hill. To start off no character development is really made with both the survivors or villains of the movie. When the killings begin we feel indifferent to who lives or dies. When the deaths do occur, they are disappointing especially in comparison to Zombie's past. By this I mean, most of the kills are done by stabbings, which either cut to black, or show minimal damage. I'm not saying the lack of gore is what makes this movie bad, but I figured it would be Zombie's scape goat if anything. Unfortunately the movie progresses with no real development of plot and ends with what appears to be a copy of a scene found within other Zombie films. Which normally would be a cool throwback, but in this case seemed lazy.

From here I could go on about the issues with this movie, but ill just bullet point them.

  • The editing seemed as if a fan of Zombie's film had made this. Overuse of "vintage" effects just became detrimental.

  • The killers lacked any real character. It's as if he thought "Killer clowns are scary, enough said". So with that said the killers are just that, new clowns in different "Weird attire".

  • The killers lack any power. As the film nears its remaining 30 minutes, we see the heroes plow through "killers" like nothing.It's as if everyone was on the same playing field and this was just a brawl.

  • With such a simple premise of "Killer clowns" most would immediately assume the setting is going to be a carnival or something related. Instead we are introduced to the characters in a great looking carnival Esq setting in the very beginning, then the film immediately places all the characters in the most clichéd looking "pipe room" that is completely gray and dark. I assume this was due to budget constraints, but then why the lavish room to simply introduce the characters? This poor use of setting is later seen in a room that is shown which looks like a typical mini circus tent but is actually a cage. This room was only used for a few minutes on screen and completely abandoned after. Returning all characters to the pipe room.

  • The acting was poor. Like just scare actor at your local Halloween attraction bad. That goes for both heroes and villains. The only one who had evident talent Meg Foster. Her performance was brilliant with the material she had.

FINAL THING. After the movie there was a "Q&A From Rob Zombie". The first question was "What inspired you to make this film?" His answer was "Well , I was working on a movie that got stuck in production hell so I called up my team and told them ' I can pitch you the dumbest simple idea that will make money right now in 30 seconds" "Its Halloween... uh people get kidnapped....uh clowns kill them. boom that'll make money." This was the moment I was not only disappointed in the movie but Rob Zombie himself. This man practically had the audience sit through a poor excuse of a movie THEN had the nerve to basically include a feature that tells them they were dumb for falling for it.

All said and done, if you like Rob's past movies just avoid this one. Trust me, it will shine a light on the idea that maybe Rob never had any talent, but instead used the same tricks until they got old.
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Zero tension, zero suspense, non scary, boring, quick-cut, shaky cam stuff.
Fella_shibby12 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this on a pirated DVD for 50 rupees. Rob Zombie's The House of 1,000 corpses was good and The Devil's Reject's was better. I was disappointed by the Halloween remakes. Yet to see Lords of Salem. I was hoping that 31 might be his best. I was totally wrong. This is a very boring, unoriginal movie. There is no character development, you really don't care who kills who or why. The worst was the editing n camera shots. The quick-cut, shaky-cam gave me a headache. I almost fell asleep. Couldn't make out what was going on. The movie had excessively annoying hand-held shots and bad editing. Most of the scenes were shot in dark. One cannot make out the place or the set up. There was zero tension. Zero suspense. It was simply not scary at all. Zombie's wife, Sheri cannot act. I mean she can't even cry or scream properly. The story was lame. There was no proper explanation given. The ending tried to be more ambiguous but failed.
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Disappointing from Zombie
sean-rae18 September 2016
to be expected from Rob Zombie, not the best dialogue in the world, unlikable protagonists you want to die, Sheri moon zombie trying and the feeling of wishing he would get to the point. i loved 'House of 1000 corpses' & 'Devil's rejects' is one of my favorite horror films of all time. The only other of Zombie's films that even touches on those films in my opinion is 'Halloween' with the plot of killer clowns playing a totally crazy game of cat and mouse i thought such a simple story arc would be fun and playful horror, But Zombie tries something that i felt just fell flat on it's face. Almost cringy to watch at times, Nazi Clown midgets, c'Mon man... Still a strong director but a terrible writer. This film should be used as evidence to Zombie that he cannot carry a film on his own, if he hired a couple of writers to spoon feed him decent characters for his 'plot' then you could potentially get some decent horror movies. or at least seem satisfying dialogue. or maybe he should just stick to making the antagonist the main point of view, that way the script makes sense. over all, was looking forward to a night of madness , in stead got a student film on crack shot in a sweatshop.
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One Big Steaming Pile of Rancid Circus Peanuts
Carrigon16 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It was bad. This movie was the worst Rob Zombie film yet. No plot, no characterization, disappointing lackluster ending. And nothing we haven't seen before that's been done a thousand times better in other films.

It felt like they went dumpster diving in the trash pile of most of Zombie's films and took whatever edited out bits were laying in the dumpster to string them together for this steaming turd.

There is no character to root for, there is nothing but a bunch of aging actors trying to survive this film against other aging actors. In fact, the scariest part of the film is how badly certain actors have aged.

While I agree that Richard Brake's performance of Doom Head was very well done, even he could not save this film.

There's just nothing here. A bunch of aging stoners get kidnapped by some rich psychos who force them to spend the night trying to survive against a group of sadistic freaks wearing clown makeup. Everyone gets killed in various ways with lots of blood, but nothing really felt like payoff. Every kill was so meh because we've seen it all before and there was no motivation or characterization to care about. Money was the sole motive. We're shown that it's just a high paying job to Doom Head. And the game was just about a money bet for the rich.

But the characters/victims were so badly fleshed out that there was no reason to care who died. And there was no joy in watching a badly wrinkled up Meg Foster get brutally murdered. There was no suspense or anything.

The ending was a very disappointing pile of nothing. They could have added anything to make it more interesting. Instead, it just sits there rotting in the sun.

It's not good like Devil's Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses or even Halloween. This was bad from start to finish. Some people will like it for the kills, but it's a waste of time.
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Yet another abysmal movie from Rob Zombie
Marshal_Law16 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
As juvenile as calling a grown man "Zombie" this is yet another awkward embarrassing adolescent amateurish annoying movie from this clueless guy. His wife at the center of it, yet again making "deranged" expressions trying to be as sleazy as possible but with the zero talent of a non-actress,doesn't help it either. Nope, this man can't get it right even by mere chance. He's still all pose. Like a tribute band of 70's/80's horror movies who get the look (kind of) but can't play worth a crap. By the time a terrible little man actor dressed as a Nazi/clown listens to real Hitler speech records was time to turn this garbage of. You see even the vague feeling that this drivel was in this way connected to such a terrible event in history was so sad and stupid i had to quit. Because this exactly what a Rob Zombie movie is , a dwarf actor dresses as a Nazi made up as a clown to be shocking and bizarre just for the sake of shocking and bizarre, and the results are of course pathetic. Oh boy, somewhere there's talented people who can't find money to produce their movie and this hack has already made 7 or something like that. Pisses me off.
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Unoriginal, Pointless and Awful
claudio_carvalho23 September 2016
In 1976, on the eve of Halloween, an itinerant troupe is forced to stop their truck and attacked by strangers. Charly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Venus Virgo (Meg Foster), Panda Thomas (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), Levon Wally (Kevin Jackson) and Roscoe Pepper (Jeff Daniel Phillips) survive. They are forced to participate in a sadistic game called "31" for 12 hours, and whoever survives will be released. Soon they are attacked by sadistic killers dressed like clowns. Will someone survive to the "31"?

"31" is an unoriginal pointless awful slasher with an absurd and stupid story. The greatest challenge is not for the group forced to participate, but for the viewer to see this film until the very end. The only thing good to see is the veteran cast with Malcolm McDowell, Judy Geeson ("To Sir with Love") and Meg Foster ("They Live"). Unfortunately they are wasted in a poor story and screenplay. It is better off watching "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" again. My vote is two.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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boring and bland, with horrible direction.
MitchellCombden27 September 2016
31 (2016) directed by Rob Zombie is about a group of five carnival workers who are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns.

This being Zombie's sixth full length feature film, it feels like much of the same. same visual style, same vulgar dialogue, same vintage camera filters, and the same lead actress that we are all tired of seeing. it's a real shame that Mr. Zombie cant seem to change up his style and make something fresh, or at least entertaining.

the camera work in 31 (16) is truthfully nothing special, at times though it is awful. it becomes nausea inducing and there are a lot of unnecessary close ups. this paired with some of the most annoying and disorienting editing I have ever seen makes this one a real chore to watch. the story drags on and on at a snails pace with no tension or suspense. this is not an exaggeration. there really is no suspense or tension. the setting had some potential, but due to Zombie's direction we never really get any sense of urgency or claustrophobia or anything like that. all the characters are annoying and unlikable and the acting is just alright, sometimes it really is terrible though. the shock factor isn't even there on this one. Zombie is known for delivering some truly brutal visuals but this film seems pretty tame for a Rob Zombie film.

to conclude my review ill say that 31 (2016) is an awful, boring and dull film with no substance. there really isn't a singular good reason I can think of to watch this movie.

the verdict: 2/10
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I actually did want to like this but...
krb13819 September 2016
I enjoyed Zombie's first two movies. That's about the extent that I can say I am a fan of his in any respect. With that being said, some of the imagery that I had seen leading up to this film had me hoping it would exceed the awful messes that were the Halloween remakes and Lords of Salem. It didn't.

Carnies, the 70's, killer "clowns", and a game that is an amalgamation of better movies (The Running Man, etc). It's not an overly complicated plot, but somehow Rob Zombie was able to make it seem confusing.

Bad acting (particularly from Sheri Moon Zombie, as always), terrible dialogue, and lots of characters with basically no character development. I've read lots of other people say that this is a pointless movie and they are absolutely right. It's watchable, but it's not something I would watch again.

My general thinking at this time is that Rob Zombie is far better suited to be a production artist/set designer than a writer/director.
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Another Zombie Letdown
marcwiechmann19 October 2016
As so many others, I too was excited about "31" and could not wait to finally watch it. Maybe it was that high expectations, that was part of my disappointment, but I am not willed to explain everything that was wrong in the movie with that premise.

I have to say, before I write about the movie itself, that I never shared the opinion of those, who see Rob Zombie basically as the horror messiah, who will reinvent the genre. He basically had 2 good movies (Devil's Rejects, Halloween), all other movies were pretty bad. House of 1000 Corpses was a ridiculously bad B-movie, Halloween 2 was bad even for a film school student, and those few parts that were good in Lords of Salem were copied from other movies. First Halloween reboot was only good, because he had a rich franchise with tons of information to build on.

He gets the look every time, I'll give him that, and I won't even make fun about how a grown up man calls himself "Zombie", but the content of his movies is a major letdown every single time. I'd never thought to say this, but in terms of innovative horror movies, I prefer Eli Roth before Zombie every day.

Rob is an awesome musician, and yes, maybe even a good director. But he is an horrible screenplay writer with no idea how to develop characters and dialogues. No wonder, all characters in "31" are superficial clichés with no debt, talking horrible stupid stuff, that is meant to sound smart. The "Doomhead" being so obviously being a Heath Ledger's Joker tribute just confirms that. Basically the most interesting character in the movie is a (bad) rip-off. And did he really need the slo-mo clap? That was so bad, I was close to turn off the TV.

Also,he really should stop to cast his wife for every female lead. If not married to him, she would never have become an actress, at least not in a main role. I don't care if she is hot (I by the way don't think so, she is SO skinny and looks old for her age), I care about acting skills.

Maybe, if Rob could direct a movie with a screenplay written by an experienced and talented writer...? But this way, letting him do whatever he wants, we get movies like "31".

So, the protagonists get abducted and sent into an Arena, to fight to death with some clowns with freaky names (Doomhead, Deathhead, Bashhead, and so on...). That's pretty much all, no more exposition or plot details. Why? No idea, and the movie does not care about explaining anything - being sick is basically it's only excuse and motivation. "Why do they do this?" "Because they have sick minds". "Aha. And why does Doomhead what he does? Does he get paid BIG time?" "Ah, he is sich minded". "What is special about Doomhead at all? To me does not look any more dangerous than the rest of the freaks?" "Ah, he is even sicker as them". And so on. A few freaky characters get shown, some people die, mainly by blade weapons, until an, in my opinion, pretty stupid ending.

Okay, there is some gore in the movie, which I appreciated. I did like the characters, even if superficial - but this made the movie even worse, because you are interested - but don't get any answers or backgrounds.

I also liked the Soundtrack a lot, I love all this 60s and 70s music, and it blended in nicely.

But the overall execution was just bad - ridiculous fighting choreographies, that gave me the impression, everything in this movie was filmed by first take (maybe they wanted to proudly say that they shot the movie in 31 days or something like this), especially the text passages of Sheri Moon Zombies. Man, stop letting her talk - no expression, no motivation, no acting. At all.

So, what can I say? I give 4/10, 4 points for having interesting characters (who never get developed in any way), a good soundtrack, some gore and a good colour correction).

But can I recommend this? Gosh, no, I cannot.

I have still hope for Rob Zombie, and I will see his next movie. But if this will be bad again, I am out of the Zombie business, because by then he will have delivered 3 bad movies in a row - in my world more than enough to lose my respect permanently.

Sorry, Zombie fans - I know you have another opinion and will probably flame me, but this is my personal view. In my eyes, "31" is a disappointing letdown. There could have been so much more, this could have been such a good movie. But for that another director or at least screenplay writer would have been necessary.

Maybe next time.
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Imperfectly Perfect
davidpro-080285 September 2016
OK so every fan of House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects begged for another film like those. We begged and we begged, we said do a prequel, do an origin story, just give us more of this type of movie. And RZ delayed it, he gave us Halloween reboots, he took a risk and gave us the witch horror version of a Clockwork Orange in Lords of Salem, he even gave us an adult Scooby-do with El SuperBeasto, he took to TV and direct an episode of CSI, literally he gave us a look at other works, but we kept begging for another 1000. And understandably so, those 2 films can be argued that they changed horror films, the villains were glorified and loved. Sheri Moon's acting of Baby was so awesome, 9 out of 10 men would still pick Baby up knowing she was taking them to the house of 1000, the one that wouldn't, well he doesn't like women, Otis was off the chain, totally insane and Capt Spaulding will forever be an icon and should be listed as one of the greatest horror villain in history.

So when I see people complaining that 31 doesn't give us anything new, I'm kind of frustrated, we asked, no begged for this film. I agree it is nothing ground breaking, but RZ already broke the ground originally here. I look at this film more as a favor to the fans. RZ continues to want to direct and write new, different films, but we keep begging for more. So much in fact we helped fund raise for this film, expecting exactly what it was.

Is the film perfect, hell no, it's completely imperfect. It is pure evil, as was House and Devil's.

This is exactly what fans of those movies wanted. A fact paced, blood hammering, film that give us new villains to love.

It is perfectly imperfect.

Now, consider my taste for the past movies filled, as I personally am ready to move on and see the next chapter of creativity from RZ.
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In Hell everybody loves popcorn!
Coventry1 April 2016
Here are a couple of things that must have gone through Rob Zombie's mind whilst shooting 31: "Who needs a plot when you got a psychopathic Nazi-midget?", "Who gives a damn about plausibility when you have Malcolm McDowell himself dressed up like a French Aristocrat and depicting a character that is named Father Murder?" and "Why would I make ambitious when the crowd simply wants sadistic & graphic violence?" And you know what? If Rob Zombie really was thinking these things, he was damn right! Personally, I'm an enormous fan of Zombie's "House of 1,000 Corpses" and "The Devil's Rejects" and I remotely enjoyed his remake of "Halloween", even though the critics were quite harsh about it. But then he suddenly went psychedelic and experimental with "Halloween II" and "The Lords of Salem" and many fans – yours truly included – were disappointed. I, for one, was extremely happy to read that, with "31", Rob Zombie would return to the basics of crude and repulsive horror/shlock cinema! Because, after all, the revival of 70s grindhouse/drive-in exploitation cinema was largely the deed of Rob Zombie and not of Quentin Tarantino! So, "31" actually doesn't a have a real plot but is a mixture of homages to genre classics (for example "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") and borrowed ideas of cult classics ("The Most Dangerous Game", "The Running Man"…)

A ramshackle old RV full of traveling circus artists/carnies is driving through the middle of redneck nowhere on Halloween's day 1976, and pretty much all they ever do is foul-mouthing and fornicating. When night falls, however, they notice the road is blocked with immense scarecrows. Before they properly realize what's going on, the RV and all its passengers are brutally attacked by mysterious creeps and three people are killed instantly. The remaining five survivors, two women and three men, awake tied up and chained in an abandoned factory where three elderly lunatics dressed up as French Aristocrats joyfully inform them that they are the players in this year's traditional game of 31. They are released in a dark and creepy labyrinth and have to survive for twelve hours while being chased by some of the most demented sickos ever caught on film, including a Spanish babbling Nazi-midget, clown siblings with chainsaws and deranged German sex deviants. The group defend themselves quite well, though, and thus the crazy tormentors bring in their ultimate secret weapon, the unbeatable master-psycho Doom-Head!

There isn't really too much to write about Rob Zombie's latest film, in fact. Either you're a fan of extreme and relentless violence and "31" is a must-see for you, or you'll completely detest the film for its lack of plot, character background, style or overall lack of taste. If even writer/director Zombie himself repeatedly stated that this is his most brutal movie to date, there isn't any reason to not believe him. "31" features numerous scenes in which people's heads are smashed in with a bludgeon, torsos are cut in half by chainsaws and throats are slit with rusty knives. Still, I can't help mentioning that most of this gruesome stuff also featured in "House of 1,000 Corpses" and "The Devil's Rejects", but those two were suspenseful and haunting on top! "31" is sheer mindless horror entertainment but it won't leave a long-lasting impression. As usual, Rob Zombie surrounds himself with a cast that he worked well with before, including his own wife Sheri Moon, Meg Foster, Jeff Daniel Philips and many other familiar faces. The soundtrack is terrific as well, which is another Rob Zombie trademark, and features for example the beautiful song "California Dreaming" during a rare quiet and peaceful scene.
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It's Nothing New.
BatesMT14 October 2016
Let me just say I like RZ. House of 1k Corpses is great, and The Devil's Rejects is one of my all time favorite films, hands down.

What we have in "31" is an attempt to mash together aspects of TDR and his Halloween remake and the result is a confusing, lackluster ride you've already been on.

The problem is you don't feel for any of the characters. There is not one likable character, sans Doom-Head, who is nearly the only bright spot in this movie. Sherry, was better in this film than in past RZ movies, but that isn't saying much.

Another issue I had was how this was hyped up as maniacs dressed up as clowns, which is great, clowns are creepy right? The concept art for the characters especially Sick-Head and Death-Head were amazing. What we got on screen were absolute jokes compared to what we should have gotten. The all but did away with the clown gimmick especially if you look at the concept art.

The opening scene is by far the best in the movie, and honestly one of the best scenes RZ has ever directed. But don't let it fool you, the rest of the movie goes downhill from there.

As you can expect from a RZ movie, it's got that dirty 70's feel, every other line of dialogue is profanity, more so than usual actually, the setting is run of the mill for RZ, and while I could go on, if you have seen a RZ film, than you have already seen a better version of this film.

The score and soundtrack however are delightful in an otherwise grim movie. RZ needs to get back to basics and let someone help him write his scripts. He's got talent and a good eye, but his dialogue is way too over the top and downright cliché at this point. It takes you out of the movie.
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One of the worst films I've ever had the displeasure to view
bobvans21 September 2016
I'm a fan of Zombie's other work and music, but this movie is terrible. like not even B quality, more like D. I can't imagine there is an actual living person out there that liked this movie. It's not even "Good because it's so bad." There will be no cult status ever attributed to this film, it sucks, and he needs to stop using his wife in everyone of his films. The idea/plot could have been fine if someone else directed it and there were entirely new actors cast. The "bad guys" weren't scary, they were pathetic unimaginative cliché ripoffs of things past. I have never bothered to comment on any bad movie I've seen, I just thought to myself "well, that was terrible." This movie was so bad I made an account to inform others what a colossal waste of time watching it is.
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White trash grind-house horror from Rob Zombie. For a change.
BA_Harrison19 September 2016
31 opens with a quote from Kafka. Pretentious, moi? Then some dude wearing white face paint tries to bore another bloke to death by talking a load of old claptrap to him; when that doesn't work, he whacks him with an axe instead. It later transpires that the axe-happy chappie with the bad attitude and teeth to match is Doomhead, one of a group of psychos paid to hunt and kill unwilling participants in an annual game organised by some twisted geriatrics in powdered wigs. In the latest game of 31, a group of carnival folk fight for their lives against a variety of foes, including a Nazi midget, a tall bloke in suspenders and a tutu, and a pair of chainsaw wielding loonies.

Having suffered through both of Rob Zombie's Halloween movies, I approached 31 with trepidation, longing for a return to form for the director who gave us the fun House of 1000 Corpses and the excellent The Devil's Rejects, but expecting the worse. Sadly, Zombie met my expectations: a wafer thin plot that lacks originality (check out Maurice Deveraux's $lasher$ for a much better take on the deadly game-show theme), horrible characters (the protagonists are so scuzzy I actually wanted them to die), trite grind-house affectations, and repetitive, uninspired action made this one a real chore to watch. C'mon Zombie, I know you can do better than this lazy, predictable tosh.
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Saw With Rednecks; Zombie's Worst Yet
Michael_Elliott1 September 2016
31 (2016)

* (out of 4)

A group of carnival workers are on their way to a job when they are kidnapped by psychotic clowns. Once chained up in a building, Father Murder (Malcolm McDowell) informs them that they're going to play a game, which will last twelve hours. They can either survive or face the worst death possible from his killer clowns.

Rob Zombie's 31 is a film that he's highly been promoting and this includes before it was even made. There was a teaser poster released and fans helped get the movie made but the plot of the film was kept secret and it's easy to see why because there's not much of one. Sadly, what we've basically got is SAW but with the redneck/white trash types that we've seen in every Zombie movie up to this point. Sadly this here turns out to be the director's worst film.

31 has all sorts of problems with it and a majority of them are the same issues I've had with his previous movies. For starters, the characters are all just annoying to the point where you don't really care whether they live or die. I'm not sure why it's so hard for their to be a likable character in one of Zombie's films but if you don't have anyone to root for what's the point? Well, I guess it could be one of those movies where you root for the villains but that's impossible here too because the villains are all boring and just not that interesting. Heck, they're not even "clowns" but just the typical rednecks but with face paint.

Another problem that I had with this film is that it's simply not scary. As was the case in THE LORDS OF SALEM, Zombie tries to build up tension and suspense but it just fails. There's just nothing here that draws you into the story and when you're watching a film like this and there's no tension it just leads to pure boredom. Even worse is some of the lighting because there are times where you can't see what's going on and other times when lights are flashing at the camera and whatever effect they were going for just doesn't work.

Zombie promised that this here would be his most violent movie and I don't think that was the case either. A lot of the violence is off screen or just not nearly as brutal as he has delivered in the past. The performances are pretty much what they are with everyone doing a decent enough of a job. The music selection is good and I will say that there was one good sequence inside a cage with a chainsaw. Still, there's just no way around it but Zombie just isn't impressing me as a director. 31 could have been done countless other ways and any of them would have been better than what we got.
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Rob Zombie is back and brutal as ever!
bueller554 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I really enjoyed this movie, despite the awesome atmosphere of the crowd which included most of the cast and the director himself, it was the film itself that had me on the edge of my seat. The opening monologue by the most evil, dangerous and deadliest clown of them all Doom-Head himself (but don't call him a clown) sets an extremely exciting pace to the film. James Gang's Walkaway was the opening credit's song that immediately told us that we were back in the 70's just like Rob Zombie prefers to set most of his films in and he made the right choice again. Setting the film in 1976 made our main characters that bit more interesting but it was the cast itself that made these characters really enjoyable to watch, so we meet our quirky carnies and learn a bit about their own little world. But before long the carnies are on their way to their next gig, driving through the desert on Halloween eventually being kidnapped in a way that's quite different from what you'd expect from a Zombie movie and find themselves in Murderworld. An enormous underground compound run by three old psychos in powder wigs who explain the rules of the game known as 31 where five people each year are set free in Murderworld each given a numbered bracelet, a weapon and must try to survive for 12 hours which once over are set free but so far there has never been a winner. The five carnies are untied as they enter the labyrinth with a weapon waiting for the first of the six clowns known as the heads to attack. Then what commences is none stop attacks, fights to the death, torture, bloody mayhem and the true hell that is Murderworld! I found this film quite thrilling you really don't know what's going to happen next like when we see who the toughest of the carnies really is and how all the heads are all very unique. Yes the brutality is extreme even for Rob Zombie but what really makes this film stand out is the originality of the story and how characters defy every expectation not one character slows down this film in fact it's the characters that drive this film and surprise an impress you constantly because they keep changing yet still keep their character true. The soundtrack worked very well to set the tone and setting for the film just like Zombie's masterpiece The Devil's Rejects. The ending couldn't have been better and all the actors brought their A game. The actors that really stole the show were Richard Blake who was indescribable as Doom-Head, Sheri Moon Zombie as Charly surprised everyone as being a full on action hero when she had to be, Meg Foster who was so deeply fascinating as Venus occasionally being a bad-ass and Jeff Daniel Phillips as the macho mechanic that cares about his group and will defend them with a crowbar! All in all Zombie has made this fan very happy when it hits theaters will make all his fans happy but I don't think critics will like it then again most of the greatest horror movies of all time were hated by critics initially so don't let that stop you from watching this flick!
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I'm About to Give Up on Rob Zombie
TheRedDeath3023 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I should have trusted the reviews, but then again, I wouldn't have mattered if it averaged a 1 score, I would have watched it for myself. I would have told you that I am a giant fan of Rob Zombie. I am not saying he can do no wrong. I think he, personally, is a d- bag. I hate his music. I think his HALLOWEEN remake is tolerable, at best, and the sequel is completely forgettable. On the other hand, I think that his two movies of the Firefly clan, HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES and DEVIL'S REJECTS are modern horror masterpieces and LORDS OF SALEM was good, as well, so I anticipated that despite bad reviews, I would still like this movie. How wrong I was.

I'm honestly struggling to come up with much positive to say but boy do I have a list of negatives. Let's start with his wife. She is the worst thing about most of his movies. While she fit her character as Baby and was pretty enough to tolerate, she was a big reason the HALLOWEEN sequel sucks. She is the main reason that LORDS OF SALEM is not better than it could have been, because of her lack of acting skills, then we get to this. I could have predicted, within the first 15 minutes, that she was our "final girl" that was going to survive all of this. I could have predicated that she would be the one to become a bada** for no reasonable explanation, other than the director's obsession with his wife. The girl can't act. In fact, she borders on being annoying and her voice is like nails on a chalkboard at times. Hire another actress for crying out loud, Rob, who might be able to make the audience have a little empathy for the character.

Now, let's get to the plot. The second that EG Daily shows up at the gas station, any idiot knows that she is the "scout" and things are about to go wrong. From there, Rob starts stealing material from every movie known to man and even stealing his own material repeatedly, starting with a scene in the middle of the road that is basically Otis on the cross stopping the tourists in HOUSE all over again. Our heroes wake up in a strange place to realize that they are now in THE RUNNING MAN, only King's story and the Arnold movie version are at least fun and let the audience have a some excitement with their violence. This movie just starts repeating itself over and over.

Rob must really like greasepaint. The clown look fit Captain Spaulding well in his first movies, but now we have a cast full of evil clown villains because, hey, that's not about the most overdone cliché in horror now, is it? The characters are barely unique from each other. It's basically here's a clown. He's dead. Here's two clowns. They're dead, let's bring out two more. None of them develop anything memorable or frightening, in any way. That is, until we get to our final villain, but more on him later.

The movie sets itself up to be a violent spectacle in gore. Zombie loves to spread the red stuff and I fully expected that here, but the movie is so short on real gore as to be disappointing. I'm not some sicko who wants blood and brains everywhere, but I do have some expectations. Basically, prepare yourself for stabbings, stabbings and more stabbings. That's about all you'll get here. It's a crazed maze full of psychotic villains who just want to stab people.

The worst part may be the directing, itself. I am not one of the legion who hated Zombie's style in his early films. It was manic. It was very MTV. Those things worked so well in the context of those movies, though. I thought the inter-spliced scenes and vintage film styling added a lot to the movies. Here, though, it's almost as if Zombie gets exposed without the budget to play with in this movie. Once he can't go nuts with the effects and the movie relies on his actual skill as a film maker, it falls apart. Freeze frame, wipe shot with snapshot of heroes, freeze frame, back to action. Repeat that throughout the movie. At a certain point, I found myself wondering if I really enjoyed his earlier movies as much as I thought because this is so bad it can't be the same guy.

The one positive is Doom Head. It's probably the same things most viewers would say. However, the fact is that there's nothing about his villain that is any different from thousands of other horror villains before him. He's a psycho. He's violent. He's got a chillingly cold apathy towards the destruction that he's inflicting on his victims. He's "not a clown" as the beginning is very clear to tell us. The fact is that people latch on to him because the rest of the movie is so bad that he becomes a breath of fresh air, but he's so far from the level of Otis or Captain Spaulding as far as great horror villains go. He's just the best thing in a bad movie.

So, I guess my opinion of Zombie is 2 great movies, 2 bad movies and one in the middle. Let's hope his next one tips the scales in a good way instead of bad.
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Did not enjoy this movie did have decent moments but that's it...
lev-nemkin26 September 2016
Here is what I'll say about 31 this movie wasn't good I didn't enjoy it to me it was just too goofy in a way I mean some of the acting was good and it had some decent kills but that was about it. Another thing that annoyed me about this is that Sheri Moon Zombie was in this again...why does Rob Zombie always cast his wife? She is a good actress but come on mix it up a little. This movie was too simple for me too it didn't make you think unlike Lords of Salem I mean I didn't like that too much either but at least it made me think it was twisted in that sense. He put the least effort into this movie I'm not even going to bother going into any details. I liked Jeff Daniel Phillips and Meg Foster this was my first time seeing her in anything his first 3 movies were good then to me it started to feel like he lost his way a little and didn't know what the hell he was making and this really did prove it.
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Extremely Disappointing
iancampbell-7634817 October 2016
I had high hopes for this movie after seeing the trailer several months ago, but this was a huge letdown. Almost couldn't believe it was from the same guy who brought us Devils Rejects, as that is one of my all time favorites movies, and RZ's best in my opinion. Plot just isn't there, the acting is terrible, the story line barely follows anything. Definitely glad I did not pay to see this in theaters. I remember reading a while back before this was made that RZ was looking to have this crowdfunded, but this just goes to show that you can only do so much with a $1.5M budget. I was especially excited after I saw that this came back as NC-17 twice before finally getting an R rating, but that didn't help this film either. Nothing can help this film. This was REALLY bad.
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A Fun, Imperfect but Still Violent Ride
lrivers-889001 September 2016
I went and saw the sneak screening for Fathom Events as well as other people did. It started with two music videos, one song I liked more than the other. Then the movie started. 31 is simple: carnies get attacked, kidnapped and placed in this warehouse where they are supposed to fight homicidal maniacs known as The Heads, in order to survive. Nobody has ever survived. So the mayhem begins. Rob Zombie is really good with visuals when it comes to color and closeups on deranged activities but the camera can get shaky at times. It didn't really bother me but it could bother some. I really liked the music that went along with the film..it was very intense. The characters were unlikeable to say the least but there was one I felt sympathetic for out of the allies and the main antagonist was absolutely outstanding..he was sadistic yet had a kind of charm about him. So as the characters fight to survive you're just going along with them, watching them get picked off one by one along with the villains. I didn't really root for anyone, as none of the characters really had backstory or depth. I was a little surprised this was called RZ's most brutal film as although it had some bloody scenes, it felt a little reserved. Maybe thats because im desensitized or maybe its because the film had to be trimmed for the MPAA. Im looking forward to the uncut version to be released on DVD- im sure that will have all the gory glory we want. I really did enjoy it though.
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Terrible in so many ways
davidpodmore8 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I think it's obvious now that Devil's Rejects is going to be the only decent film this guy does. Everything else has been terrible. Why he continues to keep putting his wife as the main role when she cannot act is beyond me. Her attempt at acting scared and acting, just in general, is laughable. She can only pass anything resembling acting when she was being evil in his 2 first films. he seems to think she is beautiful by he way he portrays her in his films but maybe 10 years ago yeah, not now. The dialogue is so contrived and fake and it worked in his first 2 films but not anymore. It's like he is trying to be like Tarantino but the actors and dialogue just fall flat. Oh and again the tired old pyramid with the one eye showing up. What you trying to do Rob? DO NOT WATCH THIS GUY'S FILMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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expected a lot more!!!
asawa-2008622 October 2016
I am a die-hard movie fan and this is my first review. I was and still am a huge fan of White Zombie. I even heard a song the other day and had to stop to take it in. I saw a copy of House of 1000 Corpses several times before I actually purchased it. I think the title turned me away, I am a huge horror movie fan but seldom does anything truly original come along. House of 1000 Corpses, Devil's Rejects, and the remake of Halloween were all awesome Rob Zombie entries. The first reboot of Halloween I had read that they limited him a bit to keep to the original story. He expanded on it brilliantly giving us more insight on Michael Myers childhood and then letting which was a great update. I think one the things that set his previous films apart is that he established the story around the individuals that you are not supposed to root for and that was refreshing. Getting to know Michael Myers' as a child and seeing a bit of what makes him tick and the story in his early films following the "crazy" people instead of the victim have been awesome, you actually start to root for the baddies for awhile. In to this film though! I am sorry to say that Rob Zombie tried to use part of his formula that worked so well for him in earlier films, and I really did want to like it, but I did not. It had that early 70's gritty horror film look in the beginning. So on to this film, it was not great, it was not even good. It did not establish anything new. It did not take on the view of the killers, the formula that made his films really good. It had a few moments of the gritty 70's feel in the beginning but quickly turned into a run of the mill crap-fest. Mr. Zombie please return to the thought process that made your films cutting edge and made us want to watch them...the guy stomping around "This is hell, this is Hell!" or this "Who's your daddy!" not this crap.
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