Drafthouse films is releasing Klown theatrically and on VOD this Friday. If you haven’t heard of the foreign-language comedy, it’s like a more grounded but just as funny version of The Hangover, but in Danish. And that’s probably why Todd Phillips is set to remake the film with Danny McBride. So it’s worth checking out now to be on the ground floor.

The Players:

  • Director: Mikkel Nørgaard
  • Writers: Casper Christensen, Frank Hvam
  • Cast: Frank Hvam, Casper Christensen, Marcuz Jess Petersen
  • Music: Kristen Eidnes Andersen
  • Cinematography: Jacob Banke Olesen

The Plot:

Frank Hvam (Hvam) finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant, but she’s not sure if he’s ready to be a father yet. He spends time with his nephew (Petersen), but that goes disastrously. To make up for it, he takes the nephew along on a canoe trip he’s planned with Casper (Christensen), even though the canoe trip is just an excuse for Casper to try and have sex with women who aren’t his wife. Things go bad.

The Good:

  • Grounded Extremes: It’s hard to watch this film and not see why they want to remake it. Everything’s funny, it’s just not in English, which has been a stumbling block for a number of foreign films in our bad economy. But from Frank’s attempt to give his girlfriend a pearl necklace, to having dirt on the nephew to make sure he keeps his mouth shut, to Casper’s perversity which has him going further than Frank would think, it’s got some great huge laughs, and characters that are compellingly stupid in their caveman thoughts. But Frank at least has a misplaced sense of decency and right and wrong, so you enjoy going along with him, and this doesn’t traffic in too much of the discomfort comedy that’s also popular these days. You may be made a little uncomfortable, but not grotesquely so.
  • Funny is Funny: It may be a little labored to have a man accidentally ejaculate on his possible future mother in law, but there’s no denying that it’s a funny twist on a very old joke. And there are many nice surprises and gross outs along the way.
  • It Goes There: So much of American comedy is fueled by gay panic, but even when it goes all the way (The Hangover Part II), it’s more a joke that it happened then an actual plot point. Klown finally does something with that panic that feels real.

The Bad:

  • TV Movie: The movie was a spin-off of a Danish television show, which may be much of the film feels like an extended comedy episode of a show. With HBO and Showtime producing shows that go into R-rated territory, movies need to feel like movies to make them worth a theatrical experience. If you catch this on VOD, the only thing you’ll be missing is the shared group experience of a good “gross out” comedy, which is always a fun time, but there’s nothing all that inherently cinematic about the material.


Klown is a small film with big laughs, and fits right at home with a number of the biggest comedies of the day. As long as audience members aren’t scared of subtitles, this delivers big laughs.

Rating: 8/10

Klown hits theaters and VOD July 27.

Trailer (NSFW):