Clowns…a source of fun & merriment to most but for many they hide a darker side…just what is behind the painted face & frozen grins?
Horror movies have for many years used clowns as a source of evil…find me a horror movie that had the clown as a hero, I doubt it is possible. No, horror plays on peoples natural suspicions of clowns, those thoughts late at night that maybe the joke is on you after all.
This list details the top 10 clowns that have appeared in horror…there are many so whittling this list down was a tough one.
10 – Emmett the clown (Scary or Die)
Emmett doesn’t actually start off as a clown…in fact he has no interest in them at all. However at his little brothers birthday party he is bitten by a nasty looking clown & slowly starts to transform into one. The change is gradual with his skin tone changing & his feet growing larger but the end result is just amazing. Emmett isn’t the scariest clown on this list but he is by far one of the best looking.
9 – Captain Spaulding (House of 1000 Corpses)
The most obnoxious clown on this list…Spaulding won’t just kill you violently; he’ll insult you before-hand making sure you understand it’s all just fun & games. Spaulding isn’t scary in the traditional sense but he commands such a degree of threat that you wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley.
8 – The Killer Klowns (Killer Klowns from Outer Space)
The Killer Klowns are legendary thanks to their wacky & unique ways of dispatching their prey. From using shadow puppet dinosaurs to eat a crowd of onlookers to sucking the life out of a human candy-floss stick. These guys appear lovable & cute until they decide they want to make a meal out of you.
7 – Stitches the clown (Stitches)
No-one is happy once Stitches has decided to entertain you at your party. Killed in an unfortunate accident by mis-behaving kids, Stitches has returned from the grave to get his revenge in all manner of unique ways. My personal favourite is making balloon animals out of intestines. Nice…
6 – Killjoy the clown (Killjoy)
Killjoy is a clown with a bit more going on, a bit more hip as it were. I’m not joking; the taglines are ‘he’s not clowning around’ & ‘new urban horror’. Regardless of the silly circumstances Killjoy is a threat that will leave you feeling uncomfortable mainly thanks to the creepy look of him. He was popular as well spawning 4 movies!
5 – Art the clown (All Hallows Eve)
Art has a lot of the super-natural to him…that just adds to his scariness as we see his influence spread across 3 stories. As clowns go Art is probably one of the more blood-thirsty on this list & there is no getting away from him.
4 – The clown (Amusement)
The manner in which this clown is introduced is probably my favourite on this entire list. Imagine going into a room of your Aunts house to find it filled with hundreds of clown dolls including one life-sized rocking chair. Later your Aunt rings & you express your distaste for said clown only to find that she doesn’t own such a clown…nice huh? Scary & interesting…you won’t forget his laugh anytime soon.
3 – The clowns (Clownhouse)
3 escaped mental patients kill 3 clowns & dress up like them. Coming across 3 young boys home alone they torment them all night long. What makes these clowns stand out is the way in which they mimic the actions of a clown at the circus & say nothing throughout the movie. The lead clown in particular is terrifying to watch…he is sinister while appearing like an innocent clown to a child.
2 – The clown doll (Poltergeist)
Growing up this thing scared me a hell of a lot…even before it turned all evil & attempts to kill the boy. Sitting at the end of the bed every night with an evil frozen grin on its face. The build up to the ghosts using it is exceptional & when it is realised that it is missing from the chair the boy & the viewer are in for a treat. One of the scariest inanimate clowns (at least for a while) in horror.
1 – Pennywise the dancing clown (IT)
Who else could be Number 1? Played by the excellent Tim Curry, Pennywise is silly, funny & sinister…all the things a good clown should be. The way in which he can turn in an instant from playfulness to pure threat is testament to the actor. Ask anyone to name a clown from a horror movie & this guy will probably be the first name they think of. Even the revelation of what he is at the end doesn’t dampen what came before…