Our Ten’s List: Top Ten Creepy Clown Movies
What is it that makes clowns so damn creepy? Is it that their faces are caked with so much make-up that it puts Snookie to shame? Maybe it’s their ridiculously large feet or concerning lifestyle choices?
We may never truly know, but coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, is very real.
Now go lock your doors, grab a cream pie and over-sized hammer because it is time to dive in to our Top Ten Creepy Clown Movies.
Not an incredibly scary film… but one look at the filthy Captain Spaulding will make your skin crawl. Whereas most clowns seem to take their presentation fairly seriously, this sociopathic bumpkin is perhaps even less concerned with hygiene than he is with his victims’ well-being.
Brutal and sadistic, Rob Zombie elevated this film to something more than a “B” horror flick. The Devil’s Rejects succeeds where many have failed in this genre by developing well-rounded characters and plot that is unpredictable and suspenseful.
Three escaped mental patients terrorize three young boys (including the then unknown Sam Rockwell) that are home alone. Unfortunately Macaulay Culkin is not there to save them with murderous traps.
A pretty terrifying nail biter, Clownhouse plays beautifully on the unsettling nature of clowns, accompanied by some clever camera angles and an eerie soundtrack.
Director De Salva cleverly crafts a movie with a nightmarish and unnerving tone. If you did not have coulrophobia before seeing this film you most certainly will by the time Clownhouse is over.
If you have never seen The Brave Little Toaster you are probably wondering what possibly could be so creepy or scary about this children’s film? One of the characters is an adorable safety blanket, for crying out loud!
Well take one look at this nightmare fuel image, and be thankful you weren’t subjected to this horror as a kid.
Exhibit B: Disastrous children’s parties, random mime violence, and murder.
These are the many reasons that make Shakes The Clown so believably creepy (well maybe not the murder part, I guess that’s more of a plot vehicle). Bobcat Golthwait invests the titular Shakes with deep, brooding intensity. It’s not surprising that his tale of an entertainer trying to get clean and bury the demons in his closet was a metaphor for his own struggles.
Shakes is such a human wasteland, it really spotlights that any crazy drunk can become a clown and mentally scar your children.
While the film certainly has some flaws, Shakes is great for some real good laughs, and Bobcat Golthwait’s performance is magnificent and well worth a view.
Drive-Thru looks on the surface to be the generic B-movie slasher fare that clogs up your Netflix recommended list. A young girl named Mackenzie learns that her classmates are being killed off by the supernatural mascot of Hellaburger (a fast food joint) – Horny The Clown.
Yes that’s right: Horny The Clown folks. Think the illegitimate love child of Ronald McDonald and something somehow even creepier than Ronald McDonald. With horns….
Where Drive-Thru begins to differentiate itself from most of the slasher movie genre is its irreverent take on American pop and political culture. Mackenzie the lead is not the likable quiet starlet that populates the genre, instead she is a drug using, fouled mouth tramp, who treats everyone like garbage.
Drive-Thru goes on to take stabs at Emo’s, stoners, wiggahs, wiccans and wasps. As well as taking shots at the Bush administration and painting police as complete fascists.
Pee Wee’s dream sequence of crazed clown nurses pushing a gurney though darkened corridors over a haunting Danny Elfman track, gets 5 stars on the creepy meter.
An extremely low-budget (shot in digital) indie film that doesn’t take itself seriously, and doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is. Gory.
Sure the lighting and cinematography are crap, but it has a fat ass clown that hacks the crap out of people with a meat cleaver. Gurdy the clown, doesn’t impress in the costume department in comparison to the other clowns on this list, but his immense size (and a 15 minute sequence of Gurdy hacking residents of a halfway house apart) make this film more than creepy enough for a 4th place finish.
The plot follows alien clowns that lands by a small town in their spaceship ( a big top) and they proceed to feast upon the human residents.
Here is where it gets entertaining, The clowns don’t just slash and hack their victims like the lazy slobs in other clown-murder films (which is suprisingly very much a thing…). They use all sorts of silly clown themed weaponry to kill their prey, to hilarious effect.
Killer pies, popcorn-shooting guns, balloon animal bloodhounds, murderous shadow puppets, you name it, they got it. Their method of feeding? Well lets say you won’t look at cotton candy the same way again after Killer Klowns.
This absurdity is combined with outrageous visuals out of a bad LSD dream, and freakishly malformed clowns, puts Killer Klowns From Outerspace amongst the top of its sub-genre.
In a movie full of iconic frights, Poltergeist makes the top of our list on the strength of just one scene. It accomplishes more for clown mayhem (and your resulting psychotherapy bill) in one shot than most killer clown movies can get done in 120 minutes.
I dare you to find a person that didn’t have nightmares after watching the plastic snarling clown doll creep up and snatch young Robbie in bed.
I am not sure if the doll was creepier before its transformation or after, but i will tell you this I have not owned a single doll since after this movie. Before is another story…
We go into much more depth in Neil’s review here, but Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise is the definitive killer clown in cinema. It is the yard stick by which all other red-nosed, frizzy-rainbow-haired psychopaths measure their obnoxiously large shoes.
And What about the 2017 version of Pennywise? heres what Neil had to say:
“Skarsgard puts his own stamp on Pennywise and leaves a lasting impression. It’s a rare case where I love each interpretation equally, and that shows that King wrote one hell of a villain.”
The costume and teeth are creepy enough to win most terrifying clown contests, but it’s Curry and Skarsgard’s ability to truly channel the inner sociopath that makes for a unbelievably haunting experience that will stay with you for years. Every line that is delivered practically drips menace and insanity.
If you haven’t seen It (either of them), then grab a posse of your childhood friends, load your slingshots with silver ammunition, and head back to Derry to check this monster out. But bring your swim-shorts, cause we ALL float down here…