Fear of Clowns: A look at 5 classic and contemporary killer clown movies
Instead of bringing us laughter and joy, clowns have the power to give us the creeps. Witness this odd spate of sightings of leering, malevolent clowns all over Canada and the U.S. as of late But what is it about their painted faces and goofy costumes that make clowns so terrifying? No matter your opinion of clowns, you have to admit there is something eerie and downright unsettling about an adult with a painted smile and crazy red hair. It’s nightmarish and that visceral reaction we have to these fabricated funnymen doesn’t seem to be ebbing.
Here’s 5 films that exploit our fear of clowns:
When a clown booked for his son’s birthday party cancels last minute, a realtor named Kent must find a way to save the day. Coincidentally, Kent finds an antique clown suit at one of his listings and decides to take advantage of his (seemingly) fortunate discovery. In classic dad fashion, Kent puts on the costume and assumes his new role as the birthday clown. But when the birthday candles are blown out and the guests all go home, it looks like the party isn’t over for Kent just yet, as he can’t seem to remove the clown suit… no matter how hard he or his wife try. To Kent’s horror (and ours), the costume even starts to become part of his own skin and hair. Kent tries everything he can to resist his new bloodthirsty urges. But soon enough, birthday cake and candy aren’t enough to satisfy Kent’s newfound hunger. This clown doesn’t just want to entertain children… he wants to eat them.
Richard “Stitches” Grindle is a clumsy and terribly unfunny clown. While working at the birthday party of a young boy named Tom, Stiches becomes the target of a childish prank. In a totally unoriginal manner, Tom and his friends decide that it would be funny to tie Stitches’ shoelaces together. This is where the party takes a dark turn. Being as clumsy as he already is, Stitches slips on his shoelaces, he falls, and he dies. That’s definitely one way to ruin a party. Fast forward to six years later. Now a teenager, Tom throws a birthday party for his friends at home. Unfortunately for the boys, their past has come to haunt them as Stitches the clown is back from the dead, ready to seek revenge for his untimely death.
A group of friends are traveling to a concert when they stop at a diner in a quiet, sleepy town. After asking for directions, the friends are back on the road when suddenly one of them realizes that she left her phone in the diner. After calling her phone, they find that it’s in the possession of an unidentifiable man who creepily asks for their location and says nothing else. Seeing as it’s too far to turn back, the friends decide to wait for the man to meet them where they stopped. After hours of waiting, the mysterious man never shows. They decide to pile back into the car and make their way to the concert. Unfortunately, however, the car doesn’t start. After searching aimlessly for help in a seemingly deserted town, the group of friends find themselves facing their biggest nightmare… they are being stalked by a violent gang of psychopaths dressed as clowns. The friends must fight to protect one another and their own lives, or die trying. Clowntown is definitely a place you don’t want to get stranded.
Killer Klowns from Outer space (1988)
What’s scarier than killer clowns? Killer clowns from SPACE. After teenagers Mike and Debbie witness a comet crash outside their small town, they soon discover that a pack of murderous aliens have landed on earth. And to make matters worse part… the aliens look like circus clowns. Mike and Debbie do their best to warn the town about the bloodthirsty aliens, but no one believes their story. After being written off by the local authorities as a couple of pranksters, the evil clowns begin their murderous pursuits, eating as many humans as they can. But things take a very dark turn when the clowns kidnap Debbie, and the only person that can stop the clowns from consuming the entire town is Mike. I’ll take UFOs and little green monsters over these crazy killer clowns and their circus-tent spaceship any day.
Based on one of Stephen King’s bestselling novels, IT is arguably one of the most quintessential films to feed your fear of clowns. In a small town, an evil force begins to torment a group of kids. This evil being manifests itself in the form of Pennywise the clown, who preys on young children. Fast-forward to 30 years later, the adults that were once terrorized as children learn of a new series of child murders in their hometown. They all return— determined to stop the murders once and for all. But before they can stop Pennywise from killing any more children, they must come to terms with their own pasts… and their own fears. Pennywise is the king of killer clowns for a reason, and he isn’t going down without a fight. And of course, the remake of IT has just wrapped and Pennywise is preparing to terrify audiences all over again…
What’s your favorite evil clown movie?