There’s nothing scarier than a
clown. OK, yes there is, and it’s a killer clown. The bloodthirsty version of what used to be a symbol of childhood fun and innocence is Hollywood’s preferred form of horrific entertainment. Whether it’s the terrorizing legacy of Pennywise, a clown-costumed bank robber, or a clown suit that threatens to turn an average dad into a cannibal, the variety of stories starring clowns is inexhaustible. In honor of these nightmare-inducing characters, we’ve scared up our 15 favorite clown movies. Don’t watch them all at once, though, unless you never want to sleep again.
Cover Photo: Warner Bros.
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15. 'Quick Change'
Bill Murray stars as Grimm, a bank robber who dons a clown costume for his crime, in this 1990 comedy.
14. 'Shakes the Clown'
When Shakes (Bobcat Goldthwait), an alcoholic clown, gets framed for the murder of his boss, he must go undercover...as a mime.
Strange things are happening at the haunted home of the Freelings, including a clown doll that attacks its 8-year-old owner.
John Leguizamo plays a clown caught in a double bind and conflicting loyalties between heaven and hell in this fantasy thriller.
11. 'Killer Klowns From Outer Space'
Cannibal aliens that look like clowns careen to Earth and begin devouring a town's population in this creepy parody.
Killjoy (Angel Vargas) is a resurrected clown hellbent on avenging its owner's murder via a killing spree.
9. 'House of 1000 Corpses'
After their car breaks down, two couples follow a hitchhiker back to her house, where they discover that serial killing runs in the family.
At a birthday party, kids play a prank on the clown Richard "Stitches" Grindle (Ross Noble) which causes his death. Six years later, Stitches returns for the now teen's birthday to exact his revenge.
7. 'The Last Circus'
This circus-themed film takes place in Spain, where demented sad clown Javier (Carlos Areces) fights to win the affections of trapeze artist Natalia (Carolina Bang), the battered wife of Javier's nemesis, the happy clown Sergio (Antonio de la Torre).
Photo: Tornasol Films
6. 'The Clown at Midnight'
While restoring an opera house where an actress was once killed, a group of high school students get locked in and one by one become victims of a psychotic clown.
When his son's birthday party entertainment fails to show up, a father (Andy Powers) dons a clown suit...and can't get the cursed thing off, threatening to turn him into a kid-eating killer.
On Halloween Eve 1976, a group of carnies are attacked on the road. Five survive, only to be kidnapped and held hostage. The following day, they're forced to play a life-or-death game called 31, which pits them against a gang of crazed clowns.
A trio of psychopaths escape from a mental hospital, murder a few clowns, and assume their identities. Three young brothers staying home alone become their victims.
In this Stephen King classic, Pennywise (Tim Curry), a shape-shifting killer clown, emerges every 27 years to prey on children. But this time, a band of kids called the Losers' Club fights back.
1. 'It Chapter 2'
Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) returns to a small town in Maine to terrorize the Losers' Club, a group of adults who defeated him 27 years prior in their childhood.