Everybody’s least favourite balloon shaping psychopaths, clowns, have been making a terrifying comeback in recent years. And with Rob Zombie’s 31 and Damien Leone’s full-length Terrifer imminent, things are only going to get better. Or worse, depending how much clowns scare you.
While to many, Stephen King’s Pennywise is always going to remain cinema’s number one big-shoed boogeyman, here’s some of the best, or most evil, clowns to disgrace the big and small screen.
1. Captain Spaulding – House of 1000 Corpses/Devil’s Rejects
Seeing as 31 is all about the clowns, why not kick off with some more Rob Zombie? Never scary, but always entertaining, Captain Spaulding is easily one of the highlights of House of 1000 Corpses. The murder ride, t-shirt, the chicken. And “most of all, fuck you”.
2. Kent McCoy – Clown
When your kid begs you to have a clown party, just say no, people. Just say no. Because it never turns out well. And if you REALLY have to have a clown, or even dress up like one like this poor pleb, at least make sure the suit isn’t cursed, leading you on a murderous rampage – the basic premise of Clown. A great film and a reminder that it’s sometimes better to just say no.
3. Art The Clown – All Hallows’ Eve
If you’ve always found clowns more quirky than scary, Art The Clown might change your mind. Hands down, Damien Leone’s fiendish, murderous clown is one of the most disturbing portrayals in horror. Whether he’s sawing off a guy’s foot or offering a flower to a lady, he tops the charts in creepiness. Can’t wait to see more of him in Terrifier.
4. These Glittery Bastards – Supernatural
It’s really hard not to enjoy Sam Winchester’s coulrophobia. He’s big. He kills ghosts and demons daily. But dress up as a clown and he’ll soil himself. It’s been brought up in several episodes, but Season 7, Episode 14 ‘Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie’ is the most extensive. Plus, bonus points for the episode’s themed title card.
5. Basically every clown in the film – House That October Built
This film was pretty much wall to wall clowns. If you haven’t seen it yet, hold off until Halloween. But of all the scenes, there’s just something about these clowns dancing that makes me never want to enter a bar again.
6. Twisty – American Horror Story
The first few scenes with Twisty The Clown were some of the best scenes in an otherwise incredibly disappointing season on American Horror Story. Unfortunately, the character arc ended up being a lot weaker than it should have been. But initially, Twisty was an awesomely terrifying character.
7. The Clown – The Clown (2014 short)
Clowns don’t need a budget to be creepy. They just require a costume, a good director and some weird AF laughter. British short, ‘The Clown’ had all that and more and delivered a stark little piece that’ll make you hate clowns more than ever. You can watch the whole thing below.
8. Clowns in the woods – Not Going Out
Who’d have thought Lee Mack’s Not Going Out was capable of scares? Somehow, albeit for a short period of time, they pulled it off. I mean, who wouldn’t crap their pants if they found themselves in the woods at night (why are you in the woods at night?) surrounded by clowns?
9. Killer Klowns From Outer Space
Not a new film, but who cares, right? It’s a pinnacle of clown horror and, quite rightly, has grown massively in popularity over the years. The plot alone is enough to get it in front of eager horror fans – clowns from – not surprisingly outer space – kidnapping people and cocooning them in candy floss. Plus they look awesome. What’s not to like? they had to be here.
Wrinkles The Clown, unlike the above isn’t fictional. If anything, that’s worse. Frequently spotted lurking about the US, he’s reportedly a retired guy who now gets hired to scare kids and other folk. At least, that’s what we hope. Just pray he isn’t under your bed…