How do you feel about horror movies that feature clowns as the evil villains? Some of the scariest terror flicks involve these characters. Coulrophobia is the term that is used to describe those who have a deathly fear of them. In days gone by, circus goes looked forward to the performances that these entertainers would bring. There were sad clowns, happy clowns, mimes and other types with the goal of making us laugh. Times have certainly changed. In recent decades, they have become a symbol for evil and all things creepy. People who love horror movies and have a phobic fear of clowns will get a double dose of fright with our lineup of the top twenty horror films with clowns:
20. Bobo “Out of the Dark” (1988)
This late 1980s film takes place at a phone sex company called Suite Nothings. It’s a sleazy business located in the Los Angeles area. Most of girls who are working for the service are models who couldn’t make it in the business, so they’ve fallen back on the fantasy hot line to earn a living. Callers paid to tell the girls their sickest fantasies over the telephone. One caller named Bobo is among the most twisted. He’s a mental case who makes it his business to track down the tele-call girls, but the scariest part is that he dresses in a full clown suit. The deranged clown has it in his head that they are a blight on society. He takes it upon himself to stalk them relentlessly, killing them one at a time. He takes pleasure in making them suffer with frightening demands just prior to ending their lives. You’ll never want to talk to a stranger again after watching this film.
19. Richard Grindle – “Stitches” (2013)
This film begins as a comedy, but it certainly doesn’t end as one. Richard Grindle is Stitches the clown. He hires out his services for children’s birthday parties and other events. He’s clumsy and not very funny. It doesn’t help that he looks more like a bum than a clown. One unfortunate day, he was doing his best to be entertaining, but the cruel children tie his shoelaces together so he will trip. As Grindle is dancing around the kitchen, he slips and fall. He lands on a very large kitchen knife and dies. The little boy who had the birthday party is named Tom. Six years later, he invites his friends to another party. The clown is revived as an evil spirit who seeks revenge upon the cruel children, now teenagers, who he feels were responsible for his tragic death.
18. “Mr. Jingles” (2006)
The name of the clown is also the name of the film. Angie Randal is released from a psychiatric ward at the beginning of the film. She was there because of the trauma and horror she had recently experienced. Earlier, an innocent man was thrown into prison for a crime that was not his own. After years of suffering in his prison cell, he escapes and he’s bent on taking revenge on the persons who were responsible for his wrongful conviction and imprisonment. He went about hunting each of the four families down and the only person to escape his wrath was Angie Randal. She arrives at her home on the seventh anniversary of the horrific night that the clown exacted his revenge. She’s ready to get her life back on track and move on, but what she doesn’t know is that Mr. Jingles is aware that she’s back and he’s got some unfinished business with her.
17. Neil Stickney (Bruce Berger) “Funland” (1987)
Funland is an amusement park that is getting ready to open for the new season. The employees are busy getting everything ready for the grand event. The owner of the property is approached by a mob owned development company with shady associations. He refuses to sell and is found dead a few days afterward. Maurio DeMauro, the head of the company buys the shares in the parka and is only concerned about making a profit. he finds ways to cut the costs and it is pandemonium. Neil Stickney was once the accountant for the park and the sounder as well. After he suffered a nervous breakdown, Perry kept him on. In time, he begins to believe that he is the park clown mascot Bruce Berger. As he falls deeper into the realms of insanity, he is convinced that he is Bruce Berger. He and Neil develop separate personalities. When Stickney is replaced by the new management, he imagines that Perry’s ghost visits him Burger develops an evil plot to get rid of the guilty and he starts with his replacement.
16. “The Clown at Midnight” (1999)
Monica has invited her friend Kate to assist her in cleaning up an old opera house. Her mom had died tragically when starring in a play at the locale. Kate wasn’t sure that she wanted to go to this place, but she agreed to help. After she entered the building, the doors become locked from the outside. She was right in her gut feeling to stay away. From within the opera house, she begins to have visions of her mother being murdered in the basement. People who are helping with the clean-up begin to see a mysterious and creepy clown hanging around. One by one, they start dying and the surviving souls realize that they need to find a way to get out of the opera house fast. Someone is preventing Kate from leaving because her presence is required at the stroke of twelve, to participate in the final scene with her captor.
15. “Clownhouse” (1989)
Three young boys who are brothers find themselves left alone in a large house. It is just before Halloween. They are menaced by three mental patients who had previously escaped the mental institution where they were locked up. After making their getaway, the escapees murdered a group of traveling circus clowns and then assumed their identities.
14. “Jingles the Clown” (2009)
Angela Nelson had witnessed the brutal slaughter of her entire family. The horrific deed was carried out by Mr. Jingles, the killer clown. She returns to the place where these events happened, but she’s not alone. She brings a team of paranormal investigators with her. She is not convinced that Mr. Jingles is really dead. She believes that his ghost is still haunting the grounds. The Investigators are skeptical and attempt to prove that he is not haunting the place, but they find out how sadly mistaken they are.
13. “Secrets of the Clown” (2007)
Bobbie is having some serious fear issues. His best friend Jim was murdered in a brutal manner and it’s still getting to him. He believes that he is being haunted by some type of paranormal presence. Bobbie’s girlfriend Val grows distant and it is apparent that she has some of her own secrets. It is at this time that the nightmares kick off. Bobbie receives clues with each nightmare. The clues are about the identity of his friend Jim’s murder. The killer is still out there racking up a big body count and Bobbie is running out of time. He contacts a psychic to make contact with his dead buddy Jim. Bobbie continues to be guided by his dreams, but there are secrets that blind him to the truth and the murders are haunting him. He must use all of his resources to unlock the “Secrets of the Clown.”
12. Shivers the clown “Fear of Clowns” (2004)
Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. A talented young artist has a bad case of it, but for some reason, she is compelled to paint them. All hell breaks loose as she becomes the prey of the
murderous clown that looks like the ones in her paintings. He has murder on his mind and she’s the target. This film will keep you on the edge of your seat. Shivers the clown has a name that describes how he makes everyone feel.
11. Kurt “Frayed” (2007)
Kurt is the son of Pat Baker, the sheriff of a small town. The officer’s worst nightmare is realized when his deranged son escapes from his confinement at the psychiatric hospital. He knows that Kurt has a dark secret. Before his lockup, Kurt had brutally murdered his mother. As he escapes, the security guard for the hospital follows him into the woods to attempt to thwart the escape. Gary soon finds himself the victim of a deranged psychopathic killer who has him in his sights. Sheriff Baker sets out to find his son. To his horror, he discovers that his daughter Sara has gone camping with her friends in the same woods that Kurt has been hiding in. Everyone knows what Kurt is capable of because he proved it when he killed his mother thirteen years earlier. He’s angry because of his imprisonment and out for revenge. He kills anyone that comes across his path and family is no exception. If you’re into climactic endings then this is the clown based horror film that will keep you on edge through most of the show.
10. Horney the Clown “Drive Thru” (2007)
Mackenzie Carpenter is a seventeen-year-old student who lives in Blanca Carne, California. She has just graduated from high school and is celebrating with Fisher Kent, her boyfriend, and their classmates. She begins to receive messages about close friends of hers while they are being murdered by a clown named Horny. the clown is the mascot for Hella -Burger fast food. The night before her birthday, Carpenter realizes that there is a connection to the deaths of her friends and something that happened to her mother in the past. She comes to realize that the day of her birthday will find her in grave danger.
9. Kent McCoy “Clown” (2014)
Kent McCoy is a loving father who tries to make everything special for his young son. He is disappointed when the clown that he hired for his boy’s birthday party is a no show. As luck would have it, Kent finds a clown suit. Thinking that he has found the ideal prop to entertain the kids, he puts on the suit. To his surprise and dismay, there is something very odd about the suit. In fact, it is very creepy and strange. When he tries to remove the suit, it won’t come off. He discovers that there is an evil curse on it. It begins to turn Kent into an ancient demon that prefers eating children. This was really bad news for the kids invited to the birthday party. He becomes Kent the clown who is driven by the flesh-eating demon and starts hunting the children with the intention of eating them. Well, his heart was in the right place when he put the suit on.
8. Killer clown on the farm “The Clown Murders” (1976)
A young woman married a very rich man who is getting ready to close a real estate deal. A group of young professional men decide that they are going to play a joke on her. She is the ex-girlfriend of one of the men. Their intention is to kidnap her so the deal doesn’t go through. What they don’t realize is that the joke is not going to be that funny. In fact, the situation shifts into high gear and becomes deadly as Charlie, Philip, Rosie and Ollie awaken the next morning. The foursome had donned clown costumes at a Halloween party. They really had no bad intentions. They were the nice clowns. The clown outside of the farm house isn’t kidding around. Filled with jealousy and rage, he’s out for blood. The killer stalks them wearing a clown mask and carrying an axe.
7. Jack Attack “Demonic Toys” (1992)
Jack Attack is the lead creep in “Demonic Toys” and he’s one clown doll that has a set of jaws that will frighten the daylights out of you. The unnerving clown looks even scarier when there is blood staining his face. He is joined by Baby Oopsy Daisy and she is no picnic. In fact, her ability to inspire terror rivals Jack Attacks. After you watch the film, there is a good chance that you’ll remove all jack in the box toys from your home. It can never be the same, because you’ll always wonder what is going to happen if you turn the crank. Jack Attack is released when a bust on two arms dealers goes wrong. they are led into a situation where they raise the demon who has the ability to bring everyday toys to life and they must do his bidding. this demon is in search of a body to inhabit. One of the police officers involved in the bust just happens to be pregnant. the demon sees his opportunity and plans to take the soul of her unborn baby. She is obliged to fight to save not only her life, but the very soul of her baby as well.
6. Gurdy the Clown “100 Tears” (2007)
Gurdy the clown is a circus performer who hasn’t done anything bad, yet. When he is wrongfully accused of committing a horrific crime, he does an about face. Gurdy may have once been innocent of the act he was accused of, but he obviously had some dark potential lying dormant within. He goes on a rampage of vengeance that produces rivers of blood and gore as he strikes out against those who have wronged him. The fact that he keeps the clown suit on adds to the creepiness and terror of the brutal acts he commits. We guess they should have gathered their facts before they started pointing fingers.
5. Der Klown “Krampus” (2015)
“Krampus” is the comedy horror film that successfully combines humor with sheer terror. Too bad that the Engel family decided to have a lull in their Christmas spirit. Had they known that the demon Krampus would be paying them a visit, they may have done something about it sooner. He didn’t come by himself. He brought friends. He is easily the nastiest jack in the box of all time. He has evil intentions and a set of terrible jaws so he can inflict a lot of damage. The creepiest part of Krampus is that he has an odd jolliness about him, but it only serves as irony because there is nothing funny about what he has come to do to the Engels. Der Klown makes you think twice about losing your Christmas spirit.
4. Killer Klowns, “Killer Klowns From Outer Space”
The Killer clowns come to Earth from a different planet, but they’re disguised as clowns. As if this was a good move. There are more people who are afraid of clowns, than aliens. They do come armed to the teeth with cotton candy cocoons, popcorn guns and balloon animals. they also have a full arsenal of magic tricks with deadly consequences. They’re in the business of killing and they’re not clowning around. Their evil grins are creepy enough to make viewers recoil in their seats. The havoc that they raise is a bit on the hair-raising side. The Killer clowns have a goofy quality, but the vulgar tone is dark and sinister. There is no doubt that they are the bad guys and they inspire nightmares.
3. Captain Spaulding, “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects”
These two films really need to be included together as “The Devil’s Rejects” follows in the same tradition. Captain Spaulding has an affinity for coming off as a partial clown who doesn’t quite have the total look, but as much as he cared, he slapped some makeup on his grizzled face. Sid Haig does an amazing job of playing the foul mouthed, exploitive, psychotic who is the head of the Firefly family. The character is on a hard roll and gets worse as the story progresses. He’s careful to keep some degree of his clown aesthetic always, but the partial attempt is a reflection of the character who isn’t all there mentally.
2. Michael Myers, “Halloween” (1978)
Michael Myers is a name that is well-known to all fans of horror movies. A collection wouldn’t be complete without the “Halloween” franchise. There are quite a few things that makes Michael so terrifying. The first is that his first victim was his older sister. He slashed her up on Halloween and this disturbing act shows us how fierce and sick he truly is. He was a serial crazy in the making, even from a young age. Small clowns can be as bad or worse than the full- sized ones. All John Carpenter really had to do, was to stage the opening sequence with a shot of Michael reaching for a red nosed mask. This single shot is what the more mature Michael would adopt as his signature look. He preferred his face covered while killing his victims.
1. Pennywise, “It” (1990 and 2017)
Pennywise is the horrific clown with the most terrifying look that we’ve seen yet and he’s secured the number one position for being the scariest clown to ever appear in a horror movie. Bill Skarsgard puts a nice spin on the character who inspires genuine terror. Tim Curry wasn’t far behind him as the terror of Derry who so badly traumatized the Losers Club kids that it carried over into their adult lives. Those were just the characters, what about the real people who were viewing it in the theaters, then drove home in the dark? The makeup was bad enough, but add pointy teeth and you have the stuff that nightmares are made of. Pennywise is the monster that understands what you fear the most and then he acts on it. This is how he hits below the belt in dishing out a potent dose of terror.