25+ Scary Clown From Movies: Unveiling Chilling and Haunting Characters

Vasudha Sabharwal

The scary clown trope in pop culture has turned the perception of clowns from comic entertainers to sinister monsters. With the plethora of clown scary movies that exist, the symbols of joy and laughter, once upon a time, now appear as harbingers of fear and dread. The scary clowns from movies offer an uncanny, eerie, and unsettling experience.

We have compiled a list of 25+ popular clown scary movies of all time. You can glance through the table below for a quick summary. To learn more details about a specific movie, you can click on its title in the table, and you will be directed to the relevant section.

Sr.noMovie Name & YearIMDb Rating
1. It (2017)7.3
2.Poltergeist (1982)7.3
3. Joker (2019)8.4
4.It Chapter Two (2019)6.5
5.Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)6.2
6.Jigsaw (2017)5.7
7.100 Tears (2007)4.1
8.Stitches (2012)5.7
9.Gacy (2003)4.7
10.Amusement (2008)4.9
11.Terrifier (2016)5.6
12.All Hallows’ Eve (2013)5.1
`13.Clown (2014)5.7
14.The Clown Murders (1976)3.7
15.The Last Circus (2010)6.5
16.The Clown at Midnight (1999)4.3
17.ClownTown (2016)3.7
18.Clowntergeist (2017)3.0
19.Killjoy (2000)2.7
20.The Jokesters (2015)3.5
21.Circus Kane (2017)4.5
22.Clownface (2019)2.7
23.Dead Clowns (2003)2.3
24.Carnage Park (2016)4.9
25.Drive Thru (2007)4.4
26.House of 1000 Corpses (2003)6.0

For more details, read below:

1. It (2017)


It is among the most popular clown horror movies. It revolved around a group of seven vulnerable and tormented kids who confront their deepest fears as Pennywise, a shape-shifting clown and ancient malevolent force, resurfaces. The sinister clown preys on children, exploiting their fears before consuming them for sustenance.

2. Poltergeist (1982)


The idyllic house that a family envisions as their dream home transforms into a nightmarish ordeal as malevolent spirits awaken to torment them, seeking to take possession of their innocent daughter’s soul.

3. Joker (2019)


Arthur Fleck, a struggling party clown, navigates a life of poverty alongside his ailing mother. Yet, when society rejects him, labeling him an outcast, he opts to embrace a path of criminality and anarchy.

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4. It Chapter Two (2019)


It Chapter Two is the sequel to the 2017 It, one among the most popular clown scary movies. Following a span of 27 years, the Losers Club is contacted by their companion Mike Hanlon, who alerts them to Pennywise’s resurgence. In fulfillment of their pledge, they opt to revisit their hometown, uniting to finally vanquish the malevolent clown once and for all.

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5. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)


Upon witnessing a comet’s crash on the outskirts of their tranquil small town, teenagers Mike and Debbie embark on an investigation that unveils a malevolent group of extraterrestrial beings resembling circus clowns. Despite their efforts to alert the local authorities, their account is dismissed as a jest. Concurrently, the clowns initiate a macabre spree of capturing and devouring unsuspecting victims. The situation escalates when Debbie is abducted, compelling Mike to take it upon himself to halt the clowns’ gruesome onslaught.

6. Jigsaw (2017)


The police face an impasse while probing a series of gruesome city murders that bear a striking resemblance to the methods of a supposed deceased serial killer from a decade ago.

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7. 100 Tears (2007)


Mark and Jennifer are investigative reporters hot on the trail of a deranged serial killer whose proximity might be more immediate than they realize.

8. Stitches (2012)


Following a fatal accident during a party, a clown is resurrected and embarks on a mission of vengeance against those accountable for his demise.

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9. Gacy (2003)


If you’re searching for clown scary horror movies based on true stories, Gacy may actually be the one. This unsettling biographical drama centers around actual serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Despite his public image as a family man and esteemed entrepreneur, Gacy conceals a sinister double life. Known to the community as a jovial clown, he grapples with a harrowing childhood marked by an abusive father. Luring young men to their tragic fates, he conceals their remains beneath his home. As Gacy’s chilling spree persists, law enforcement edges closer to uncovering the truth.

10. Amusement (2008)


Confronted by a vengeful psychopathic stalker nursing a long-held resentment from their youth, three women find themselves in a dire predicament. Stripped of their agency, they must either battle for survival or succumb to a grim fate that looms ominously over them.

11. Terrifier (2016)


Art, the sinister clown, makes a menacing comeback, harboring murderous plans to abduct three young women and eliminate anyone who dares to cross his path.

12. All Hallows’ Eve (2013)


Throughout generations, the ancestral amulet and the mystical abilities of a witch have been handed down to a young woman from her maternal lineage as she reaches her 18th birthday. Now, the responsibility falls upon her.

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13. Clown (2014)


After the clown originally hired to emcee his son Jack’s birthday celebration backs out, Kent McCoy, an unassuming father, is compelled to assume the role of a clown. Unexpectedly, he discovers that the costume becomes impossible to remove, subjecting him to ridicule from his colleagues.

14. The Clown Murders (1976)


A group of pranksters abducts the wife of their friend (Susan Keller) during a Halloween gathering, yet the situation spirals out of control.

15. The Last Circus (2010)


An intricate romantic entanglement emerges involving a Spanish clown, his malicious adversary, and the adversary’s mistreated yet passionately desirous wife.

16. The Clown at Midnight (1999)


As the opera house where her mother was tragically killed reopens its doors, a teenager finds herself in the crosshairs of the same malevolent clown-clad murderer.

17. ClownTown (2016)


During a cross-country journey, a circle of companions experiences a predicament when they become stranded in what appears to be an abandoned town. As the sun gives way to darkness, the vulnerable travelers are relentlessly pursued by lunatics garbed in clown attire.

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18. Clowntergeist (2017)


Emma, a university student burdened by an overwhelming phobia of clowns, is forced to confront her deepest dread as a malevolent entity, inhabiting the form of a clown, unleashes terror upon her community.

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19. Killjoy (2000)


Enchanted through dark sorcery, a clown doll (portrayed by Angel Vargas) awakens with a murderous intent, seeking vengeance against those accountable for the death of its owner.

20. The Jokesters (2015)


A group of four friends play a prank during their friend’s honeymoon, mimicking a nightmarish scenario from a cabin in the woods. To their shock, their elaborate ruse transforms into a genuine horror tale, bringing ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ nightmare to life.

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21. Circus Kane (2017)


A secluded ringmaster of a circus extends an invitation to a gathering of social media celebrities at his eerie residence. The challenge posed is to escape the frightening ordeals and claim a prize of $250,000, yet the participants quickly discover that their contest involves more than just financial gain; their very survival is at stake.

22. Clownface (2019)


The disturbed serial murderer named Clownface instills fear among the inhabitants of a quaint village.

23. Dead Clowns (2003)


From a submerged resting place, reanimated clown figures emerge following a hurricane’s fury, instilling fear within a quaint Florida town. These circus entertainers harbor vengeful intentions, resorting not only to murder but also cannibalistic tendencies.

24. Carnage Park (2016)


Having abducted a young woman, two experienced criminals find themselves plunged into a life-or-death struggle for their existence as they unintentionally trespass into a desolate expanse of land belonging to the unhinged Vietnam veteran, Wyatt Moss.

25. Drive Thru (2007)


In order to rescue the townspeople, a high-school student is compelled to thwart a homicidal clown employed at a fast-food establishment.

26. House of 1000 Corpses (2003)


Depleted fuel and a punctured tire steer two couples onto a harrowing path that leads to the ominous House of 1000 Corpses. At its heart, “House of 1000 Corpses” weaves a tale of kinship, showcasing a collection of distorted personalities who, with every slit throat and thrust to the chest, augment their deranged human collection.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Which movie introduced the iconic scary clown Pennywise?

The iconic scary clown Pennywise was introduced in the movie ‘It,’ which is based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name.

2. Are there any other movies apart from “It” that feature terrifying clowns?

 Other movies that feature terrifying clowns include ‘Joker‘, ‘Killer Klowns from Outer Space‘, ‘Clown‘, and ‘Clownhouse‘.

3. What psychological factors make scary clowns so unsettling in movies?

Scary clowns explore the fear of the uncanny, where something familiar (a clown) becomes distorted or unsettling. Their exaggerated features, absurd behavior, and hidden intentions evoke feelings of unpredictability and danger. This contrast between humor and horror creates a sense of unease, capitalising on one’s deep-seated fears of the unknown and the potential for harm.

4. How did Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise in the 1990 miniseries compare to the recent adaptations?

Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise in the 1990 miniseries was iconic and memorable, emphasizing a more theatrical and sinister charm. His performance focused on the character’s playful yet menacing demeanor. In contrast, recent adaptations like the 2017 and 2019 films provided a more monstrous and grotesque interpretation, emphasizing the terrifying aspects of Pennywise’s nature. Both versions captured different facets of the character’s eerie presence, catering to different styles and eras of horror.

5. What’s the impact of the scary clown trope on pop culture beyond movies?

The scary clown trope has impacted different forms of media, including literature, television, video games, and even fashion. The trope’s unsettling nature has also inspired Halloween costumes, haunted attractions, and even theme park experiences. Besides, it has been referenced in comedy sketches, memes, and internet culture, often as a source of dark humor. The trope continues to shape and evolve horror-related content, leaving a lasting impression on how people perceive clowns and their potential for fear.

6. Why do some people have a fear of clowns, and how has this influenced horror cinema?

Some people have a fear of clowns due to a phenomenon called ‘coulrophobia.’ This fear can stem from the uncanny appearance of clowns, like, their exaggerated features or painted-on smiles which may appear unnatural or unsettling. Additionally, the juxtaposition of their jovial appearance with potentially sinister intentions can create cognitive dissonance and evoke a sense of unpredictability.
The scary clown trope has had a profound influence on horror cinema by providing a unique and recognizable antagonist that taps into universal fears. It has become a staple in horror storytelling, allowing filmmakers to play with the duality of innocence and malevolence, ultimately contributing to the genre’s evolution and popularity.

So, which movie are you watching?

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