Remember that fake trailer that hit in 2012? The one that had Eli Roth’s name attached though it had nothing to do with him? Well, Roth liked what he saw and signed on as producer. Flash forward to 2014, we have an official trailer. And it looks awesome. You can view the trailer here.
There’s a reason coulrophobia is so common; there’s something seemingly deranged and ominous behind the make-up and cheer. The trailer got me thinking about all of the other nightmare inducing clowns in horror. I’ve narrowed it down to the top five:
5. Killer Klowns From Outer Space
So the movie itself is a cheesy 80s flick about killer clowns from space. It’s hard to take seriously. But you guys, these clowns eat people. And despite how cheaply made this film is, those faces are creepy. If you’ve seen Killer Klowns From Outer Space, then you probably were a little leery about popcorn for a while. Klown Larvae..ick.
Amusement follows three women being stalked by a killer with a grudge, but the story is broken down into sections as the killer stalks them individually. The middle section revolves around Tabitha, who goes over to her Aunt’s one night to find her two young cousins in bed and the babysitter gone. The guest bedroom is filled with clowns, with one rather large clown sitting in a rocking chair. When her aunt calls, Tabitha answers the phone in the hallway with her back to the room. She tells her aunt how creepy the large one is her aunt’s confused reply is, “We don’t own anything like that.” By that time the clown is up and out of the chair, creeping toward Tabitha. Yup. Creepy.
This movie is terrible. So why is it number 3 on my list? Because it’s based on a true story. The real John Wayne Gacy did have an alter ego known as Pogo the Clown. He designed the look himself and performed at many fundraising events as part of the community’s “Jolly Joker” club. This was after he’d served time for sexual assault of a young boy, but before the murders began. Makes you think twice about the clowns performing at parties, doesn’t it? So Pogo the Clown deserved to be on this list for the sole purpose of being reality based.
2. Poltergeist- the clown doll
Though the entire movie is an amazing classic, this clown forever embedded itself into memory. Poltergeist effectively built tension when early on Robbie threw a blanket over the doll to hide it from sight. Well played, foreshadowing. But when Robbie is trying to sleep and notices the clown missing? The tension was palpable. Robbie had more bravery than I would in his situation, daring to check under the bed. I think I may have curled into fetal position when the doll dragged him under the bed. This clown freaked me out so bad he was nearly number one, but….
1. IT- Pennywise
Remember this guy? Yeah. He wins hands down. Tim Curry made Pennywise the Dancing Clown the stuff of nightmares. I imagine Pennywise gave many a complex about storm drains; I know I give them wide berth. What makes Pennywise more terrifying is his intelligence. The clown isn’t his true form, but it’s his favorite one as many children are lured to their deaths by it. He knows what your deepest fear is, and he will exploit it to trap you. What’s scarier than a demonic pointy-tooth clown that hunts you using your weaknesses?