Ah, clowns — you know logically that there's a person under all that face paint, inside those giant shoes and wacky patterned outfit, honking their big, red nose at you. But still, you can't help but feel uneasy at the sight of them. What if it's not a person at all? What if it's something much more ... sinister?
The fear of clowns is called "caulrophobia," and the horror genre has been playing on this fear for decades. As early as the '70s, creepy clowns have been gracing our screens and giving us the heebie-jeebies, from television to film.
We've put together a list of 10 horror movies featuring creepy clowns for your next movie marathon.
'Terrifier' (2016) and 'Terrifier 2' (2022)
Art the Clown seems harmless enough, right? I mean, look at that friendly smile. Just kidding, obviously — the Terrifier movies are just as terrifying as they sound. In fact, viewers were reportedly passing out, throwing up, and evacuating the theater during screenings of Terrifier 2. If you're looking for something with a hearty helping of blood and gore, check these movies out.
31 is a movie about a group of unhinged, sadistic men in clown makeup who kidnap and torture a group of friends working at a carnival — no, not even carnies are safe. And with Rob Zombie as director, you know it's gonna be grimy.
31 is available to stream for free on Tubi.
Calling all haunted house fanatics! Have you ever thought about what you would do if the horrors of the haunt you were walking through turned out to be real? If so, then Haunt is the movie for you. The film focuses on a group of young friends who find themselves inside of a haunted house that promises to deliver their worst nightmares.
Haunt is available to stream on Hulu.
'It' (2017) and 'It Chapter Two' (2019)
OK, let's be real — when you think about horror movie clowns, you probably think about Stephen King's monstrous creation Pennywise. He's everything you're afraid that every clown might be: a bloodthirsty, omnipresent beast who feeds on children's fear. With a TV miniseries and two movies to boast, the It franchise is one you won't want to leave out of your next marathon.
'Killer Klowns From Outer Space' (1988)
As one of the older picks on our list, we have to say that Killer Klowns From Outer Space doesn't exactly hold up as the most bone-chilling film of all time. However, if you're looking for something a little less gruesome and a little more camp for your movie night, Killer Klowns and its wacky cast of characters fit the bill perfectly.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space is available to stream for free on Tubi.
'The Houses October Built' (2014)
The Houses October Built is another one for haunted house fans, but this time we're talking about extreme haunts (think McKamey Manor). The movie follows a group of friends who rent an RV to travel the U.S. looking for the most extreme haunts they can find. However, what ends up finding them is more than they bargained for.
The Houses October Built is available to stream for free on Tubi.
'Wrinkles the Clown' (2019)
If fictional clowns aren't enough to give you the shivers, try Wrinkles the Clown, a documentary about a real-life clown from Florida who parents would pay to scare their children. Through chilling in-person sightings and viral videos, Wrinkles became a living urban legend —except no one knew his true identity.
Wrinkles the Clown is available to stream on Apple TV.
A classic of the supernatural sub-genre, Poltergeist takes a look at what happens when the things we're afraid of as kids — like spooky trees and unsettling clown dolls — are actually out to get us. Although it's not as clown-centric as the rest of the films on the list, it's still sure to get under your skin.
Poltergeist is available to stream on Apple TV.
'House of 1000 Corpses' (2003)
Another Rob Zombie nightmare, horror-comedy House of 1000 Corpses boasts one of the most famous clown characters of all time: Dr. Satan. Heavily inspired by '70s slashers like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the film follows a group of teens (including Bill Hudley, played by Rainn Wilson) who face unimaginable horrors on their journey to uncover the legend of Dr. Satan.
House of 1000 Corpses is available to stream on Prime Video.
What better way to end this list than with a movie simply titled Clown? The film follows a man who fills in when the birthday clown for his son's party doesn't show up. However, after putting on the clown makeup, wig, and nose, he finds that he can't take it off — and it seems to be taking over his body. Creepy.
Clown is available to stream for free on Tubi.