Scary Clown Movies: A List of the Top 10 Most Terrifying Films, Ranked

Scary Clown Movies

Halloween is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to dive into some of Hollywood’s best horror films, including a few scary clown movies!

Clowns, meant to be sources of joy and laughter, often become symbols of fear and terror. Thanks to characters like Pennywise from Stephen King’s IT and Stitches from the eponymous movie, clowns have taken on a whole new level of scariness.

Movies like Clownhouse, Amusement, and Gingerclown are known for their terrifying clown characters. Even films not centered around clowns, such as 1982’s Poltergeist, have iconic creepy clown scenes. Rob Zombie’s 31 introduces us to a group of evil clowns, and Killer Klowns from Outer Space offers an eerie blend of comedy and horror.

So, if you’re looking for a thrill this Halloween, here are 10 clown horror movies sure to send chills down your spine!

Top 10 Scary Clown Movies, Ranked

10. Haunt (2019)

For fans of slasher films, this may be a perfect clown movie to enjoy on Halloween. Haunt is set in Carbondale, Illinois, and follows a group of friends who come across a haunted house attraction. The haunted house proves to be out of the ordinary as it feeds on their darkest fears, with its performers holding murderous intentions. As the events of the film take place on Halloween night, it’s even more perfect for spooky marathons.

Haunt stars Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Lauryn McClain, Andrew Caldwell, Shazi Raja, Schuyler Helford, Chaney Morrow, Justin Marxen, Damien Maffei, and Samuel Hunt.

9. 31 (2016)

Rob Zombie’s scary clown movie that is set in 1976. The story follows five carnival employees who are kidnapped by a gang of homicidal clowns called “The Heads.” They’re forced to play a survival game, from which the movie takes its title, as they’re chased by the clowns in a maze of rooms in a span of 12 hours. Torture and murder await whoever gets captured, while bets are also placed on their progress.

31 features an ensemble cast. This includes Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Meg Foster, Richard Brake, Malcolm McDowell, Judy Greeson, Jane Carr, Pancho Moler, Lew Temple, David Ury, E.G. Daily, Torsten Voges, Ginger Lynn, Tracey Walter, and Daniel Roebuck.

8. Terrifier (2016)

Another scary clown movie to haunt one’s dreams, Terrifier is a slasher movie that really does give audiences a scary clown. This marks the first film that focuses on the scary circus character itself, Art the Clown, following the horror anthology All Hallows Eve. Terrifier follows s partygoer named Tara Heyes and her sister Victoria, who become the clown’s targets on Halloween night.

An equally scary sequel, Terrifier 2, premiered in 2022.

Terrifier stars Jenna Kanell, Samantha Scaffidi, Catherine Corcoran, and David Howard Thornton.

7. Joker (2019)

This movie isn’t exactly what can be defined as a scary clown movie. Joker is certainly a take on the origin story of Batman’s greatest foe. Joker centers on failed clown and aspiring stand-up comic Arthur Fleck, who spirals into his mental illness and nihilism. Arthur suffers from a neurological condition that causes him to have random laughing fits.

He gets beaten and mocked until he’s driven to commit his first murder. Arthur’s actions also incite a revolution against the wealthy in Gotham City. People decide to wear clown masks in Arthur’s image.

What makes Joker scary is its raw depiction of mental illness and its effects. A sequel, Joker: Folie a Deux is also coming to theaters in 2024.

Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy.

6. Clown (2014)

A scary clown movie with a supernatural twist, Clown centers on a real estate agent Kent McCoy, who hosts a birthday party for his son Jack. When the clown they hired for the party is unable to make it, Kent finds an old clown costume in the basement of a house he’s selling and puts it on. However, Kent realizes that he can’t take the clown suit off, setting off a chain of unusual events that turn a loving husband and father into a possessed monster.

Clown stars Eli Roth, Laura Allen, Andy Powers, Peter Stormare, Elizabeth Whitmere, Christian Distefano, Chuck Shamata, Robert Reynolds, Lucas Kelly, Michael Riendeau, Matthew Stefiuk, and Miller Timlin.

5. Gingerclown (2013)

Gingerclown is in the same vein as 31 in terms of story. But, it’s still a scary clown movie to watch on Halloween. The movie is set in 1983 when a group of high school students go into an abandoned amusement park. The attractions of the park take on a life of their own, and the titular clown torments and attempts to kill them.

Gingerclown stars Erin Hayes, Ashley Lloyd, Michael Cannell-Griffiths, Tim Curry, Lance Henriksen, Michael Winslow, Brad Dourif, Sean Young, and Andrew Montesi.

scary clown movies - stitches

4. Stitches (2012)

A slasher comedy that’s also a scary clown movie, Stitches also has a murderous supernatural twist. Stitches centers on a clown who is beaten to death by the birthday boy Tommy. Not long after his death, a cult of clowns performs a ritual. They warn Tommy that a clown who dies and never finishes the party will never rest in peace.

Years later, Stitches returns from the dead to exact revenge.

Stitches stars Ross Noble, Tommy Knight, Ryan Burke, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Shane Murray Corcoran, Thomas Kane Byrne, Eoghan McQuinn, Roisin Barron, Hugh Mulhem, John McDonnell, Tommy Cullen, Lorna Dempsey, and Jemma Curran.

3. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

A scary clown movie yes, but also a science fiction comedy. Perhaps the lightest of these heavy horror flicks on this list, and also a cult classic. Killer Klowns from Outer Space follows a group of aliens that resemble clowns. They arrive on Earth and invade a small town to capture, kill, and harvest its human residents to drink their blood.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space stars Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael S. Siegel, Peter Licassi, Royal Dano, Charles Chiodo, and Christopher Titus.

2. It: Chapter 2 (2019)

A continuation of the events of the first movie, It: Chapter 2 closes out the adaptation of King’s 1986 novel. The sequel takes place 27 years after the events of the first film, The Losers Club reunites to destroy Pennywise once and for all.

It: Chapter 2 stars Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, and Bill Skarsgard. The actors who played their characters’ younger versions also returned.

1. It (2017)

When it comes to scary clown movies, 2017’s It has to be included in the discussion. Based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name, and following the 1990s miniseries. It: Chapter 1 follows a group of kids who call themselves The Losers’ Club. The group is being terrorized by a being that comes from the sewer while they face their own demons.

It stars Jaeden Liberher, Bill Skarsgard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott.

As we wrap up our top 10 scary clown movies, remember that these films are best enjoyed with lights dimmed and a bucket of popcorn at hand! Whether you’re a seasoned horror enthusiast or just looking for a thrilling way to celebrate Halloween, these films are sure to deliver a sizable of frights.

So, get your friends together, cue up these creepy clown films, and prepare for a night of screams, jumps, and maybe even a few laughs. Happy Halloween, and remember, don’t be too quick to trust a smiling clown!


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