When we say “It” we’re specifically talking about the Stephen King classic that has been adapted into a new feature film (in theaters now). The movie sees Bill Skarsgard stepping into the shoes of Pennywise, the terrifying clown that has haunted our nightmares since Tim Curry first portrayed him in the 1990 It mini-series.
In honor of Pennywise’s theatrical debut, we rounded up five other films featuring clownish villains available to rent or stream. Proceed with caution.
If you love a camp classic: Killer Klowns from Outer Space
The 1998 film may have a ridiculous title, but it’s over-the-top costumes and witty screenplay make it a worthy entry into the b-movie canon. As the name indicates, the film is about a group of interstellar clowns that invade a small town.
Stream it on Starz.
If you like your clown horror mixed with dark humor: Stitches
This Irish film centers on Stitches the clown, who comes back from the dead to haunt the people involved in his death at a party. The horror comedy is a genuinely hilarious take on the scary clown trope.
Stream it on Netflix.
If you ever thought The Santa Clause was secretly terrifying: Clown
Remember the Tim Allen movie where he accidentally kills Santa, then puts on his outfit and starts turning into Old Saint Nick? It’s supposedly a heartwarming Christmas tale, but that sounds like a horror movie to me. Clown is another take on the clothes making the man. Directed by Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming), the film follows a man who puts on a clown costume for a party only to discover he can’t take it off.
Stream it on Netflix.
If you are terrified by dolls too: Poltergeist (1982)
There are many things to scare you in Poltergeist, but there’s a special kind of scare reserved for the clown doll that makes an appearance in the film, when young Robbie (Oliver Robins) is trying to get to sleep. Pro tip: Never sleep near a clown doll. And while the original is still our favorite, the 2015 remake of the film managed to keep the doll in play, too. Clown fear is forever.
If you prefer action and thrills to outright terror: The Dark Knight
Horror isn’t for everyone, and scary clowns certainly aren’t, either. If you want to get in on the clown trend without giving yourself recurring nightmares, spend some time with The Joker instead of Pennywise. The storied Batman villain, best portrayed by Heath Ledger in this 2012 film, has clownish roots that take a psychological and maniacal turn.
Stream it on HBO Go/Now.
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