watchworthy presents

The Scariest Clown Movies in Film History 

Ranker Horror
Originally by
Updated September 25, 2019 33.7k votes 5.1k voters 220.7k views 35 items

List Rules Only horror movies featuring clowns

 

Movies with the scariest clowns are designed to play on our irrational fear of the normally jolly, happy creatures. Yes, we'd all like to think that clowns are funny and wonderful, but sometimes they aren't. Sometimes, they're serial killers. Sometimes they're possessed by the devil himself. This list includes some of the best scary movies with clowns in them. Vote up the ones that freaked you out the most, and vote down any movies with clowns that just didn't do anything for you. You can also rerank this list and, by all means, add to it!!

Some of the greatest horror films ever made have included terrifying clowns. Take Pennywise the Dancing Clown from It -- doesn't the mere mention of his name send chills up your spine? Or how about that clown doll from Poltergeist? Admit it - if you owned a clown doll, and you watched that movie, you threw it out/burned it as soon as you got home. And of course, you've got the brilliant Heath Ledger performance as one of the most evil clown-men in film history, The Joker in The Dark Knight. It counts. He's a clown. And he's horrifying.

Do you have a fear of clowns, in movies or otherwise? Know this word: coulrophobia. The best coulrophobia movies are designed to play on this often deep-seated, common phobia. Certainly, some excellent B-movies feature killer clowns. How about Cheezo, Bippo and Dippo from Clownhouse? This murderous trio is pretty unforgettable. 100 Tears should definitely get a mention, too. And of course, you've got the movie Killer Clowns From Outer Space, a campy romp that features a bevy of killer clowns.

Sometimes, all it takes to scare us half to death is a brief appearance by a scary clown in a film. Remember those evil nurse clowns in Pee Wee's Big Adventure? No? Watch it again. You're welcome. And the Clown Zombie was only on the screen for a brief time in Zombieland, but he sure made an impact. Really, when you're already afraid of clowns, just a quick appearance can send you diving under your theater seat.

 

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter

Released: 1990

Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace

It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more

More It 

#122 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime Horrifying Things That Happened In The Book 'IT' Way Too Awful for the Movieslisted on List of Silent Movies

2
Ranker Video
Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke

Released: 1982

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural thriller film, directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the first and most successful entry in the Poltergeist ...more

More Poltergeist 

#330 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #8 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time Did Steven Spielberg Really Ghost-Direct ‘Poltergeist’?

3
Ranker Video
StacyWolfe added Malcolm McDowell, Danny Trejo, Danielle Harris

Released: 2007

Directed by: Rob Zombie

Halloween is a 2007 American slasher film written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie. The film is a remake/reimagining of the 1978 horror film of the same name; it is a reboot of the ...more

More Halloween 

#174 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #13 of 137 The Goriest Movies Ever Made

4
Ranker Video
Rob Zombie, Chris Hardwick, Karen Black

Released: 2003

Directed by: Rob Zombie

House of 1000 Corpses is a 2003 American exploitation horror film directed by Rob Zombie. Two young couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up ...more

More House of 1000 Corpses 

#275 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #10 of 64 Horror Movie Set-Ups You'd Least Like to Be Trapped In Which 'House Of 1000 Corpses' Or 'Devil's Rejects' Character Are You According To Your Zodiac Sign?

5
Ranker Video
Adam Baldwin, Allison Lange, Charlie Weber

Released: 2003

Directed by: Clive Saunders

Gacy is a 2003 direct-to-video biographical-drama film directed by Clive Saunders and written by Saunders and David Birke. The story revolves around the life of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
6
Ranker Video
StacyWolfe added Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger

Released: 2008

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more

More The Dark Knight 

#9 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Set Of 'The Dark Knight'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Ranker Video
StacyWolfe added Diamond Dallas Page, Danny Trejo, Ginger Lynn

Released: 2005

Directed by: Rob Zombie

The Devil's Rejects is a 2005 American horror film written and directed by Rob Zombie, and the sequel to his 2003 film House of 1000 Corpses. The film is centered on the run of three members of ...more

More The Devil's Rejects 

#139 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #6 of 103 The Best Horror Movie Sequels Which 'House Of 1000 Corpses' Or 'Devil's Rejects' Character Are You According To Your Zodiac Sign?

8
Ranker Video
Celebrity Lists R added Christopher Titus, John Vernon, Royal Dano

Released: 1988

Directed by: Stephen Chiodo

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a 1988 American science fiction horror comedy movie made by The Chiodo Brothers and starring Grant Cramer and Suzanne Snyder. It is the only Chiodo Brothers' ...more

More Killer Klowns from Outer Space 

#164 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #226 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #167 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

9
Ranker Video
Charley Feldman added Emma Stone, Amber Heard, Bill Murray

Released: 2009

Directed by: Ruben Fleischer

Zombieland is a 2009 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma ...more

More Zombieland 

#239 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #66 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

10
Ranker Video
GabrielCabrera1 added It Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård, Jeremy Ray Taylor

Released: 2017

Directed by: Andy Muschietti

It (also known as It: Chapter One) is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by Andy Muschietti, based on the 1986 novel by Stephen King. In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied ...more

More It 

#61 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #6 of 102 The Best Movies of 2017, Ranked The Best Characters In The It Movie

11
Ranker Video
Charley Feldman added Geoffrey Lewis, Parker Stevenson, Tony Longo

Released: 1985

Directed by: Rod Holcomb

Stitches is a 1985 comedy film depicting the misadventures of three students in medical school. The film stars Parker Stevenson, Geoffrey Lewis, and Brian Tochi.
12
Ranker Video
StacyWolfe added Paul Reubens, Catherine O'Hara, Danny Elfman

Released: 1993

Directed by: Henry Selick

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D is a 2006 3D version of the 1993 film of the same title directed by Henry Selick and written by Caroline Thompson.

More The Nightmare Before Christmas 

#18 of 373 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #100 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True

13
Ranker Video
Norman Reedus

Released: 2008

Directed by: Tate Steinsiek

Clown is a 2008 short horror thriller film directed by Tate Steinsiek.
14
Ranker Video
Sam Rockwell, Nathan Forrest Winters, Brian McHugh

Released: 1989

Directed by: Victor Salva

Clownhouse is a 1989 American horror film written and directed by Victor Salva. It was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the dramatic category at the 1989 Sundance Film Festival and is also ...more
15
Ranker Video
Jessica Lucas, Katheryn Winnick, Laura Breckenridge

Released: 2008

Directed by: John Simpson

Amusement is a 2008 American horror film directed by John Simpson and starring Katheryn Winnick, Laura Breckenridge and Jessica Lucas. The film went direct-to-video in January 2009. It was the ...more
16
Ranker Video
StacyWolfe added Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Kathleen Kinmont

Released: 1988

Directed by: Dwight H. Little

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is a 1988 horror film directed by Dwight H. Little and written by Alan B. McElroy. It is the fourth installment of the Halloween film series and focuses ...more

More Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers 

#14 of 100 The Best Movies On Shudder In Praise Of 'Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers,' One Of The Better Films In The Franchise

17
Ranker Video
StacyWolfe added Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

Released: 1989

Directed by: Dominique Othenin-Girard

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is a 1989 American slasher film and the fifth installment in the Halloween film series. It was directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard and starred Donald ...more

More Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers 

#180 of 344 Movies with the Best Soundtracks #6 of 11 Every Movie in the Halloween Franchise, Ranked Best to Worst

18
Terrifier is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Clown Movies in Film History
TexasVet0407 added Katie Maguire, Catherine Corcoran, Jenna Kanell

Released: 2018

Directed by: Damien Leone

Terrifier is a 2016 horror film directed by Damien Leone, based on Leone's short film which was featured in his anthology All Hallows' Eve. A maniacal clown named Art terrorizes two young women ...more

More Terrifier 

#6 of 16 The Best B-Horror Movies On Netflix #17 of 30 The Best Horror Movies on Netflix

19
Ranker Video
midnightq2 added Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton

Released: 1989

Directed by: Tim Burton

Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character. The Dark Knight of Gotham City (Michael Keaton) begins his war on crime with his first major ...more

More Batman 

#23 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #19 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

20
Ranker Video

Released: 2013

Directed by: Stephen Chiodo

The Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space in 3D is a 2013 comedy film written by Grant Cramer and directed by Stephen Chiodo.
21
Ranker Video
Charley Feldman added Leighton Meester, Penn Dayton Badgley, Melora Hardin

Released: 2007

Directed by: Shane Kuhn, Brendan Cowles

Drive-Thru is a 2007 American horror comedy film, directed by Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn, starring Leighton Meester and Nicholas D'Agosto. It is set in Orange County, California and involves ...more
22
Krampus is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Clown Movies in Film History
Justin Wolfe added Toni Collette, Adam Scott, Allison Tolman

Released: 2015

Directed by: Michael Dougherty

Krampus is a 2015 American dark fantasy comedy horror film based on the eponymous character from Austro-Bavarian folklore, written and directed by Michael Dougherty. Three days before Christmas, ...more
23
Ranker Video
MatthewGill added The Houses October Built Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe

Released: 2014

Directed by: Bobby Roe

The Houses October Built is a 2014 American found footage horror film directed by Bobby Roe. Five friends are stalked by a group of mysterious and disturbed individuals while on a road trip ...more

More The Houses October Built 

#19 of 110 The Most Horrifying Found-Footage Movies #12 of 42 The Best Horror Movies Streaming on Hulu #11 of 19 The Best Paranormal Movies Streaming on Hulu

24
It: Chapter Two is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Clown Movies in Film History
It: Chapter Two Bill Skarsgård, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain

Released: 2019

Directed by: Andy Muschietti

It: Chapter Two is a 2019 American horror film directed by Andy Muschietti, based on the 1986 novel by Stephen King. 27 years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a ...more

More It: Chapter Two 

#73 of 114 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies The Adult Cast Of 'IT: Chapter Two' Vs. Their Younger Counterparts Everything 'IT Chapter Two' Changed From The Book

25
Ranker Video
StacyWolfe added Phil Hartman, Morgan Fairchild, Tim Burton

Released: 1985

Directed by: Tim Burton

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Tim Burton in his full-length film directing debut and starring Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman. Reubens also co-wrote ...more

More Pee-wee's Big Adventure 

#115 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #73 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies 'Pee-wee's Big Adventure' Is Actually Super Traumatizing