STEP ASIDE, PEN­NY­WISE

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Ev­ery­body loves a clown. So why don’t you?

Be­cause they’re creepy as hell, that’s why.

Look, we get that clowns have feel­ings too. And we’ve met some great clowns in real life. From party en­ter­tain­ers to cir­cus con­tor­tion­ists, most are truly stand-up folk. They don’t de­serve to be slan­dered in pop­u­lar me­dia.

But with the re­cent re­lease of It, based on Stephen King ’s novel of the same name, yet an­other ter­ri­fy­ing cin­e­matic jester has en­tered the zeit­geist. (And by all ac­counts, Bill Skars­gard makes a truly scary Pen­ny­wise the Clown.)

There’s a fas­ci­nat­ingly fine line be­tween a ha-ha funny clown and a no-no creepy clown, and while psy­chol­o­gists have prob­a­bly looked into why clowns tap into some deep-seated dread, we’re just here to cel­e­brate the red-nosed, white-faced, night­mare-in­duc­ing fiends.

Here are five movies with mem­o­rable evil clowns, and where you can find them on­line… if you dare.

Hid­den in the back of Spi­der-Man: Home­com­ing di­rec­tor Jon Watts’ closet is this low-bud­get hor­ror flick about a dad who dresses as a clown for his son’s birth­day party, and then dis­cov­ers he can’t get the cos­tume off. Be­cause it’s A DE­MON’S SKIN, MUHAHAHA! It’s not a fan­tas­tic movie — Watts di­rected the much bet­ter Cop Car be­tween this and Spi­der-Man: Home­com­ing — but it re­ally goes all in on the whole creepy party clown thing.

Find it on: Vudu.com Ama­zon Prime,

This two-part TV movie adap­ta­tion of Stephen King ’s book stars Tim Curry as Pen­ny­wise, the clown who ap­pears ev­ery 27 years to stalk chil­dren in the town of Derry. As a four-hour flick it’s a bit slow in stretches (al­though it does cover a good, meaty chunk of King’s book), but Curry steals pretty much ev­ery scene he’s in, and gives Skars­gard some aw­fully big clown shoes to fill.

Find it on: iTunes, Google Play, PlayS­ta­tion Store, Mi­crosoft Store

Mu­si­cian Rob Zom­bie’s first foray into fea­ture film di­rect­ing wasn’t par­tic­u­larly well-re­ceived by crit­ics, but one un­for­get­table el­e­ment of the movie (and its se­quel, The Devil’s Rejects) is Sid Haig as the foul-mouthed, face­painted, homi­ci­dal Cap­tain Spauld­ing. You do not want to rob him, you do not want to make fun of his store, and you es­pe­cially do not want to tell him you hate clowns.

Find it on: iTunes, Cine­plex Store, PlayS­ta­tion Store, Mi­crosoft Store

The evil spir­its in­fest­ing the sub­ur­ban Cal­i­for­nia home in this Steven Spiel­berg clas­sic come in many forms, but none as un­for­get­table as that freakin’ clown doll. (See? Clowns can be scary even as DOLLS!) The scene re­ally needs no de­scrip­tion, since it’s quite pos­si­bly the most mem­o­rable se­quence in the whole movie, and has been in­deli­bly seared into the mind of any­one who’s seen it. Don’t ever look un­der the bed.

Find it on: TMN Go, Google Play, Cine­plex Store, PlayS­ta­tion Store, Mi­crosoft Store

The ti­tle screams hokey low-bud­get B-movie, and that’s ex­actly what this is. But it’s a won­der­fully self-aware schlock­fest, and man­ages to be silly, funny, weird and grue­some, with some sur­pris­ingly de­cent prac­ti­cal ef­fects for an oth­er­wise poorly shot and ter­ri­bly acted flick. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must for your Hal­loween marathon playlist.

Find it on: Tubi.tv, iTunes, Google Play, PlayS­ta­tion Store, Mi­crosoft Store

Clown, far left, Poltergeist, above, and Tim Curry in It.

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