Why horror movies are obsessed with creepy kids, dolls and clowns. Image 1.

Alison Nastasi


Why horror movies are obsessed with creepy kids, dolls and clowns. Image 2.

Jasu Hu


Not all children are sugar, spice, and everything nice. In the realm of horror movies, the creepy kid trope is king. Some tiny terrors are born evil (The Omen) while some suffer from a supernatural affliction that threatens to engulf everyone around them (The Exorcist). The uncanny appeal of a small hand gripping a butcher knife (Child’s Play) or a ghostly girl back from the grave for revenge (The Ring) has obsessed horror audiences for decades.

Nothing is more potent for fright fans than when innocence is corrupted or lost—and the underdeveloped brain of a child becomes a primal force of evil, blurring the line between victim and monster. Whether these fears of unhinged tykes stem from real-world fears about parenting, gender, and social responsibility, or folkloric myths passed down in different cultures, the appearance of pint-sized fiends in horror films evokes the darkness of a juvenile psyche that remains mysterious. We explored the uncanny appeal of creepy children, as well as the related figures of dolls and clowns, in genre cinema with filmmakers, actors, writers and scholars.


Joe Dante

Director of Piranha, Gremlins, The Howling; Co-founder, Trailers from Hell and The Hollywood Horror Museum

The creepy/murderous child trope goes back to The Bad Seed, from the most kid-centric decade, the 1950s. But lately it's been having a resurgence, with movies like Goodnight Mommy and The Boy, just to mention a few of the latest entries.

Could it be connected to the fact that more and more parents have difficulty balancing work responsibilities, child-rearing, and elder care (not to speak of nurturing their own relationships, personal and career aspirations) and are squeezed financially by the costs of raising children and taking care of their own aging parents? Therefore, is it any wonder that children in genre movies are portrayed as powerful, disruptive, and uncontrollable? Perhaps these menacing moppet movies reflect the fears inherent in helicopter parenting—that the minute you take your eyes off your child, something dreadful will happen.

Or are they just aliens like in Village of the Damned?

Fun Fact

HARVEY STEPHENS, the actor who played Damien Thorn in the 1976 film The Omen, was picked for the role after a violent audition with director Richard Donner. The filmmaker asked several potential child stars to "come at him," and pretend they were attacking Katherine Thorn (Damien's mother in the film). Stephens screamed and clawed Donner's face, and kicked him in the groin. Donner cast him immediately. Since Stephens was so young, Donner provoked reactions out of the child actor by antagonizing him. During the scene when Damien is angry about going to church, Donner provoked Stephens’ expression by yelling: "What are you looking at you little bugger? I'll clobber you."




Dee Wallace

ActressThe Hills Have Eyes, The Howling, Cujo, The Frighteners

Children are "innocents." So the more they stray from that, the more frightening it is for all of us. For an innocent energy to be "taken over" is the gravest of abominations the world can reap upon us. Adults are expected to be corrupt and evil, in a way. Children are the last hope for good.




Barbara Crampton

Actress, Re-Animator, From Beyond, You're Next, We Are Still Here, Tales of Halloween

Who doesn't think kids are scary? I have them. I know them well, and I'm frightened every day. They are consistently unruly and unpredictable.




Scott Derrickson

Writer, director, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, Deliver Us from Evil

In the modern world, nothing is more revered than children, as they are the embodiment of innocence. And for that innate innocence to be contaminated by something evil or corrupt or dangerous is inherently mysterious and disturbing.




Darren Stein

Writer, director, producer, Jawbreaker,

All About Evil, Seeds of Yesterday

It's terrifying for people to see innocence perverted. Children aren't fully formed physically or emotionally, so there's something inherently "other" about them. Somehow they're more impressionable. They could turn on you at any moment.




Jovanka Vuckovic

Writer, director, The Captured Bird, XX (forthcoming), Jacqueline Ess (forthcoming)

On a basic level, it activates the deep-seated fear that our children don't really love us, and might even turn on us some day. Worse, that our children may be inherently mean-spirited, hateful, or cruel—psychopaths in the clinical sense, not the horror movie sense. Kids are supposed to be sweet, innocent darlings and not monstrous moppets, right? But sometimes it happens. Despite their best efforts, some people's kids still turn out to be Jeffrey Dahmer or the Columbine shooters. We Need to Talk About Kevin addresses this very real fear and, man, it is some dark stuff. Some of my favorite creepy kid movies are The Other, Birth, The Bad Seed, Who Can Kill a Child?, The Brood, Pin, The Devil's Backbone, Pet Sematary, Let the Right One In, and, more recently, Goodnight Mommy.




Adam Barnick

Writer, director, producer, What Is Scary? (forthcoming); Filmmaker, documentary shorts for horror directors Larry Fessenden, Paul Solet, Adam Green

A lot of things we consider set in stone are upended in horror films—"absolutes" like "when people die, they're at peace; they don't come back," or, "I'm safe in my home," or, "I would never lose control of my mind or my body." We tend to think of children as the perfect version of our messed-up adult selves — innocent, the type of person we want to get back to being. So for a child to be anything less than wonderful, or flat-out malevolent and dangerous, is a primal scare that's extra hard to wrap your head around. We're beyond shocked when a child is capable of something horrible. It just doesn't seem or feel right.



Dawn Keetley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English, American literature, the Gothic, Horror Media, Lehigh University; writer, Horror Homeroom

I think the obvious answer is because horror trades in shock value, and there's nothing we consider more "innocent" than the child. So when children are either put in danger or are the danger, that adds an extra frisson of shock.

I also think that, in many ways, children aren't quite "civilized" people; they're unpredictable—we never know exactly who or what they are or what they're going to do. We don't know if they quite have empathy yet—or if they are going to play by social rules (or even know the social rules). They're kind of anarchic forces—and anarchic forces make great horror. 




Gwendolyn Hofmann

Writer, Horror Homeroom

Years ago, the idea of children being inherently separate from "innocence" would have been unheard of. It's almost as if we temporarily reverted to a Puritan view of children as sinful little creatures. I don't necessarily believe that children were always a horror trope. You don't see them really lurch forth as a trope in numbers until the 1990s/2000s. Of course, you had notable outliers in The Bad Seed, Night of the Living Dead, etc. But you don't see them as the main source of horror until much later. Likewise (outside of The Bad Seed), most children were influenced externally by horror as seen in Karen (Night of the Living Dead), Damien (The Omen), Regan (The Exorcist), and the Satan's spawn in Rosemary's Baby. Their horror was a result of infection, demonic possession, or their parents making a deal with the Devil. These earlier representations of horrific children, I think, are indicative of fears on a number of levels—fear of the younger generation on a broad level, being surpassed, taken over, rendered irrelevant. Also, on another level, there is a fear of being a bad parent, making mistakes, and not being able to control your past or your present. Some schools of thought also believe that horror is inherently a conservative genre. If one takes this approach, it is no wonder there are regulatory influences trying to scare people into controlling the younger generation. If unregulated, they may wreak havoc on all traditional structures.

As for the plethora of horrific children that burst forth in the 1990s/2000s, well, that's a whole different ball of wax (and the source of much of my research). There was something going on at this point in time that allowed so many movies to make the child the monster and also someone worth vanquishing. So what changed? Is it our definition of innocence, of childhood? Who knows. There was no marked increase in delinquency, drug use, abuse, or massive uptick in divorces. Technically kids are better than ever before, even though news reporting would have you thinking that Columbine and Sandy Hook happen all day, every day. In this case, I think it has to do a lot with power dynamics. Children are the targets of advertising. Children syphon off our hard-worked, under-paid checks. As more and more parents work, the children grow up without us around, and maybe the world compensates by trying to cater to them in every other way. Realistically, it's probably because of their power to consume. They are the targeted consumer, so they are a bottomless pit of wants. Media and television shows cater to the child's world and adults are sidelined as comic relief (just consider the roles within the family on The Cosby Show or even Roseanne, previously). Adults are no longer in control of their world. Advertising, pop culture, technology, and home life is centered around the child—which, in turn, is very threatening and possibly contributing to our desire to depict them this way in horror. Also worth noting, these characters are more likely inherently evil rather than a product of external evils.

A guide to the most recent creepy kid films

The Calling (2000)

The Devil's Backbone (2001)

The Ring (2002)

Joshua (2002)

Unborn but Forgotten (2002)

Hide and Seek (2005)

The Orphanage (2007)

Let The Right One In (2008)/Let Me In (2010)

Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)/The Grudge(2004)

Birth (2004)

Blessed (2004)

Dark Water (2005)

Silent Hill (2006)/Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

Halloween (2007) 

Trick 'r Treat (2007)

Hansel and Gretel (2007)

Whisper (2007)

Born (2007)

The Children (2008)

Dorothy Mills (2008)

Orphan (2009)

Grace (2009)

Case 39 (2009)

Offspring (2009)

Insidious (2011)

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

The Possession (2012)

Come Out and Play (2012)

Sinister (2012)

The Woman in Black (2012)

12/12/12 (2012)

Mama (2013)

Hell Baby (2013)

Dark Skies (2013)

Proxy (2013)

Devil's Due (2014)

Goodnight Mommy (2014)

The Boy (2015)




Sam Zimmerman

Curator, Shudder.com

I think the most basic reason is that children are symbols of purity. We tend to project innocence onto childhood and its experience. Creepy children, in all their forms (possessed kids, ghost kids, killer kids) quickly subvert that and unsettle us. We do project that innocence, though, and I think deep down, we also realize they're capable of strange thoughts and nasty behavior. We all were, at a young age. Childhood is weird. It's messy and aggressive, and as brains and personalities form, weird ideas bubble around in there. Maybe we don't like to acknowledge those darker aspects, and creepy children in horror are confrontational reminders.




Eric Hatch

Director of Programming, Maryland Film Festival

I think at its core, horror is about the unpredictability and vulnerability of life; the knowledge that, as safe and serene as things may seem, and as much as we strive to create a bubble of safety and continuity for ourselves, around any corner and at any future moment may come death, pain, loss, psychological trauma, or another form of terror. Depictions of evil or otherwise unsettled children play into this so well, as we often view them as human life at its most "innocent" and "uncorrupted"; to see them as an agent of evil is to know that nothing and no one in life can be completely trusted. Along the same lines, children are also seen as human life at its most "cute," and so a dangerous child pushes some of the same buttons in a horror movie as would an evil dog, gremlin, robot, alien, or other exaggerated "cute" form that transforms into something dangerous. For parents, I expect creepy kids hold an extra resonance, as this flips the order of their world, forcing them to imagine a realm in which they no longer hold the knowledge and power in the dynamic between them and their offspring.

The creepiest kids in horror cinema

 Regan MacNeil, The Exorcist (1973)

 Damien ThornThe Omen (1976)

 Danny TorranceThe Shining (1980)

 Rhoda PenmarkThe Bad Seed (1956)

 David Zellaby,Village of the Damned (1960)

 Carol Anne Freeling, Poltergeist (1982)

 Samara Morgan, The Ring (2002)

 Esther, The Orphan (2009)

 The children of The Brood (1979)

 Isaac Choner, Children of the Corn (1984)




Peter Hall

Producer, Grow Up, Tony Phillips, No Way Out

Kids, as a general rule, just aren't evil. They haven't had enough exposure to the world to develop any sinister intentions on their own, so a creepy kid is a pretty simple but effective sign post that something is wrong; that the normal boundary between innocence and malevolence has been broken.




Ashlee Blackwell

Writer, Graveyard Shift Sisters

Children are "creepy" are implemented in horror for many reasons. Based on the biological level of a child, who is still developing physically and psychologically, it makes them extremely unpredictable—and that can be very terrifying. I love the perspective of a parent, because they generally want the best for their kids and hope they grow up to be independent and "well-adjusted." The uncertainty of that can be unnerving. Children often have a difficult time deciphering fantasy from reality, so you never know what crazy thing they might try.




Jimmy George

Writer, producer, Grave Mistakes, WNUF Halloween Special, Call Girl of Cthulhu

When lethal things come in small packages, it's the ultimate reversal of expectations. Children symbolize innocence. They depend on adults for survival. If the audience's cinematic fight for survival comes against a pint-sized, bloodthirsty kindergartener, it's beyond our comprehension and violates our sense of right and wrong. Films where kids are the killers face us with an unspeakable moral dilemma: What would you do in the face of evil in the form of a child? Would you kill a kid if it was the only choice you had to survive? These films present us with a terrifying scenario that strikes a deep emotional chord. I think that's why audiences will always flock to them.




Chris LaMartina

Writer, director, producer, Grave Mistakes, WNUF Halloween Special, Call Girl of Cthulhu

We all know kids are just miniature sociopaths. I'm kidding, but there is some stretchiness in the idea that little kids are still figuring out consequences and how social norms work. When a kid freaks out on a playground or has a mental breakdown because they don't get what they want, it's sort of "expected"— and it's our allowance to let kids be kids (read: terrible). That leads into the vulnerability realm of horror. What if it wasn't just figuring out how emotions work, or what if one of those little misbehaving demons was actually something truly evil?





Why is the creepy child often depicted as a young girl?


Adam Barnick

Writer, director, producerWhat Is Scary? (forthcoming); Filmmaker, documentary shorts for horror directors Larry Fessenden, Paul Solet, Adam Green

Along with the assumption that a child is "good" at its core, there's the cultural leaning that the most aggressive or dangerous people are male. We expect a "sweet little girl" to be just that. Characters in a "creepy child" film are usually even more surprised when a little girl does something terrifying. It's "doubly unacceptable," so it becomes a good thing to explore in a horrific narrative.

The creepy little boy might be suspected before it's too late, but the evil little girl might get away with it.

 Why horror movies are obsessed with creepy kids, dolls and clowns. Image 3.



Jovanka Vuckovic

Writer, director, The Captured Bird, XX (forthcoming), Jacqueline Ess (forthcoming)

Unfortunately, girls are still taught to be polite, quiet, and likable instead of confrontational, aggressive, and sometimes even rebellious individuals. So when little girls are depicted as monsters, it's effective because they are expected to be harmless, and it upsets people when they are not. It's an antiquated, but persistent social paradigm that negatively affects girls and women.




Darren Stein

Writer, director, producerJawbreakerAll About EvilSeeds of Yesterday

It's a preconceived notion that girls are more emotional, more sensitive, and thus more susceptible to potentially dark forces. People see an inherent fragility in young girls that's almost doll-like. And dolls are the scariest.




Dawn Keetley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English, American literature, the Gothic, Horror Media, Lehigh University; writer, Horror Homeroom

Continuing what I was saying above, girls may be seen as somehow closer to "nature"—further from "civilization" than boys. (Anthropologist Sherri Ortner has a famous essay about how, cross-culturally, females are closer to nature than males and that this makes them more of a "border figure" —potentially more threatening.) And it is often girls who become possessed, grow up into witches, etc. The boundaries of their "selves" just seem more permeable than boys. I would say the water that's always flowing when Samara [from The Ring] is around represents these permeable borders.




Gwendolyn Hofmann

Writer, Horror Homeroom

There is always an unknown about women, their bodies and ther emotions that evokes fear in men. So, it may just be a manifestation of widespread understandings of gender representations. As far back as The Bible, women are often looked upon as conduits for evil. It was at the provocation of Eve that Adam ate the apple (so they say). Perhaps it has become easier to demonize girls (look how Hillary Clinton is treated in the media compared even to a male counterpart like Bernie Sanders—they don't go on about his hair or the "shrillness" of his voice, and there are no nutcrackers fashioned after him). Granted, any one of us that lived through sixth grade lunch knows that preteen girls can be pretty freaking evil. But if you notice, any horrific children that were in leadership roles are often boys (The Omen, Children of the CornVillage of DamnedJoshua, etc.).

Sadako Yamamura is the principal antagonist of Koji Suzuki's Ring Trilogy novels, providing the inspiration for the eponymous character in the Japanese adaptation of the first book (1998) as well as Samara Morgan in the American remake of the film (2002). In Japanese, her name is a compund of sada ("chaste") and ko ("child"). She possesses the power of nensha, or the ability to burn photographic images from her memory onto inanimate surfaces as well as the minds of others. Both Sadako and Samara are depicted as otherworldly young girls with a deathly pallor, tattered nightgown and iconic long black mane.




Sam Zimmerman

Curator, Shudder.com

It's likely an extension of subverting purity and older ideas of gender norms. Gender roles would have us believe boys are, by nature, rough, while little girls own sweetness. As young girls are often portrayed as angelic, the turn to demonic is more impactful.




Eric Hatch

Director of Programming, Maryland Film Festival

For some reason the films that popped in my head first from this question were The OmenRosemary's Baby, and The Babadook, so maybe I don't make that gender association immediately. But, of course, The Exorcist may be the most famous "creepy child" film, and The Bad Seed and many more come to mind as I think about it further. I think for many viewers, everything I said above about kids as cute and vulnerable applies all the more to young girls, and might come with extra societal baggage of "purity." In The Exorcist, for instance, viewers may experience extra shock at a young girl acting as an agent of evil, delighting in saying and doing diabolical, sexualized, and violent things, etc.




Peter Hall

Producer, Grow Up, Tony Phillips, No Way Out

There's probably a way more psychologically complex answer that goes back centuries to illustrations of young, innocent girls, but it may be as simple as this: People don't expect girls to be doing creepy things. "Boys will be boys" is kind of a scapegoat for young boys making bad choices, whereas "girls will be girls" doesn't quite have the same connotation. So having a girl be the one making the bad/creepy choices is, I suppose, a stronger violation of innocence.




Ashlee Blackwell

Writer, Graveyard Shift Sisters

I've never given too much thought to that, because I think it takes you down a hole of generalized female stereotypes and thoughts on male film directors that aren't always true. Personally, I think both little girls and boys have the capacity for being extremely creepy.




Jimmy George

Writer, producer, Grave Mistakes, WNUF Halloween SpecialCall Girl of Cthulhu

When we're watching a horror film, we root for the people on screen who need protection and represent non-threatening vulnerability: the teen in the wheelchair being stalked by the hulking, masked slasher villain or the old blind lady being hunted by her recently turned zombie husband. When the evil force to be reckoned with is the ultimate cultural representation of non-threatening vulnerability, a little girl, it throws off our mental and emotional stability. "This little girl doesn’t need our protection. She needs to be… mutilated?" A film that can cause that level of psychological imbalance is powerful, and I think that’s why the trope continues to resurface.




Chris LaMartina

Writer, director, producerGrave Mistakes, WNUF Halloween Special, Call Girl of Cthulhu

Generally, with some iconic exceptions, I think that's a non-American horror trope and perhaps has something to do with areas like China, Taiwan, or Pakistan where unwanted female babies are aborted, killed, or abandoned. I think that highlights the classic "return of the repressed" narrative in most ghost stories or horror flicks.





Why are dolls and clowns, similar tropes that are often depicted as children or children's companions, similiarly creepy?


Darren Stein

Writer, director, producerJawbreaker

All About EvilSeeds of Yesterday

Dolls are frozen in time—human, but not human. There's no life inside. There's a "dead" quality to dolls that can be creepy since their eyes are open, and they are often smiling and lifelike. It's the ultimate dichotomy that brings to mind a child's corpse.




Jovanka Vuckovic

Writer, director, The Captured Bird, XX (forthcoming), Jacqueline Ess (forthcoming)

With clowns, it's because they are wearing phony, painted-on smiles. Anyone wearing a mask can't be trusted. Just look at John Wayne Gacy! With dolls, it's because they are hollow and soulless. Simulacra, automatons, effigies, dolls, and mannequins—they look a lot like people, but they aren't. They lack emotion and just stare on forever with the same blank face. I've never liked dolls or clowns.

Why horror movies are obsessed with creepy kids, dolls and clowns. Image 4.



Adam Barnick

Writer, director, producerWhat Is Scary? (forthcoming); Filmmaker, documentary shorts for horror directors Larry Fessenden, Paul Solet, Adam Green

Dolls can be creepy, because we expect them to be our playmates, bodyguards, and best friends when we are young and vulnerable. We also control their actions completely. So, for them to get up and run around the house on their own, or try to strangle us, that leaves us powerless and terrified. As kids, we need our parents and friends (even if they are toys!) to be "rocks" in our lives, and when they're not, our worlds can unravel. I think an element of the uncanny valley figures into it, too, if it's more human-seeming. Any faux human, like a mannequin, has an uneasy element to it… or at least to me. For something non-human to start behaving as human on its own can be truly scary. I was never born with the "clowns are scary" wiring in my brain, so it's hard for me to see the fear in them—but again, it's another thing we expect to make us happy, especially when we're vulnerable and young. We don't want to find out that the man at the circus is laughing for all the wrong reasons.

The creepiest dolls in horror cinema

 Annabelle, The Conjuring (2013)

 Billy, Dead Silence (2007)

 Fats, Magic (1978)

 The clown doll in Poltergeist (1982)

 Chucky, Child's Play (1988)

 Jigsaw, Saw (2004)

 Zuni doll, Trilogy of Terror (1975)

 Fletcher, Making Contact (1985)

 The mannequins of Tourist Trap (1979)

 Annabelle, Annabelle (2014)

Horror News




Dawn Keetley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English, American literature, the Gothic, Horror Media, Lehigh University; writer, Horror Homeroom

This gets, again, to what's scary, fundamentally. And what's fundamentally scary is when something suddenly appears to be its opposite. Dolls are inanimate. So when they become animate, it overthrows all our neat categories and structures. And that's terrifying!

I also think the animate doll taps into childhood fears. Children (when they're very young) don't quite grasp the line between fantasy and reality that adults do. They really think dolls might be "alive." (The non-scary form of this is the classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit). When dolls come alive in horror movies, then (eg., Annabelle in The Conjuring), it taps into those old childhood beliefs and fears.




Gwendolyn Hofmann

Writer, Horror Homeroom

Let's be honest, dolls are pretty creepy. Likewise, so are mannequins (look at the videogame Silent Hill). I suppose it has to do with their pseudo familiarity with the human form. They look like us, we are told they are safe, but they aren't us. Dolls have a stare that can follow you, and it is unreadable. Same with clowns, they have an expression painted on, a literal mask that looks as if they are smiling, but you don't know what is going on underneath. I guess it's their boundary transgressing, they are similar in form but they are not us. Familiar, but not. We cannot read or guess what is going on inside something that appears like us, but does not feel.




Sam Zimmerman

Curator, Shudder.com

Clowns are like children! They're sweet, mischievous, and comedic, but it's evident something darker lies beyond. Dolls get at something more horrific. They're playthings, of course, so we associate them with childhood. But we're also afraid of dolls becoming animate, and that's the horror of something that should not be.




Eric Hatch

Director of Programming, Maryland Film Festival

Dolls and clowns are part of the way human beings try to create feelings of security for children—dolls in conveying a sense that every little being has a larger protector, and clowns in the sense that violence and danger is rendered as humorous and ultimately ephemeral, harmless, without lasting consequences. And so evil clowns and dolls may violate or unsettle something very primal in us that goes back to the crib. Furthermore, the physical appearances of dolls and clowns lend themselves particularly well to horror. The specific ways in which they are supposed to appear serene or oafish, respectively, can with very little distortion be twisted into an appearance of delight as they terrorize their victims.




Peter Hall

Producer, Grow Up, Tony Phillips, No Way Out

Using dolls and clowns and so forth is really just exploiting a more subconscious aspect of nostalgia, since most people probably have memories of a time when clowns were a happy thing and when clowns weren't quite such a happy thing. It's playing off of when we're kids and start to form fears for the first time, and those fears tend to be because something we thought was nice isn't automatically so nice any more. That things that were once good are capable of being bad is something everyone has to learn some day, and that's often how fears are created.




Ashlee Blackwell

Writer, Graveyard Shift Sisters

It goes back to the imagination of a child, which is so very vast—because, again, a firm grasp on reality is not yet established. If a child plays with a doll or a clown as if it were real, then it's an easy gateway to bringing it to life. We were all once children and have the memories of struggling with fantasy and reality. I think it's probably often used within these films, because many can identify with that feeling.




Jimmy George

Writer, producer, Grave Mistakes, WNUF Halloween Special, Call Girl of Cthulhu

The first time I remember experiencing irrational fear was while holding a doll. My Nana used to make porcelain dolls as a hobby. They had hair, painted baby veins, and their skin was soft to the touch. Their eyes were lifelike, pupils and all. She had a whole room stocked with these fully dressed baby corpses. The memory of being a child, surrounded by these creepy dolls, still gives me a major case of the heebie-jeebies. I think stories about inanimate objects coming to life and harming us tap into our fears of losing control. Especially when those objects are humanoid. It's one of the most prevalent fears in our culture, so it plays well with audiences. If they can’t control the outcome of future events, they fear something terrible will happen. And if that future event involves an encounter with a killer doll, they’re dead meat.

The creepiest horror movie clowns

 PENNYWISEStephen King's It (1990)

 THE CLOWNS of Amusement (2008)

 THE CLOWNS of Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

 THE CLOWNS of Clownhouse (1989)

 MERVOBlood Harvest (1987)

 THE CLOWN DOLL of Poltergeist (1982)

 LOUIS SEAGRAMCarnival of Souls (1998)

 KILLJOY, Killjoy (2000)

 THE CLOWNS of Zombieland (2009)

 THE CLOWN of 100 Tears (2007)

Horror News



Chris LaMartina

Writer, director, producer, Grave Mistakes, WNUF Halloween Special, Call Girl of Cthulhu

As filmmakers, it's our job to reverse the expectation of the audience—whether that means to shock, delight, or a combination of the two. We all had one toy as a kid that we reflect back on and now appears monumentally unsettling. Plenty of filmmakers take that anxiety and amplify it with a big "what if" scenario.