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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A father starts trying to do the right thing for his son but is then unnecessarily punished for it, as is his family.
Positive Role Models
Everyone in this movie is either a victim or terrorizes others. The main character is severely punished for his actions, even though his fate was more accidental than it was chosen. He's mostly sympathetic and relatable, but he slowly loses control of himself as he becomes homicidal.
Violence & Scariness
Children in peril; adults stalk children. Biting child's fingers off. Child killed by a power saw. Suicide attempt (multi-colored clown blood spatters on wall). A young bully is murdered, corpse shown. Dog decapitated. Sledgehammer to head (head comes off). Lots of blood. Accidental sliced wrist, gory skinned nose, kitchen knife in shoulder, broken arm (with bone poking out), severed arm, vomiting bones and blood. Clown pokes hand into woman's stomach (to get her unborn baby). Guns shown. Coughing gross stuff into a woman's face. Kids play a violent video game.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married couple kisses; she straddles him on the couch.
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Several uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "goddamn," "lardass," "a--hole," "bitch," "f-g," "suck balls," "douche" (some of these used by kids), plus "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Man drinks drugged tea and passes out.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Clown is a mean-spirited horror movie about a good dad who unwisely puts on a demonic clown suit for his son's birthday party and ends up trying to kill children. The character is punished for his deeds, even though he's more a victim of bad luck than anything. Violence is gory and gruesome, with children killed, lots of blood, severed limbs, broken limbs, decapitations (both dog and human), vomiting of bones and blood, and power saws and sledgehammers used as weapons. The bad guy also starts to rip into a woman's stomach to get at her unborn baby. Language is also strong, with several uses of "f--k" and "s--t" and kids swearing. A husband and wife share an intimate moment on the couch; she straddles him and they kiss. A character drinks drugged tea and passes out. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While clowns are scary to many, filmmakers Christopher Ford and Jon Watts give the white-faced subject matter behind this loathsome horror movie only a cursory exploration; the result isn't much fun. (Frankly, the story behind Clown is actually better than the movie itself: Apparently director/writer Watts and co-writer Ford -- who later made Cop Car -- created a fake trailer for a non-existent movie, crediting it to Eli Roth. Roth saw it and commissioned an actual movie ... and also played a clown.)
The story could have been funny, which it isn't, or it could have been scary, which it also isn't. It could have been original, but it isn't that, either; it more or less uses the same historical idea as the terrific Krampus, about an evil demon morphing into a children's favorite. Instead, it callously focuses on grown-ups terrorizing children, particularly a father terrorizing his own child. It's no wonder this sat on the shelf for years.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.