Clown

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Clown Movie Poster Image
Gruesome killer-clown movie is mean, unfunny, not scary.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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.

Sex

A married couple kisses; she straddles him on the couch.

Language

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).

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Man drinks drugged tea and passes out.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySam Marrick August 26, 2016

Pretty decent actually.

A man coughs up teeth and blood in a couple of scenes. Over the top gore in some scenes. Creature lunges at kid and we see blood and a heart splat on a TV. Crea... Continue reading
Adult Written byMovie L. December 15, 2017
Teen, 13 years old Written byxMovieReviewer_ June 17, 2016

Gory and extremely violent clown killer thriller is awful and dumb but shockingly clever.

My rating:R for strong bloody horror violence and language throughout.
Teen, 15 years old Written byHellYeah December 15, 2017

What's the story?

When a hired clown fails to show up for his son's birthday party, real estate agent Kent McCoy (Andy Powers) happens to find an old clown costume in a trunk at one of his properties. He dons it, saves the day, and then falls asleep with the suit on -- only to find in the morning that he can't get it off. His wife, Meg (Laura Allen), manages to remove the nose, but it takes a chunk of skin along with it. After more failed attempts, Kent finds the suit's previous owner, Herbert Karlsson (Peter Stormare), and discovers the truth: Kent has been possessed by a demon, and he must feed on children before the suit can come off. Will Kent succumb to the demon's wishes?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Clown's violence. How did it make you feel? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of scary movies?

  • Does the fact that this movie's victims are children change anything? Is it more or less scary?

  • Why do you think some people like clowns, while others are afraid of them?

  • At first the clown's wife tries to help him by doing something terrible; do you agree with what she did? Would you have done the same thing, or something different?

Movie details

For kids who love scares

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