Clown is a 2014 American supernatural horror film directed by Jon Watts, produced by Mac Cappuccino, Eli Roth and Cody Ryder, and written by Christopher D. Ford and Jon Watts. The film stars Laura Allen, Andy Powers, and Peter Stormare. The visual effects for the clown monster were done by Alterian, Inc. and Tony Gardner.
Kent McCoy is a loving, but constantly working, husband and father who hosts a birthday party for his son Jack, complete with a birthday clown. However, the clown he hired accidentally goes to another party. Fortunately, Kent discovers an old clown costume in the basement of a house he is selling and dresses himself to entertain everyone. After the party, Kent falls asleep wearing the clown costume, and the next morning he is unable to take it off. The body suit, wig, and red nose are slowly adhering to his skin.
Kent is forced to go to work wearing the costume and the three guys who are helping him renovate the house laugh at him. He tries to remove the costume, cutting his wrist with a knife and breaking a vibrating hand saw. He goes home and tells his wife Meg what is happening, so she tries to help him remove the fake nose. But as she tries to remove the nose, it rips his flesh and wounds him. Shadow, the family's dog, eats the clown nose which makes Shadow show strange behaviour towards the family. Meg also realises the clown's wig and makeup have also become attached to Kent and are now irremovable. He goes to the hospital for his wounds where he is inadvertently made fun of by the emergency room doctor. Suddenly, Kent also begins to show strange behavior and a deep sense of hunger, with a noisy gurgling in his stomach. He eats all the food in the house, wrecking the kitchen.
Kent tries to understand what is happening to him and tracks down Herbert Karlsson, the brother of cancer treatment specialist Dr. Martin Karlsson, and the costume's previous owner. Bert tells him on the phone to avoid the costume at all costs. Kent meets with Karlsson and learns that the clown costume is actually the hair and skin of an ancient demon from Northern Europe which was long forgotten: the "Clöyne", which attracted five children to devour. Karlsson drugs Kent with tea, revealing that the only way to stop the demon is to decapitate the wearer. Karlsson lands a butcher knife in Kent's shoulder as Kent jumps up and asks what he is doing. Kent subdues Karlsson during an ensuing fight and learns that he is slowly becoming the demon.
Kent returns home and, after a series of incidents, moves away from his family and into one of his property listings, where he fights his demonic hunger and attempts to commit suicide. He shoots himself in the mouth but does not die, spattering the wall with rainbow blood, meaning that the clown suit is changing him physically and biologically. He then meets a small boy who asks him if he is a clown. He then attempts to behead himself with a pair of buzzsaws but fails, causing the same little boy to be killed instead, whom Kent later eats. Kent eventually gives in and starts to become the demon, devouring his second victim, a child who had bullied Jack earlier. Meg becomes involved, trying to understand what is afflicting Kent and to help him fight against the demon. Desperate, she joins forces with Karlsson with the intent of freeing Kent from the suit, although Karlsson is prepared to kill Kent if necessary.
Meg learns from Karlsson that freedom from the clown costume can be gained by offering the demon what it wants: five children. She also learns that many years ago, Karlsson put on the costume to entertain the children at the oncology clinic that Martin worked for and became the demon. Martin smuggled out five dying children from the cancer ward to free Herbert from the costume. Herbert has tried many ways to destroy the costume, to no avail. Karlsson also warns Meg that the curse follows any part of it, explaining how earlier the family dog Shadow had become afflicted by the curse after eating Kent's clown "nose" when Meg removes the nose; which forced Karlsson to kill it by chopping off its head.
Kent, now almost fully lost, succumbs to the demon and begins hunting more children. He sneaks into a local Chuck E. Cheese's and devours one child in a Ball Pit (hinted at the blood and urine) and another in the Jungle Gym. With four children now eaten by Kent, only one remains if he were to turn back to normal. Meg finds Kent inside the glow in the dark minigolf course. She tries to comfort him, but Karlsson attempts to decapitate him with an axe but fails. Before Kent has a chance to kill Karlsson, Meg tries to get through to her husband. Instead, the demon offers her a deal: feed it one more child, and it will release Kent. It tells her to bring the fifth child to their "special place", otherwise it will go after Jack.
A child from the dental clinic, where Meg works as a nurse, recognizes her and the girl asks for a lift home when she cannot find her parents. Meg drives her to the "special place" and locks her out of the car. She suddenly changes her mind when she thinks Kent is coming, but it turns out to be a police officer (since the Chuck E. Cheese's incident drew attention from authorities). Once Meg realizes that Kent is not there, she drives back home knowing that the demon is going after Jack.
Kent, now under the complete control of the demon, sneaks into the house and kills Meg's father, Walt, by ripping off his jaw right in front of her. Kent's physical looks resemble the Clöyne. Meg fights against her husband, but Kent attempts to take both their unborn baby and Jack. After a chase inside the house, Meg is forced to knock his head off with a hammer. Thinking the creature is dead, Meg apologizes to Jack for everything that has happened. However, due to a piece of muscle attached to the body and head, Kent revives, and grabs Jack's leg. Meg then forcibly pulls the head off, killing the demon and her husband. Meg looks in horror as the Clöyne skin melts away, the skin turns back to the clown suit, revealing Kent's human form. In the end, Kent's body is autopsied, while the costume is packed up to be analyzed by the police.
- Laura Allen as Meg McCoy
- Andy Powers as Kent McCoy
- Peter Stormare as Herbert Karlsson
- Elizabeth Whitmere as Denise
- Christian Distefano as Jack McCoy
- Chuck Shamata as Walt
- Robert Reynolds as Dr. Martin Karlsson
- Lucas Kelly as Colton
- Michael Riendeau as Robbie
- Matthew Stefiuk as Detective
- Miller Timlin as Camper
- Eli Roth as Frowny the Clown
In November 2010, Jon Watts and Christopher D. Ford uploaded a fake trailer to YouTube that announced Eli Roth would produce the film; Roth was not involved at the time. Roth spoke about the film, saying: "I loved how ballsy they were, issuing a trailer that said, 'From the Master of Horror, Eli Roth.' Some people thought I'd made the movie, or that it was another fake Grindhouse trailer... I really felt these guys deserved a shot, and that people are truly freaked out by evil clowns. It's new territory to make this a version of The Fly, where this guy can feel himself changing, blacking out only to find blood all over his clown suit. You're sympathetic toward a monster until the monster actually takes over."
Principal photography began in November 2012 in Ottawa. Roth joined as a producer, and Watts directed the film based on a screenplay co-written with Ford.
- Benjamin Dickinson – "Frowny the Clown"
- Brian McKenna – "Mexican Lindo"
- Jared Gutstadt – "Taste of Mexico"
- Gods of Fire – "The Long Walk"
- Matt Veligdan – "Sonata La Squarzona"
- Neil Sedaka – "King of Clowns"
- Matt Veligdan – "Hardship"
- Nirvana – "Everybody Loves a Clown"