In case you have been hiding under your bed, there’s a certain red-haired clown who has made his (IT’s?) way onto the big screen. With his seductive grin and red balloons aplenty, he has returned to terrorize young children and lure them into his vicious world “Where we all float down here!”

And no, I’m not Talking about Ronald McDonald. Though I do believe he and IT share the same body count.

Given that he’s (IT’s?) the most popular member of the scary clown club, I thought I would share a few of the scariest clowns in TV or cinema that make my heart jump just thinking about them and what they can do. Warning, these clowns might keep you up all night. These names are a big reason why.

Pennywise

I had entertained the thought of not including Pennywise on the list. But it’s hard to title your article “5 scariest clowns” and not include him (IT?) on the list.

IT’s not just the glowing yellow eyes, the sharp teeth, the forehead that seems to go for miles. It’s the bullying. The mocking. He knows your deepest darkest secrets, and he will expose them to you, and when you are vulnerable, he will strike. He’s the kid in class who knows how to take you down with his words as well as his fist. He’s the reason you think about taking that bottle of pills rather than face the world. He’s the ultimate monster. And he wears White Greasepaint.

That scary ass clown toy from Poltergeist

First it sits there, with its permanent grin, looking at you with its gangly legs and feet.Then it’s gone.

Where did it go?

You check under the bed, and it’s not there.

But why would it be? IT’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!!

I’m sure sales of Clown related memorabilia plummeted after the release of POLTERGEIST.

And with Good Reason.

The Joker from The Dark Night

I’m specifically talking about Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker. Jack Nicolson made the character seem fun, and the less we talk about Jared Leto the better.

But Heath’s Joker, that guy was unstable. Being in a room with him, you never knew what was going to happen. And that makeup, haphazardly slapped on his face, and those scars? He has a story (or two) about those scars.

The Joker’s always had a laugh at the expense of others, and Heath Ledger brought that madness to the forefront. His performance deserved the Oscar win, and it’s been hard to top since then.

Yes, Jared, I’m looking at you.

Clown, from the film Clown

After a mistake with a birthday clown booking, Kent McCoy finds an old Clown Costume and puts it on, saving the day and earning the love of his son.

But that costume is really the skin of a demon, and slowly, Kent transforms into a monster who lures people into his clutches by pretending to be this sweet, funny clown.

Sound familiar?

The transformation is grotesque and the thrills real. This CLOWN is every bit as frightening as Pennywise, and even more so because he possesses an innocent man in the process.

Twisty the Clown from American Horror Story: Freak Show

Twisty was a gentle but slow-witted clown who only wanted to entertain. But jealousy and rumors destroy his career, and at a depressed state, he attempts suicide by eating a shotgun.

The attempt fails and he’s left with a mutilated face and a new lease on life.

He becomes a killer.

With his mask of a grinning face, and his dirty, disheveled costume, Twisty terrorizes the town, kidnapping children and murdering their mean parents. His grinning mask, with its gray teeth and dark lips, only amp up the nightmare.

Thankfully, these clowns only terrorize us on film and television. You won’t find these clowns at the circus, or at your next birthday party. They aren’t real. It’s only make believe.

Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better.

Right off the bat, the best thing about the series is how short it is. Only eight episodes. It doesn’t suffer from the filler that the shows that proceed it suffered from. It keeps the show focused on one singular story. And benefits from that focus.

The show starts with a recap of where each character left off in their respective shows. If you haven’t seen the programs that predate THE DEFENDERS, you may find the beginning to be a little spoilery. I like to think they serve to entice you to watch those shows. They become prequels. You wonder how they got to where they are now.

Matt Murdock has given up his Daredevil persona and is now working full-time as a Pro Bono lawyer. Luke Cage is still in prison but is soon released. Jessica Jones is dealing with her issues the only way she knows how – at the bottom of a bottle.

And Danny Rand? He’s still trying to fulfill his duties as The Immortal Iron Fist.

He’s not doing so well.

Each Character gets pulled into the plot by their specific dealings with the Hand. The Hand is led by Sigourney Weaver’s character, Alexandra, one of the five “fingers” of the hand. She’s dying, and is looking to open a door to immortality.

She only needs a key.

Oh, and Electra lives. Again.

Being that this is Marvel, they don’t buddy up and save the world right away. There’s distrust. They fight each other. They deny their ability to help.

But by the end, they do the right thing

Each character brings something to the story. Jessica Jones serves as the Spider-man Surrogate, quick to drop one liners. Luke Cage is the moral compass, the man who wants to do the right thing. Matt is the leader, whether he wants to or not. And Danny? If you didn’t know he was the immortal iron fist, he will let you know.

A lot.

Towards the end, there is a shift in the tone of the show. By the third act of the series it becomes a Daredevil season 2.5, and the rest of the characters are back up. Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are especially out of place, serving as only muscle.

And while the four Superpowered characters get top billing, I can’t forget how much Misty Knight, Clair Temple, and Colleen Wing contribute to the team. They may not be on the front cover, but they are members of the team.

I give it the show 8 out of 10 Glowing Iron Fists. It’s a great way to spend a weekend if you feel like bingeing, with great performances by the actors and fun references to the comics, if you’re familiar with the characters. I would hope that a second season will bring a threat that is more central to each character, and not only one of them.

Perhaps they could hunt for a certain vigilante with a thing for Skulls?