It’s easy to forget that clowns are people too—mostly because they’re scary as hell!
It didn’t used to be this way, according to Mattie and Tickles, real-life clowns hailing from the UK. They place blame for the modern “evil clown” phenomenon (and the resulting anxieties) squarely at the feet of horror movies; the recent releases of a trailer for Andrés Muschietti’s IT, featuring Bill Skarsgård as a shockingly terrifying Pennywise, is the latest indignity artisans like Mattie and Tickles feel compelled to decry.
“There’s just so many horrible movies out there … clowns that eat people or whatever. It takes people’s minds in the wrong direction. We don’t need it. It’s bad, it’s disgusting. It’s sensational rubbish,” Mattie told Sky News.
“[IT] is a horror movie and it affects people’s thoughts and opinions on what a clown is. Unfortunately it’s not like Jaws, which is unrealistic. We do have clowns in society, and yes it will affect business, of course it will,” adds Tickles.
“I don’t know why people want to see these horrible things. What’s the point? I don’t understand people’s mentalities,” laments Mattie.
“I have parents and teachers phoning me … they’re scared to hire you for 35 kids in case they’ve got one child who will be upset,” bemoans Tickles.
All ribbing aside, Mattie and Tickles can’t blame movies like IT and Stitches for inspiring our modern coulrophobia epidemic. Clowns have always rubbed a certain portion of the population the wrong way. It’s an aesthetic theory known as The Uncanny Valley that postulates things that look almost human (like robots, mannequins, and clowns) are the most likely to disgust and repulse those sensitive to the effect.
I will acknowledge, however, that films like IT and the infamous “Clownpocalypse” of October 2016 certainly won’t do anything to soothe deeply ingrained, primal fears. As for Mattie and Tickles’ fight for fair recognition, all I can say is: Good luck with that!
Check out the offending trailer for IT, along with the film’s synopsis and most recent poster, below.
Official Synopsis: When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, neighborhood kids band together to square off against Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), an evil clown whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
In addition to Skarsgård, IT stars Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Nicholas Hamilton.