Retro Clip: "Clownhouse" (1989)

The VHS cover alone was enough to give me nightmares, but the movie was pretty darn creepy too. Casey (Nathan Forrest Winters), one of three brothers, has an intense fear of clowns. His older brother Geoffrey (Brian McHugh) mostly sympathizes with Casey's fears, even though he doesn't understand them. Oldest brother Randy (Sam Rockwell) however, constantly makes fun of Casey. After a night at the circus, where Casey runs away from three clowns that approach him, the boys return home to their empty house. It just so happens that three escaped mental patients wander into the circus and kill three clowns and steal their costumes. I'm sure you can guess where they end up. The film does a great job at keeping a high suspense factor throughout, without showing much on screen gore. Despite being a genuinely creepy and effective horror film, it's gained more fame and notoriety now for what happened behind the scenes - director Victor Salva was convicted of molesting Winters and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

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