Creepy Clowns

So, the Uncanny Valley…

This is a term that refers to certain types of depictions of people – drawings, CGI renderings, mannequins, statues, etc – where things sit in between being “perfectly realistic” and “clearly not realistic”.  The idea is that when a person looks completely realistic, of course you don’t think anything of it because it’s just normal.  And when something looks clearly not realistic, it is easy to accept it or even think its cute because your brain has no difficulty discerning that it’s obviously made up – you know, like Elmer Fudd, or Wall-E, or Kermit the Frog.

But when something sits in the Uncanny Valley, it makes us uncomfortable, and feels disturbing, because it seems almost real, but not quite.  Or to put it another way, like you’re seeing a real person, but with something bizarrely wrong with them.

Anyway, all that to say, recently I was at a fair and was reminded of the idea of the Uncanny Valley when I saw this:




So what do you think?  Is this Uncanny Valley?  Or is it just creepy clowns?  To me, they look like they are screaming.  But maybe they are just singing.  Or maybe, they are just really hungry.  But actually, none of those are any better.  Screaming, hungry clowns…definite nightmare fuel.

Here is a moving version:



Now, truth be told, I don’t have a particular fear of clowns or anything like that.  But I think these guys are pretty disturbing.  But hmm, maybe not   scary enough.  Let’s add a free sound effect from  Now we get this:



There you go!  That’s pretty bad, right?

Another testimony to cinema’s ability to bring our nightmares to life.






5 thoughts on “Creepy Clowns

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