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The Low Down

Scarier Than Fiction: The Real-Life Pennywise Documentary Is Even More Terrifying

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Is there anything that permeates our collective nightmares more than a horror movie that is ‘based on a true story?’ How about a true story based on a horror movie?! Now that is terrifying. Such is the case, explained in the new documentary “Wrinkles The Clown,” created by Magnolia Pictures and Magnet and directed by Michael Beach Nicholls.

Scarier Than It’s Fictional Predecessors

The documentary is said to be even more chilling than IT: Chapter 2, the sequel of IT (2017), both based on Stephen King’s 1986 horror epic of the same name.

Now, anybody who grew up in the ’90s will be familiar with Stephen Kings’ brilliantly crafted, yet super spine-chillingly scary character, Pennywise. This demonic, murderous clown was initially brought to the big screen in the harrowing screenplay IT, in 1990 (the ’90s was an era where horror movies were just that much scarier, due to their shaky, not-quite-there-yet effects and less polished appearance. Remember The Blair Witch Project?). Pennywise has been reincarnated several times over the years; however, until recently, his sinister legacy remained safely contained inside our television boxes and imaginations. Now – much like Tabitha climbing out of the well and into the real world, wet and hideous from the spluttering TV set in The Ring, a real-life Pennywise has clawed his way into reality, appearing on our very own doorsteps.

Enter: Wrinkles The Clown

Like some kind of Banksy of the horror world, Wrinkle’s real identity has remained under wraps during his reign of terror across Naples, Florida. However, instead of leaving a trail of politically-motivated graffiti artworks, he leaves behind a dripping trail of blood, fear, and the tears of ill-behaved children. Who is Wrinkles, you ask? Well, no one knows, but he sprang into the public psyche when a grainy video was released online, of him climbing out from under a child’s bed! You’re forgiven for being reminded of Paranormal Activity – the short clip inspires the same blood-chilling fear!

What followed was a slew of sightings of Wrinkles across the formerly tranquil, upmarket town of Naples, Southwest Florida. Known for its dolphin sightings, Wrinkles put the town on the map for another, much more petrifying reason. Suddenly, the town was covered with stickers portraying the hideous face of Wrinkles the clown, warning the residents of his presence.

Arguably an exceptionally effective marketing ploy, Wrinkles is reportedly available for hire! His services are targeted at parents with badly behaved children, who will subsequently pay him to come and scare the absolute living daylights out of their unsuspecting, but not undeserving, kids! Anyone who grew up with older siblings will remember being scared witless by their relentless, often impressively calculating pranks. Now, frustrated parents can pay for the privilege. In an exclusive interview on DreadCentral, director and horror-enthusiast Michael Beach Nicholls claims “there is definitely a place for fear and darkness” in childhood, and that he “was watching scary movies when I was too young. I just got such a thrill out of it; it f***ed me up, but I’m grateful for it.”

Too Traumatizing?

He even confirms in the interview that some children (victims?) start to “love” Wrinkles! Nicholls acknowledges that not every child can handle the fear, and that Wrinkles’ services should be used on a “case by case basis.”

The anonymous performance artist has also inspired an alarming copycat culture, whereby similarly dressed, ghoulish killer clowns were turning up left, right, and center, with the sole aim of terrifying anybody who may encounter them. What’s scarier than a bloodthirsty, real-life killer clown? HUNDREDS of them! So, if IT: Chapter Two didn’t quite quench your thirst for the grotesque, this documentary promises to deliver inside information on Wrinkles, complete with a twisted plot, very much suited to his twisted mind…

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