Terrifier 2 has shaken the horror community and made it's presence known, that's undoubtable.
WRITTEN BY BECCA JOHNSON / OCTOBER 24, 2022
Known for it's exceptionally gory kills by the terrifying Art the Clown, Terrifier (2016) has gained cult status for being both disturbing and hilariously camp at the same time. It's recent resurgence over the last few years has led to this moment – a longer, funnier, grosser and scarier sequel that director Damian Leone and his team have put their all into. Terrifier 2 lives up to all of these traits, and is a fantastic low budget horror movie with some of the goriest scenes in recent memory. For those who can stomach it, it may be one of the most loved horror movies of 2022.
To put it bluntly, Art the Clown is an absolutely terrifying villain, one of the scariest we have right now. Clowns are kryptonite for many of us, meaning the costuming and make-up works a treat, but it's also David Howard Thornton's physical performance that makes him so menacing. Art goes for the most despicable of kills, dragging them out to cause the most pain for his victims, taking no prisoners, often with a huge smile on his face as he does it. On the flip-side of this, he also has the ability to make you laugh, with his cheeky grins and slapstick clown behaviours – this makes him even scarier. It'll be hard to find a viewer who isn't terrified of him; when discussing the greatest horror villains of all time, Art should be in the conversation. He's easily the most terrifying to look at, and definitely provides the gnarliest of death scenes.
The supporting cast are also a great deal of fun here, particularly Lauren LaVera as our new “final girl” Sienna. We spend a lot of time with Sienna which allows us to warm to her and root for her story, and she puts in a great fight against Art despite how terrified she is of him during the first two acts. Elliot Fullam puts in a good turn as Sienna's younger brother Jonathan, who worries his family due to his fascination with killers, Art in particular. Both Sienna and Jonathan have lost their Father, which is a blessing and a curse for their up-and-down relationship. The script explores this quite thoroughly, letting us know that despite their differences, there is a lot of love and care between the pair. The performances are good, and the characters are well written.
The plot of Terrifier 2 is simple; after being resurrected, Art the Clown wishes to hunt down and destroy Sienna and her brother on Halloween. As the kill count rises, we start to be spoon-fed bits and bobs of information that point to something more sinister behind Art's intent. This adds an interesting layer of mystery to the story, that seems to works well with the slasher element. However engaging the story may be, it's hard to say the 138 minute run-time is warranted. There are plenty of slow scenes that, although give you a breather from the gore, don't add a great deal to the story or characters, causing a slither of boredom. A run-time this long is always a big risk, particularly in the slasher genre, and although the team tried their best, shaving off 20-30 minutes would've helped. It also expects you to suspend some disbelief as it adds in a few fantastical elements that have little explanation and are quite jarring when they occur. That being said, the script is far less generic and predictable than it's predecessor, proving that a sequel is 100% worth it.
Terrifier 2 has been the talk of the town after it's US release, due to the apparently frequent fainting and vomiting of audience members. Upon watching this flick, it's easy to see why; it's gory as hell. From the first five minutes up until the last, there is a whole boatload of blood, guts and death. They never shy away from giving you the money shot, showing the kills in their entirety. The kills are very inventive, brutal and incredibly entertaining, even if you do have to repeatedly look away. It's definitely good advice to approach this with caution; if Art himself and the kills don't scare you, his new young companion will. It is somehow more violent than it's predecessor, and probably the most violent movie of the year. Terrifier 2 has shaken the horror community and made it's presence known, that's undoubtable.
Terrifier 2 is one of the most competent horror movies of the year thus far, despite it's low budget and B-movie vibe. It's very well acted, giving us one of the craziest villains and most likeable final girls. The visuals are kick-ass, with insanely great practical effects, eerie set design and wonderful costuming which its Halloween setting elevates. Above all, it is genuinely terrifying, potentially being the most gory movie that most of it's audience members have and will ever sit through. It's far from perfect, with an overly long run-time and fantastical elements that aren't really explained and don't seem like they fit. However, it's incredibly fun, well-made, and is the perfect watch this spooky season.