October 5th, 2022
MOVIE: TERRIFIER 2
STARRING: LAUREN LAVERA, DAVID HOWARD THORNTON, SARAH VOIGT, CASEY HARTNETT
DIRECTED BY: DAMIEN LEONE
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
Run and hide because Art the Clown is back and bringing with him more gore than ever. For the audience member that bit of information will be the reason you see or pass on the newest installment into the world of Terrifier. One thing is for sure is that the character of Art the Clown (played delightfully and emphatically by David Howard Thornton) has cemented his place in the culture of horror movies. He’s something that the genre has needed, from Chucky, to Freddy Krueger, and Jason Voorhees, there hasn’t been a character like this in some time and after Terrifier 2 you will not forget him. Director Damien Leone turns the volume up to 100, no, 200, or whatever way to describe the amount of gore and violence that he splatters into a frame. It’s because of all that and a surprising amount of plot that Terrifier 2 is making sure that audiences get everything they can handle.
Things pick up from where Terrifier left off, with Art being revived from his original fall, and back to what he does, which is hacking a person to death. Halloween night is soon approaching, with a recent stream of people showing up dead in the town of Miles County, and the story shifts focus to the family of mom Barbara (Sarah Voigt), her teenage daughter Sienna (a star turn by Lauren Lavera), and son Jonathan (Elliott Fullam). After the passing of their dad, the kids have been a bit lost, and retreating to their rooms. But Sienna is interested in crafting her Halloween costume while Jonathan has a strange obsession for Art the Clown and the recent spree of killings he’s been a part of. After a series of odd, telekinetic occurrences between Sienna and the killer, including a dream sequence of a commercial with Art running his own devilish cereal that is both brilliant and unpredictable. It’s not long before the connection of Art and this family comes back together and the mad clown may have met his match in a pissed off teenager.
I don’t believe there are enough adjectives to describe how gory Terrifier 2. If audiences walk away saying one thing is truly giving credit to the practical effects, the prosthetics, the makeup, and the entire team behind making this gore happen. As various characters connected to Sienna stay by her side, the more they become one of Art’s next victims, including a scene with friend Allie (played patiently by team player Casey Hartnett) is hacked in so many ways it’s astonishing. Especially from the standard that a lot of it looks seamless. Eyes popping, limbs chopped off like a tree, and skin torn. It’s all part of the Terrifier pudding and it is one glorious goopy mess.
The dismemberment, the gore stuff, it will certainly wear on members of the audience and truth be told as I saw it for Fantastic Fest midnight screening it was evident that Terrifer 2 can’t be shown at this hour. It’s not because of the violence but the film’s egregiously long two-hour and eighteen minute runtime. It’s a stale argument to make but it’s way too long and director Damien Leone in all his glory gives us too much to work with. What doesn’t run out of style, however, is the wickedly creepy work of David Howard Thornton, who’s portrayal as Art the Clown is funnier, more sinister, and officially leaving his mark as an iconic horror character.
As much as it sounds like Terrifier 2 is repetitive, it’s the third act that will completely catch audiences off guard- in a good way- with an unexpected plot that takes hold of redemption and proving oneself. Damien Leone’s script pivots to breakout star Lauren LaVera, who not only carries her own, but equally cements her place as a badass final girl. It becomes a showdown that fans will never forget. Besides, it will be impossible for anyone to forget Terrifier 2, because it is one gnarly ride. Long live Art the Clown.
TERRIFIER 2 IS PLAYING FRIDAY OCTOBER 7TH, 2022 IN SELECT THEATERS
Written by: Leo Brady