Who's laughing now?
Terrifier 2 is a 2022 slasher film directed by Damien Leone, written by Damien Leone, produced by Dark Age Cinema and Fuzz on the Lens Productions, and distributed by Bloody Disgusting. It stars Lauren LaVera and David Howard Thorton. This is the third film in the Terrifier franchise. It was preceded by Terrifier.
"They never found the body...what if he decides to come back here?" - Jonathan Shaw
One year after the massacre in Miles County, Art the Clown returns on Halloween night to terrorize the small town once again...but this time, a young girl and her brother are ready for him.
Terrifier 2 is slowly gaining traction in the film industry as social media has spread its popularity across the globe.
One reason this film has become such a sleeper hit is because of its new horror icon: Art the Clown. Art is an absolutely incredible villain. He's so sadistic. He's so evil. He's pretty scary. But he's also really, really funny. David Howard Thorton gives an incredible performance as he's able to communicate so much through these overly animated facial expressions and body movements without ever saying a single word or making a single noise. Art does some things in this movie that you legitimately can't imagine, but he manages to make you laugh while making you terrified at the same time. He's the best part of the film by far.
The main reason that this film is becoming so popular is because of its insane amount of violence. Granted, most horror films are violent, but I don't know if violent describes Terrifier 2. There are things in here that you have never seen before. People have been saying that there are scenes that blow away the hacksaw scene from the first film. I don't know if that's true, but I'd certainly say there are plenty of kills that are just as violent and disgusting as that. As a fan of practical gore, I loved the stupid amounts of blood we got in this movie. It made my stomach turn in all kinds of directions, but it was awesome.
The main character of the film, Sienna Shaw, is also a highlight. Lauren LaVera plays a pro-active protagonist, which is rarely found in horror movies. Sienna is the Laurie Strode to Art's Michael Myers. She fights back. She doesn't just run away. I always appreciate it when horror movies do that. Likewise, they give her a backstory that's subtly hinted at throughout the film. You see it in her relationship with her friends and her family that something happened, and you don't know what that is until the very end, but I think that worked. You don't need a big exposition dump at the beginning to explain a character. Subtly hinting at it throughout the movie is a cool way to deliver her backstory and create a compelling character.
Finally, the production design here is awesome. From the costumes to the sets to the obvious gory practical effects, everything is top-notch. It's a pretty colorful film that makes great use of its expanded budget from the first film. As a lover of practical sets and effects myself, it's always nice to see a film that is lacking CGI. Terrifier 2 is all real. None of it is done digitally, and that's just a breath of fresh air.
There is no world in which we need a Terrifier movie that is two hours and twenty minutes long. That's been the main criticism of the film, and it's legit. There are so many scenes that you can cut. There are so many things that just pat the runtime of the film and kill the pacing instead of advancing the story or developing the characters. You can easily, easily shave a half hour off of this movie. Since the film is so long, it can get exhausting after a while. It drags on near the end. It's just too much to have a movie this brutal with such a long runtime. It's completely uncalled for.
Although the characters aren't bad and some of the acting is solid, the dialogue is not great. Part of the blame does actually fall on some of the actors, but it's extremely hard to deliver some of these lines. They feel generic. They're very basic horror movie sayings. There's a family drama plot line that's one of the stronger parts of the film, but it's bogged down by some really awful dialogue that will pull you straight out of the movie.
I get it. Terrifier 2 is a horror movie. Characters are dumb in horror movies. But BRUH. These characters are SO STUPID. I don't think I've ever seen characters this outrageously dumb in a horror movie. Not only are they just idiots when they encounter Art the Clown, but they are just idiots in general. There's a character that puts molly in another character's drink to "make her have more fun". That's just stupid. And when they do encounter Art...oh my God. There will be scenes where Art is standing around in his blood-soaked suit, oblivious that there's another character in the room, and that character will just stand there in fear instead of running away. It was unbelievable. And it felt incredibly lazy.
And the worst part of Terrifier 2 is the unexplained plot points. Things happen at random during this movie. There are magic swords and trippy dream sequences. There's a post-credits scene that will make you go "Huh?". There's a little girl in it and you aren't sure if she's real or imaginary. And they don't explain any of it. They will introduce all these random plot elements where you go "I wonder where that came from.", and they never tell you where it came from. It's so frustrating, because it feels like all logic is just thrown out the window and anything can happen. You will be extremely confused when watching this movie. A lot of stuff doesn't make sense. Maybe they are saving an explanation for a third film, but that's not cool. I needed answers in this film, and I didn't get them.
Final Thoughts and Score
Terrifier 2 is a disgusting bloodbath that has some cool characters and some gnarly, awesome kills. It's a fun film if you're an extreme horror fan, but prepare to leave the theater confused. If you are squeamish or only into mild horror, skip this film. Avoid it like the plague. It's extreme.
For me, I liked it. I'll go Savory. Age range is 18+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad)
Fun Factor: 7.5/10
Directed by Damien Leone
Not Rated for strong bloody violence (like you've never seen before), frightening themes and images, language, suggestive content, thematic elements
Released on October 6, 2022
2 hours and 18 minutes
Lauren LaVera as Sienna Shaw
David Howard Thorton as Art the Clown
Elliott Fullam as Jonathan Shaw
Sarah Voigt as Barbara Shaw
Kailey Hyman as Brooke
Casey Hartnett as Allie
Charlie McElveen as Jeff
Samantha Scaffidi as Victoria Heyes
Amelie McLain as The Little Pale Girl