TERRIFIER 2 (Movie Review)
R 2022 ‧ Horror/Slasher ‧ 2h 28m
Released: October 6, 2022
Written and Directed by: Damien Leone
Starring: Lauren LaVera, David Howard Thornton, Elliott Fullam, Sarah Voigt, Kailey Hyman, Casey Hartnett, Charles McElveen, Amelia McLain, Samantha Scaffidi
Stream on Amazon Prime’s Screambox
★★★☆☆ | YAY or nay
“After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to Miles County where he targets a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween.”
Terrifier 2 was sufficiently creepy without it needing to employ gimmicks. The overall story was interesting enough to hold my attention. The acting was solid; the actor’s choices, solid. The attention to small detail was so impressive it had me thinking Sienna (Lauren LaVera) and her mom Barbara (Sarah Voigt) were a part of my own dysfunctional family. And needless to say, Art The Clown (David Howard Thornton) is horror movie treasure.
What wasn’t a great choice, in my opinion, was Director Damien Leone’s preference to utilize excessive gore. A couple of the violent scenes were just too over the top. When I say “over the top,” I mean so over the top that The Big Top Circus is now in a revival.
Terrifier 2 will likely be associated with extremely violent kill scenes rather than the director’s excellent use of story telling. Granted, a movie about a supernatural clown who enjoys inflicting pain on his victims should have an elevated level (and by elevated I mean not elevated at all) of gore and creativity. But how does one know when to draw the line? In my opinion, stop before you pour bleach and salt into the wounds. And no, I’m not speaking metaphorically. There is effective drama and there is “Mommy Dearest” level drama.
I like horror that scares me. If I want to be shocked I’ll watch a WW2 documentary. By all accounts Terrifier 2 tells me it wants to scare me. But then it gets convoluted and aims to shock me as well. That pulls me out of my eerie sensation. So which is it?
Aside from the aforementioned, Terrifier 2 has a well rounded plot, complete with references to A Nightmare on Elm Street (where’s your hall pass?) and in essence only, reminds me of Wes Craven’s Shocker. Wes Craven fan, Leone? We hope so!
Terrier 2 feels like a bigger film than its predecessor and Leone sets the path for more to come. In part 2 we are introduced to a second clown played by returning character Victoria Heyes (Samantha Scaffidi) who was one of Art’s victim in the first movie.
The only reason I can imagine Terrifier 2 didn’t get a wide theater release is because no-one knew what to do with the amount of violence. And that’s too bad because it would have been a fun movie to watch on the big screen.
Regardless of me being critical to the amount of gore in Terrifier 2, I still highly recommended this movie to horror fans. It does not disappoint!