Movie Review: Terrifier 2

You may have noticed a clickbait trend these days – headlines that go “I Did Such-and-Such So You Don’t Have To”. Well, I watched TERRIFIER 2 so you don’t have to. This sequel to the 2016 cult hit of the same name is making quite the buzz these days, playing in cinemas across the US, and so far taking in close US$8 million off its miniscule $250,000 production budget. There have been a number of reports of audience members passing out or even throwing up in their seats. When I read that, I felt the challenge was on. I needed to see for myself what all the hype was about.

TERRIFIER 2 picks up right where TERRIFIER left off. (If you haven’t seen the first film, don’t sweat it. Read the synopsis on Wikipedia.) Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton), whom we thought was dead, turns out to be very much alive and back to his killing ways, taking out the coroner with a few blows to the head with his hammer. Of course, Art doesn’t stop there. He then proceeds to pluck out the doctor’s eyes, optic nerve still attached, and dismembers a fair bit more. The gorefest is on, kids! Flash forward one year and high school senior Sienna (Lauren LaVera) is preparing her Hallowe’en costume. It’s an elaborate affair – a winged warrior princess, based on a design that her father drew before he committed suicide a year earlier. Her younger brother, Jonathan (Elliott Fullam), however, has the costume to beat them all though. He plans to dress up as Art the Clown. Needless to say, that doesn’t go down too well with either Sienna or their completely frazzled, potty mouthed mother, Barbara (Sarah Voigt). While all the kids in town are getting ready for an evening of fun, Art is keeping busy killing more people. It appears, though, he’s got a bit of help too. A little girl (Amelie McLain), dressed like Art and visible only to him, seems to be able to heal Art’s wounds. Sienna heads off to a party with her BFF, Brooke (Kailey Hyman), but the night descends into murderous mayhem when Jonathan is kidnapped by Art and the Little Pale Girl. Can Sienna can save him in time?

Don’t expect TERRIFIER 2 to be anything more than what it is – a blood splattered gore-gy. The story barely makes sense. Everyone seems to know what Art the Clown looks like but no one gets freaked out when they see someone dressed like him. I suppose one can argue that no one gets freaked out when they see someone dressed up like Jeffrey Dahmer but that’s because we know that he’s dead. It’s now been a whole year to the day since Art’s body disappeared from the morgue leaving the coroner in a bloody heap. As incredible as it may seem, Art is clearly still alive. The acting, though, is not bad. Granted, it’s a B-movie so standards are low but LaVera makes for a believable heroine in the mold of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar. Hyman also puts her limited dialogue to best use. Interestingly, Brooke is the only character who screams when they see Art at work. Everyone else, including Art, is silent.

Back to the gore, though, this has never been a genre that has appealed to me but I’m open to watching people getting their heads chopped off and their hearts ripped out in the name of “art” (no pun intended). I find it hard to believe, though, that people are actually throwing up while watching this film. It’s so ridiculously fake that no one could possibly connect it to reality. Instead, I think the film’s distributor, Bloody Disgusting (yes, that their name), has done a fabulous job promoting the film.

Is this the end of Art the Clown? You’ve got to be kidding! Have you ever watched a horror film? A mid-credits scene tells audiences that we haven’t seen the last of this villain. Writer-director and makeup designer Damien Leone had said that he’s already completed the treatment of the third film in the series.

TERRIFIER 2 is playing now in cinemas in the US. It is also streaming on Screambox. As I said above, I watched TERRIFIER 2 so you don’t have to… unless you want to.

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