In 2016, the world was introduced to Damien Leone’s Terrifier, and everyone had a new found fear of clowns, and rightfully so. Was the movie something we haven’t seen before? Not particularly, however what Terrifier did do was shock and stun audiences in ways not entirely seen before. There were new levels of blood and gore and kills that made this mute clown the stuff filled with nightmares. And six years later, fans get the sequel they’ve been asking for. Now, this sequel delves into some Michael Myers mythology, but it is not totally lost. So if you don’t mind the slightly silly and questionable mythos behind some of cinema’s creepiest and most demented killers, strap yourself in for some of the most disturbing and intriguing kills to ever be seen on a screen.
Again, before we traditionally jump into the synopsis and critical analysis of Terrifier 2, I must reiterate how absolutely brutal and grotesque Terrifier 2 is. In the first movie, we watch Art the Clown slice one of his victims in half, crotch to head, and leave them dangling by handcuffs from their ankles in front of the camera and their friend. I’m not going to spoil who it happens to, or even where it happens, but there is a skinning scene in Terrifier 2 that is arguably one of the most disturbing things presented on a screen, and this is a world where Cannibal Holocaust and Green Inferno exists.
Terrifier 2 starts off confusingly as it appears the film starts minutes after the first film ended in the city morgue, but then it clearly states the film is a year after the events we witnessed in the first film. This is just a nitpick, nothing major.
It’s Halloween night, and Art (David Howard Thornton) is back out to stalk and prey on the townfolks of Miles County. Siblings Eric (Griffin Santopietro) and Sienna (Lauren LaVera) are seemingly connected to Art somehow, again not going to reveal the surprises of the film, but it gives a little Freddy Kreuger vibe to it, and provides some truly exciting twists and turns throughout the 45-minute-longer sequel.
Now, this is a review for the sequel, and I’m not going to bash Jenna Kanell’s performance as Tara Heyes in the first film, but it was rather uninspired and unoriginal. However, the performances from both Griffin and Lauren in the sequel bring life to the franchise and bring something to the forefront that isn’t just blood and guts. Not to fret though, there are plenty, and I mean mountains of blood and guts throughout the film. It’s just when the blood and gore isn’t present, the performances are certainly engaging and interesting, keeping audiences engaged in the story telling as well as in the execution.
It is so rare for a sequel to, dare I say it, be superior to the original movie, but Damien Leone manages to pull that off. With an additional almost 45 minutes of run time there was some initial fear that Terrifier 2 was going to drag and not deliver on the promise of madness and insanity that fans were hoping for. However, there is so much to enjoy and indulge in as this sequel fires on all cylinders. Terrifier is such a great monsterous/mysterious creature slasher flick that, hopefully, with further sequels coming (hopefully), they don’t suffer the typical horror sequel trajectory — looking at you Michael, Freddy, Jigsaw, and Jason. Art The Clown can hold his own against all of those aforementioned sadistic freaks, so strap yourself in for a campy, brutally great time.
Final Score: 3.5 out of 5.
In theaters October 6th, 2022.
For more information, head to the official Terrifier 2 website.