'Terrifier' Combines Retro Schlock With Ultra-Violence, All While Smiling Like A Goofy Clown

By James Jay Edwards
Released: March 15, 2018
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A maniacal clown named Art, terrorizes three young women on Halloween night and everyone else who stands in his way.

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Film Review
A few years back, in 2013, writer/director Damien Leone (Frankenstein vs. The Mummy) made his feature film debut with All Hallows' Eve, an anthology of shorts about an evil clown. All Hallows' Eve got a sequel, another anthology, of course called All Hallows' Eve 2, without the clown (and without Leone), in 2015. Now, Damien Leone returns to his roots, and the clown gets his own sequel with Terrifier.

Terrifier, courtesy Dread Central Presents/Epic Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Terrifier is about two young ladies named Tara (The Bye Bye Man's Jenna Kanell) and Dawn (Catherine Corcoran from Return to Nuke 'Em High) who are on their way home from a Halloween party. They stop into a pizza joint to sober up before they drive home, and they encounter the creepy Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton from "Nightwing: Escalation"). At first, the ladies think he's just another Halloween reveler, but before long, they start to get genuinely scared by him. Returning to their car, they find that someone has slashed their tires. While they wait for help, Art returns, bent on torturing and tormenting the girls.and anyone else who tries to help them.

Terrifier has the vibe of an eighties throwback movie, something that one might find in a stack of VHS tapes at a flea market or a swap meet. Still, it's not the typical retro-slasher. It feels like it draws influence from the same movies that those movies did, so it's got an organic feel to its nostalgia. And it's gooey and gory, sort of like Damien Leone watched every Herschell Gordon Lewis movie so many times that he felt like he should make one, too.

Terrifier, courtesy Dread Central Presents/Epic Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

At first, Terrifier seems like it's going to be a standard stalk-and-slice movie, with very little story and just a lot of blood and guts. And it does have very little story, and it does have a lot of blood and guts, but it's also got a ton of fun surprises and gruesome turns of events in the second half of it that will widen the eyes of even the most stoic of horror fans. It does feel padded at times, filled with gore that is there solely to shock instead of further the limited storyline, but for what it is, which is a schlock splatter flick, Terrifer is a pretty well-crafted movie.

The bottom line is that Terrifier is nothing new, but it does what it does very well. If ultraviolent movies that have more carnage than plot are your thing, you'll be hard pressed to find one that's better than Terrifier.

Terrifier, courtesy Dread Central Presents/Epic Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Scary Factor
The scares that are derived from Terrifier are exclusively gore-driven. There are no cheap jump scares or red herrings in the movie. It's brutally violent, and not in a cutesy, comic way. Art the Clown does some of the typical clown gags, but they're always setting up something repulsive and demented that will undoubtedly venture into Ed Gein territory. Even in the places where the film does get suspenseful, it's all because Art is playing with his victims, deciding when (and not if) he wants to torture them further. And, in a couple of places, the movie actually dares the audience to call uncle, showing the shocking violence until the viewer is literally screaming at it to stop. Yes, Terrifier is that kind of an experience. Art the Clown makes Pennywise look like Bozo.

Terrifier, courtesy Dread Central Presents/Epic Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Horror, Thriller
Release Date
March 15, 2018
Casting Director
Music Score