I don’t normally review anything other than video games, so please be gentle with me here. However, I couldn’t possibly think of a better film to take my movie reviewer virginity than the delightfully terrible horror film Terrifier 2. Starting off our review – first things first, this movie is long as hell. It’s almost two and a half hours long, y’all.
So if you’re not much of a movie goer, it might be a little while until you’re able to watch the latest antics of Art the Clown from your home. According to director Damien Leone, Terrifier 2 is doing well in theaters so it may still be a while before it’s available on Screambox (where you can watch the original Terrifier) or other streaming services.
Terrifier 2 (2022)
Production Company: CINEDIGM
Director: Damien Leone
Release Date: October 6, 2022 (Theatrical), TBD (Streaming)
Anyway, Terrifier 2, unlike the original attempts to tell some sort of an actual story by introducing the Shaw family: an overworked super stressed out mom who apparently had very little to say aside from nagging and saying “god damn/dammit” every time she’s got the chance, and her two kids Sienna and Jonathan.
Sienna spends most of the early parts of the film working on her Halloween costume, which looks like it was inspired by mashing up Sophitia from Soulcalibur, the girl from the Heavy Metal poster, and Kayle from League of Legends. She’s essentially an Angelic warrior with a small short sword. This is important a little bit later.
Her little brother Jonathan is planning to dress up as Art the Clown after hearing the story on the news and being inspired to freak out anyone who might see him. What he doesn’t expect is that he starts to see Art the Clown in real life, and that for some reason Art is now joined by a horrifyingly creepy little clown girl that’s also a figment of Art’s imagination.
After going to school and seeing some kids find a dead possum behind a dumpster, Jonathan sees Art the girl playing with the possum in the hallway of the school. After this one of the teachers scolds him thinking that he drug the possum into the hallway, only to make a mess with the body.
Meanwhile, Jonathan’s mom is upset due to him getting in trouble at school, while Sienna stays up super late each night working on her costume. She eventually falls asleep to an informercial, and dreams of a creepy commercial for a food truck that features Art the Clown and a bunch of other weird ass kids.
At the end of this dream, a fire starts and it turns out Sienna fell asleep with candles lit on her dresser and her angel wings caught fire. She swears they weren’t lit but her mom of course doesn’t want to hear it.
This makes Sienna equally as paranoid as her brother is, but the thing to note is that while everything on the dresser is burned to ashes, the sword is completely unscathed. See? I told you it was important.
As you can tell from this synopsis, the story is about as cobbled together as it gets, full of both plot holes and “who gives a shit?” moments. The story ultimately serves as a vehicle to get down to business: Terrifier is murder porn at its finest, and Terrifier 2 has no issues with stomping the gas on brutal violence and obscenely graphic gore.
If you’ve seen the original, there’s one particular scene that I wasn’t sure they’d be able to top, but boy does this movie strive to prove that wrong. Terrifier 2 continues the extreme camp that the first Terrifier started, and even at the conclusion of Terrifier 2, you’re still left wondering what’s next for our silent antagonist.
The best thing about Art the Clown is how he’s able to nail the mannerisms of someone like Jim Carrey without having to deliver the silly voices that usually go hand in hand with the faces he makes. Art convincingly goes from happy to angry to annoyed to dismayed all in the blink of an eye, and Thornton’s character “acting” for this role is really a sight to behold.
I’m pretty sure I’ll gladly watch as many of these movies as Leone wants to make, but hopefully they leave the story building behind and give us more ultra-violence cause this damn movie is about 45 minutes too long and it drags to get to the good parts.
Make no mistake about it, Terrifier 2 is a thriller in the same way that Army of Darkness or Sharknado were, in that if you’re expecting to be scared – this ain’t gonna do it because it’s definitely not that serious. Terrifier 2‘s extremely gooey splurge of body parts mean only to shock and disgust you.
Terrifier 2 is like a Troma movie but with better costumes, set pieces, and way less pretentiousness. As a “horror” film, Terrifier 2 is so ridiculously over the top that you won’t even take it seriously for a second, but the gore is so realistic at times that unless you’ve got a pretty good understanding of human anatomy it might just convince you that it’s a snuff film.
If you’re into campy movies like the b-rated cheese that’s shown on the Syfy channel (I’m talking Shark Encounters of the Third Kind type of ridiculous), Terrifier 2‘s going to be right up your alley.
Terrifier 2 is the most fun horror flick I’ve watched since The Devil’s Rejects, it’s cheesy, awful, terrible, amazing, and incredible. Make sure you stay through the credits for a special appearance from AEW superstar, professional wrestling icon, and Fozzy vocalist Chris Jericho.
TERRIFIER 2 is now in theaters from Cinedigm in partnership with Iconic Events, and available on digital media platforms. Niche Gamer was provided with a screener copy of Terrifier 2 for the purposes of this review. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.