Terrifier 2 (2022)
October 31, 2022 9:18 AM - Subscribe

After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to the timid town of Miles County where he targets a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night.

Starring Lauren LaVera, David Howard Thornton, Elliott Fullam, Sarah Voigt, Kailey Hyman, Casey Hartnett, Amelie McLain.

Written & directed by Damien Leone, who also did his own practical effects.

87% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. No, seriously. And that's with 47 reviews.

Now playing in US theaters and also (as of today) streaming on Screambox. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don’t like long movies. I don’t get people's weird fascination with clown horror. I didn't even bother to see the first Terrifier, because brutal, torture-ish stuff really isn't my jam.

But the reviews and word of mouth were that this was actually good. So I saw it.

It's very fun! It's not torture porn at all! It's a slasher movie with very goopy effects that go so goopy that they stop being scary and become nerd bait for people who read Fangoria.

There are people cracking their knuckles and rolling their necks in preparation for hectoring comments about what has to be wrong with a person to like this, lowbrow, whatever. I'm telling you they've got it all wrong. It's closer to A Nightmare on Elm Street in its vibe than anything like say, Hostel.

I'm not going to judge anyone whose relationship with horror gore effects isn't of the ilk that would help them find this a fun ride instead of a stomach churner. But trust me that I'm no blood-lusting Neanderthal and I'm telling you this isn't some amoral sadistic thing, it's just a fun slasher movie with the gore dialed up to bananas levels. It took craft and smarts to make and, for the right audience, it's an absolute blast.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:27 AM on October 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

I thought the first Terrifier was pretty good at being exactly what it was, which is a barely narrative movie that's an excuse to show off the makeup and effects chops of the people who made it. I think it runs just around 80 minutes including end credits: clown brutally murders people for about 75 minutes, roll credits. Great!

The sequel does all the clown murder stuff that the first movie did, just as well as that one but obviously amped up even further. The problem is that it also grafts on an entire hour of narrative that is mostly fat. I couldn't stop editing the movie as I watched it, my brain desperately trying to figure out why this thing is nearly two and a half hours long. It's mind-boggling. It doesn't really flesh out any lore for Art the Clown aside from confirming he's a supernatural force and... something happened before the first movie involving a little girl and a now-abandoned theme park? There are hints of an origin but nothing concrete, so the rest of that time consists of stock teen characters dealing with typical teen horror movie drama. It's not really done better than any of its contemporaries, there's just more of it.

I didn't dislike the movie and I wouldn't warn anybody off it who enjoyed the first one, but I really wish someone had sat down with writer/director/editor/etc. Damien Leone and worked out a more reasonable length for the finished product. The version that hit theaters feels like the "director's cut" that you'd get on a Blu-ray after a 95-minute theatrical cut finished its run. Fine that it exists, but nobody really needs that much of this (or most any other!) movie.
posted by tomorrowromance at 12:32 PM on October 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

Do you think Sienna and Jonathan's father is Art the Clown?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:49 AM on November 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Do you think Sienna and Jonathan's father is Art the Clown?

It's possible, but I think there's just not enough evidence in the movie to really build a solid theory. My initial suspicion is that he is not, based on the fact that he doesn't seem to specifically target them or treat them any differently than his other victims. I guess aside from Sienna's "Clown Cafe" dream that turns out to possibly be something other than just a dream since she returns to it later?

My guess is that if Art isn't their father, perhaps he was created by their father through some sort of magic. We know Dad had some sort of supernatural abilities because of the magic sword, so if he somehow created both Art and the sword that would give them a direct link that makes sense. Well... "makes sense." You know what I mean, heh.

Leone has said on Twitter that he addresses some of the lore questions in the commentary on the upcoming Blu release, but that anyone who wants to hold off will find out more in the next movie. So be on the lookout for Terrifier 3 (or possibly 3 and 4--he's also hinted there might be two more on the way) coming soon-ish?
posted by tomorrowromance at 2:50 PM on November 1, 2022

Bloody Disgusting (for those unfamiliar: a horror news site that also produces films, including co-producing this one):
We Have Officially Submitted ‘Terrifier 2’ for Oscar Consideration Because It’s Too Funny Not To
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:49 PM on November 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

Here's hoping this is the year the Oscars finally recognize genre movies! Move over, The Fablemans!

I liked this more than I expected to. The first one was sort of barely a move at all, in terms of story and characters, but the sequel actually did feel like a lost 80's gorehound slasher movie. The acting was basically good. Gross-out gore effects aren't really my thing, but these were well-made and competent (though a few things happened that don't really seem anatomically possible, like where the one person's hand is split down the middle). And while it wasn't exactly Tolstoy, I did feel that the central family was well-characterized.

I also had a strong suspicion that Art was the father. And the thing with the lil' sidekick clown (the protagonist's sister?) was weird. There's that scene in the laundromat where she seems to be an hallucination Art the clown is having, but then the protagonist's little brother sees her, so maybe he's starting to become a clown serial killer too? But then his sister sees her, and then I think she kills someone, so maybe she wasn't an hallucination at all? And also she has the power to mimic the brother's voice for some reason? Still, I liked the character and found her a lot creepier than Art.

As far as I could tell, Art's only supernatural power was the ability to carry a full garbage bag over half the town and not ever have it rip or tear. (Well, and the resurrection stuff, I guess.)
posted by whir at 6:09 PM on December 9, 2022

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