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One Star Classics

Terrifier 2

/ Clown Horror

Terrifier 2 cover

Much like its predecessor, the highly unlikely box-office sensation of 2022 is not for everyone. Mike Flanagan—a man who had his own category on this site—coined a new sub-genre for the film: Megaslasher. It is something so beyond violent and graphic that if you take it to heart, you’ll be grossed out within the first scene. I’m not a graphic violence type of horror fan myself, but Terrifier 2 is so over the top that I had no problems sitting back and enjoying the spectacle.

Plot? There isn’t much of one. Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) has inconceivably survived the events of the previous film, possibly after being resurrected by some sort of spirit: The Little Pale Girl (chillingly well portrayed by Amelie McLain). For some reason or other, Art needs to track down and sacrifice(?) Sienna (Lauren LaVera), whose father was investigating Art before committing suicide. It’s not much of a premise, but the ride is what counts, bloody as it is.

There are a number of highly unlikely things that work in Terrifier 2’s favor. Take Damien Leone’s direction. A special effects makeup artist by trait, Leone has the visuals down. The practical effects are striking, and the cinematography is gorgeous. Grotesque as it may be, Terrifier 2 is also a beautiful movie.

Perhaps more surprising is how good he is with the actors. There is not a single poor performance in Terrifier 2, and even with its implausible premise, every character feels natural. That includes Thornton—the man deserves any which acting award out there for what he does with Art. Think Englund and Krueger, and you get the idea.

On the flip side is LaVera, who is less of a trope-y final girl and more of a likable character in a well-made Halloween costume... On paper, her character should be predictable, but Leone and LaVera add a likability and depth to Sienna that elevates the character.

None of this should work. Terrifier 2 should be a trainwreck, and a grotesque one at that. And don’t get me wrong: if you really don’t like gore (or clowns), you won’t get past what is shown on screen. However, if you, like me, tend to find graphic violence dumb and juvenile, you’ll quickly get past it and will be left with a well-executed slasher that will stay with us for as long as A Nightmare on Elm Street has. There really is that much to like in Terrifier 2.

By Remi,

Letterboxd summary: After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to Miles County where he must hunt down and destroy a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night. As the body count rises, the siblings fight to stay alive while uncovering the true nature of Art's evil intent.

Ratings from around the web

Icon Site Score
One Star Classics logo One Star Classics 5/6
Letterboxd logo Letterboxd 3.0/5
IMDb logo IMDb 6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes logo Rotten Tomatoes 85/100
One Star Classics logo Classicmeter™ 76%