In all seriousness, after a couple year hiatus, I am back writing a review for the Horror Syndicate, and I couldn’t be more excited. Many thanks to Ray and the THS crew for being so encouraging. It’s been a while, but I can’t think of a better way to get back into the fold than to review the ultra-bloody slasher flick, Terrifer 2. So here we go…
After the original smash hit Terrifer, and a gigantic crowd funding campaign, Damien Leone is back with Art the Clown in Terrifer 2. The narrative takes place a year after the original massacre which we saw displayed in the first film. We follow a young family who seemingly find themselves connected with Art the Clown. After the death of the father, single mother Barbara (played by Sarah Voigt), high school aged daughter Sienna (Lauren LaVera), and twelve year old son Jonathan (Elliott Fullam) are being tormented by Art the Clown (played beautifully again by David Howard Thornton). There’s a bit of a twist though, as this time Art has a fantastically creepy sidekick, the spirit of a murdered little girl. What plays out on the screen is nearly 2.5 hours of gore-soaked carnage, as Art slashes his way through Miles County once again.
There was a lot to like about this film. For starters, something we have here that we didn’t really have in the original movie, is character development. We’re able to truly get a glimpse into the lives of the main characters, which definitely helps the viewer garner a deeper connection with them. The film’s score is also quite unsettling, adding a layer of creepiness that calls to mind the haunting soundtracks of the slashers of yesteryear. I thought Lauren LaVera was an excellent final girl/scream queen, and I am excited to see if she can really take off in this genre. Another part I liked was the foundation of a series mythos. There were plot elements added here that will help lay the foundation for the world of Art the Clown. While those things are all great, let’s be honest, the big star of Terrifer 2 are the gore effects done by writer/director Damien Leone. Leone pulled out all the stops when it came to the kills in this movie. All the effects were practical, and the creativity was something that seemed so fresh to see on the big screen. Not everything was ultra realistic, but it was so over the top that hardcore slasher fans will love it.
While I did really enjoy this flick, it wasn’t perfect. The first negative that really stood out to me at the end of the viewing was the runtime. As mentioned above, the film clocks in at a shade under two and a half hours. Going into this I wasn’t sure how on earth that’d be possible, and while the length wasn’t the issue I thought it would be, I think it was about 20-30 minutes too long. I think a huge part of the long runtime is that Leone was SO ambitious with his script, which really is commendable. He knew what the fans wanted, and boy did he deliver. The thing that I liked the least with this film was ultimately the lack of plot point satisfaction. Let me explain. There were a lot of different sort of mysterious plot points added to this film, that really left me wanting answers. By the end of the movie, these were not resolved. During a Q&A that showed after the movie, Leone explained that there’s a lot more story left to tell, and that we would get some of those answers. While that really is exciting, and you obviously can’t have everything come to a conclusion in the second film if you are planning a trilogy or more, there was still a nagging unresolved feeling that didn’t really sit well. With this has done, though, was created a stronger desire to see the franchise continue (perhaps that was the point?).
Ultimately, I had an absolute blast with Terrifier 2. While the excessive runtime and the unresolved storylines were bits that could be improved upon, the character development and gratuitous gore had me grinning from ear to ear. The old school slasher fan will love the violence, and the new plot points added will enhance the experience. For me personally, this film served as an excellent palate cleanser after being kicked in the groin by Halloween Ends. Art the Clown is further solidifying his place in the world of the slasher, and I can’t wait to see the legend continue with more and more content. See it as soon as you can!