Fresh Meat #7: The Jester (2023)

The Jester is one of those movies that apparently was in theaters very briefly, and then released recently on VOD. The cover is very intriguing, with a typical slasher villain that strikes me as derivative of Terrifier, perhaps hoping to either confuse people enough to pay money for this, or just get those who loved the film to try this one out. I, myself, did not care for the Terrifier films, but I will watch just about anything new for fear of not being in the loop with today’s horror culture. 


A malevolent being known as The Jester terrorizes the inhabitants of a small town on Halloween night, including two estranged sisters who must come together to find a way to defeat this evil entity. 

IMDb: 6.2 

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A 

Tagline: Now you see me. Now you die.

Colin Krawchuk directed the film, his first foray into feature filmmaking. He previously had directed 3 Jester shorts, a Star Wars short, and a Harry Potter short, presumably unauthorized fan films. The earliest Jester short dates back to 2016, for reference, and Art the Clown first appears in a short called The 9th Circle in 2009. This will come into play later. 

First things first. The Jester himself is definitely an Art clone, one who playfully kills his victims and has supernatural abilities. A scene in the graveyard has him prancing around as he kills a gravedigger.  

The guy really doesn’t make any attempt to hide either, and much like Art, he’s out there mixing it up and acting all weird and crazy to our main characters and trick-or-treaters, doing magic tricks, card tricks, whatever else he feels like, even a little self mutilation.  

I wish there was some sort of a soundtrack, though. I feel that if there was decent music, it might set this apart from the films that it wishes it could be. Never underestimate the power of a good theme song, or a powerful score. But alas, this is just another thing lacking from the movie.

The typical slasher film tropes are on full display here as we get the out of focus killer in the background, the moving camera that one minute shows the killer behind the victim, only to move again and he’s not there. It’s like what happened if you put Terrifier in a blender and mixed in a disabled mentally challenged version of John Carpenter, fresh off the set of Halloween. 

I don’t want to give off the impression, though, that this is a bad film or that I do not like it. It is perfectly fine. It is competently made. It is not one of those Z grade films that are everywhere nowadays. It is not even on the level of a SyFy movie. It’s a decently budgeted film that pulls off some decent scares and gore. One particular scene includes him slicing his own throat, seemingly killing himself, only to resurrect much like Dracula does rising out of his casket in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

But it’s just not enough. The Jester is just very derivative and unoriginal. I have a strong sense of déjà vu watching this, like I’ve seen it before. If you’ve seen Terrifier, you will have that feeling, too. If you haven’t seen Terrifier, then watch Terrifier. If you’re one of those people who loves a good quality mockbuster or just loved Terrifier to the point of not being able to wait for part 3, then watch The Jester. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

4.5/10 Stab Wounds

About RetRo(n) 61 Articles
I like the 80s, slasher films, Italian directors, Evil Ed, Trash and Nancy, Ripley and Private First Class Hudson, retro crap but not SyFy crap, old school skin, Freddy and Savini, Spinell and Coscarelli, Andre Toulon, and last, but not least, Linda Blair.