‘Terrifier 2’ showcases the return of Art the Clown and his brutal, yet comedic murders

Some reports claim some audience members had to be taken out by ambulances upon watching

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Official “Terrifier 2” movie poster | IMDB

By Alex Genovese, Collegian Staff

Released in 2016, Damien Leone’s “Terrifier” offered indie horror fans a gore-fest featuring Art the Clown, a demonic clown killer. Now in 2022, “Terrifier 2” rocked fans with even more suspense, blood and violence.

“Terrifier 2” serves as a sequel to a horrific set of murders from the first movie, “Terrifier.” The first film takes place after a Halloween party, following two college-aged women that are stalked by killer clown Art. After finding that their car tires were slashed, they proceed into a near-empty building to use the bathroom.

“Terrifier” thus evolves from a suspenseful story into a graphic slasher where Art brutally murders the two girls and many others in the community. While Art appears to die by suicide in front of police offers, the film ends with Art returning to life, murdering the coroner in the morgue and setting up the sequel, “Terrifier 2.”

“Terrifier 2” introduces the audience to Sienna and Jonathan, a pair of siblings in the community one year after Art’s murder spree. Jonathan, a 12-year-old boy, begins to exhibit a strong  interest in Art. The story progresses as Art begins to terrorize the children, brutally murdering their friends and their mother before kidnapping Jonathan and forcing Sienna to save him.

The sequel is truly a gory, horrific and violent movie. Social media posts reported ambulances needing to be called for members of the audience who had either fainted or thrown up during the movie. Despite the violence, David Howard Thornton, who reprises his role as Art, presents as a comedic character amidst the violence.

Art does not talk; instead, he acts out his emotions and desires. While stalking Sienna in a costume shop, he playfully tries on sunglasses before brutally murdering the shopkeeper. Art communicates his emotions purely through hand motions and facial expressions.

Thornton  serves as comedic relief, despite engaging in extremely violent scenes. The balance between comedy and gore is what gave the “Terrifier” franchise its fame.

Terrifier 2 is definitely not for everyone. It is brutal, nauseating and unrelenting. There is no censor; every single murder is graphic and sickening. Every death is extremely destructive. Art toys with his victims, before systematically destroying any sense of humanity each person may have. The ultra-violent overkill will make your skin crawl.

Writing for the publication “Paste”, Matthew Jackson sums up the character of Art perfectly. “Art is back to make sure you never, ever forget him, and if that means he has to rampage across the screen for more than two hours, slashing and crushing and grinning his way through victims, so be it,” Jackson writes.

However, Sienna is the true shining star of the movie. Played by Lauren LaVera, Sienna embodies her Halloween costume, becoming a true warrior despite being hunted by a sadistic clown. She saves her brother from sure death, while also mourning the death of her father and dealing with the ever-present struggles of being a teenage girl.

Donning her handmade suit of armor, Sienna rises to become the hero of the movie, while also providing the audience with the chilling and suspenseful feeling of being hunted down.

Leone produced “Terrifier 2” with a budget of roughly $250,000 and the movie only had a limited release. Shown in around 800 theatres across the country, the film raked in $850,000 on opening night and $1.2 million over the coming week.

The first night, “Terrifier 2” was the fourth-highest viewed movie in theatres, beating out major box office movies such as “Bros” and “The Barbarian.” With a score of 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, “Terrifier 2” welcomes a new generation of films exploring suspense, comedy and gore.

Alex Genovese can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @alex_genovese1.