This is going to be one of the biggest Octobers in horror in quite a while. You have various high profiled and mostly anticipated films including the new Hellraiser and Marvel's Werewolf by Night dropping on Hulu and Disney Plus respectively today. And of course you have "Halloween Ends" dropping next week in theaters and Peacock. Forget all these films at the moment as another mostly anticipated horror film dropped in theaters this weekend "Terrifier 2"
The film features the return of Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) as he is mysteriously resurrected by a demonic entity. He then returns to the town of Miles County one year to the day after the massacre he inflicted on the town. This time he stalks a teenage girl (Lauren LaVera) and a young boy on Halloween night.
Samantha Scaffidi (Terrifier) , Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and Chris Jericho (All Elite Wrestling) also co-star in the film.
"Terrifier 2" is a film that I've been waiting for a long time, This film was supposed to come out last year but due finding distribution and the covid pandemic, it never got released. Thankfully, this was worth the year and a half / two year wait as "Terrifier 2" is one of the best horror films of the year.
A lot of the credit has to the brainchild of Art the Clown, writer/director Damien Leone as this was a gorier and more shocking than the first film. One of the things that I liked about his direction was the fact that the film had a different tone than the first film. Whether it's the way he makes Art look very menacing when he's not using his weapons to how he approaches the gore effects to even the pacing of this. Everything felt different which is something you want in a sequel.
Another thing that Leone has going for him is that he has not one but two great performances that keep you invested. First, you have David Howard Thornton returning to the role from "Terrifier" as he's less ha ha and more menacing and shocking in terms of presence. . He makes the character more frightening through his mannerisms like in the first film but he is more serious this time in making the character someone who is very demonic and more intense. This film is going to elevate Art the Clown into that level of iconic horror villains and it all has to do with the way Thornton has portrayed in both "Terrifier" films. Besides Thornton's performance, this film also has another great performance from Lauren LaVera. She does a great job bringing a lot of emotion and insanity to her character Sienna. Whether it was with the whole dynamic with her family to all the action scenes and her scene with Art, she makes you invested in her character which makes the performance very good and much on par with Thornton's performance as some of the film's best scenes are with those two together as their chemistry on screen was great.
The screenplay from Leone brings twice the violence and twice the intensity. from the opening of this film until the post credit scene. One of things that I liked was the fact that this film has very creative death scenes and very creepy dream-like scene involving the main character on a demented children's show. Leone does a great job making those aspects more shocking and come out of nowhere as gives the film its separate identity from the first film. It helps set the tone for the film's final act which is one of best final acts of the year. This also has one of the most gruesome kills in the last ten years which I won't spoil but it involves salt. That's the only clue on that scene I'm giving because I want you to see this in theaters or on Screambox in November. The other thing that I really liked about this film was the film's tone. Leone does a great job making sure that this film has a different tone compared to the first film as this film focuses on one group of characters unlike the first film where it felt like it had two groups of characters.. It allowed time for the new characters to be fleshed out as you become interested in the film's heroine and her family as the film goes along and not going in ten million directions. It helps make this film different from the first film. If he took the same approach in the screenwriting process that he did in "Terrifier" it wouldn't work. The fact that this film has a long run time and the way Leone pays attention to his new characters and his scenes is what makes the new characters and the storytelling better than the first film.
I highly suggest you check this film out whenever you can as it has great writing and directing from Damien Leone, great performances from David Howard Thornton and Lauren LaVera and a great story overall. "Terrifier 2" is one of the year's best horror films as this film brings Art the Clown to another level in terms of horror icons.
"Terrifier 2" is currently playing in limited release by Cinedigm courtesy of Iconic Events.
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