Directed by Damien Leone [Other horror films: All Hallows’ Eve (2013), Frankenstein vs. the Mummy (2015)]
Originally a short from 2011, and then edited into the anthology All Hallows’ Eve in 2013, this film follows the homicidal Art the Clown as he dispatches multiple victims in inventively gory ways.
Plot isn’t really a high point of this film, but then again, I don’t think it really needs to be. No background information is given on Art, and he doesn’t utter a word during his stunning performance, but for a film like this, I don’t feel that’s a terrible drawback. What mattered was the gore and tension, and this movie has it.
Art the Clown was damn creepy. Even before he started killing people, he made me feel more than a little uneasy. A damn creepy performance by David Howard Thornton utilized facial expressions and hand gestures to amazing effect. Just by his actions in the pizza restaurant – that smile, his staring – it freaked me out. And I watched this during the day. I cannot imagine watching this in the dark of night. Seriously, Thronton’s performance here was one of the freakiest I’ve seen in a long time.
Jenna Kanell did well also, though of course was nowhere near as memorable as Thornton, no matter how cute she was. Same with Samantha Scaffidi – both of them can likely do well in the future (Kanell was later in The Bye Bye Man, though I’ve heard only negative things about that film). Neither was amazing, but they both did competently enough.
It’s true that the whole cat-and-mouse game, with Art chasing after a new victim just after killing the previous one, felt a bit old after a while, but given Thronton’s strong performance throughout the film, it didn’t really bother me all that much. What helped fight against the potential boredom was the strong gore – great gory effects throughout the film, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Terrifier’s gore rivals some of the strongest stuff I’ve seen in recent times, so kudos to that department also.
Terrifier is a pretty tense and freaky movie, especially with the early scenes featuring Art. Talk about unsettling *shudders*. The ending was a bit weak, and if that was supposed to be a twist, then they need to try harder, but the gore and acting make this a film that I think many horror fans would enjoy, even without having previously seen All Hallows’ Eve.