That’s right kids! Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) is back, and resurrected with another fun adventure of dismemberment, mutilation, and many other fun ways to skin a person! You read that right, SKIN a person! If you are like me, and have seen the first Terrifier, then you halfway know what to expect with this film, but I will say this right off the bat, not only is this film longer at a light to decent 2 and a half hours, but they really make Art earn his money with the amount of sheer gore that far surpasses what was evident in the original film. Furthermore, Art has found himself a lady-friend to keep him company, but I won’t spoil any more of that part of the story for you!
Enter Sienna (Lauren LaVera), a seemingly average high schooler on Halloween night preparing a brand new costume from an idea that her artistic father came up with. Her brother Jonathan (Elliot Fullam) is also trying to get in on the costume action, but he wants to base his off a killer clown from the year prior who massacred several people leaving one survivor mutilated and torn. Sienna (and her mother) insist that Jonathan shouldn’t portray something so vulgar, especially based on a real serial killer from only a year prior, but little Jonathan isn’t hearing any of it. Sienna falls asleep on a children’s television show where she is transported to in her dream. It's from here that Sienna encounters Art the Clown, and that is when a series of unfortunate events unfold for Sienna, her family, and her friends.
Several questions begin to arise as Sienna has opened a can of worms to Art’s sadistic nature. Why does he target Sienna? How did Art appear to come back from the dead? How is Art able to find Sienna so quickly? My mind was on a rollercoaster through this film, and not because it was a mystery, but because a lot of questions were not really being answered, but instead were strictly placed as plot devices to keep the film moving forward. That is not at all to say that this film was bad, on the contrary. This film was so much fun, and anytime Art was on the screen I couldn’t keep myself from smiling as big as he would, even as he is terrorizing every victim he encounters in the most gruesome of ways. As long as the film was; I didn’t quite feel the length, but because of the length I started asking questions about why things were happening, and I think that played into a bit of the lowering in the rating.
There was so much to enjoy with the film, but I felt like I was randomly asking myself why things were happening, and didn't get me started on the acting. Lauren Lavera and a few of the supporting actors were fine, but her immediate family, including Jonathan, gave some of the worst performances I’ve seen all year. On one hand I get it; this movie is supposed to be a campy, 80’s-esque, modern day slasher, and it succeeds in doing just that, but at times I couldn’t tell if the director wanted us to hate the acting, or if he was trying to mimic the old-school horror dialogue and mannerisms. One thing is for certain though, if you are not good with gore, then I would highly suggest you skip this film, or try the original Terrifier, because this one far exceeds the first film in the overall unabashedly gruesome kills, and director Damien Leone makes you watch every moment in vivid detail (I feel extremely bad for one of the male characters in the later half).
All in all, Terrifier 2 is a triumph of modern-day slashers. Art the Clown can fit right in with other slasher killers like Michael Myers, and Jason, and in my honest opinion; Art is way more intense. This movie isn’t for the faint of heart, and if you can get past the acting and dialogue, there is really a great film here, and it was awesome to be able to see ‘Bloody Disgusting’ in the opening credits in an actual movie theater. This is one of the most brutal horror slashers I have ever seen, and that is really saying something, especially since it was able to get into the theater. If you are into sheer dread, and love a great slasher, then Terrifier 2 will be for you.