Warning, this is an epic review for an epic experience. I’m just gonna put this out there to start. Is Terrifier 2 the best horror film of the year? Is it the best horror film of the 2000’s?
What makes good horror? It is often argued that “Story” is what makes a good horror film. Gore and atmosphere are equally important. Then there is the decadence. The reason horror and metal go hand in hand is that they are both wild, free, nasty. All the vices rolled into one sweet stew. Yet, it can be thoughtful and moving. Then there is the more technical aspects, Sound, Editing, Timing.
There have been a few good horror films released in the past few years, most notably, X and Pearl, Malignant, It, Last Night In Soho, as well as underrated gems like Wrong Turn Reboot and Spiral. And no, I didn’t forget Jordan Peel, he just doesn’t make good films. But that is another tangent.
All this brings us to Terrifier 2. The first film introduced a sadistic terrifying clown slasher that may or may not have been supernatural. Art the Clown. The film was short on story but long on gore and personality. You were drawn to Art the Clown, and wondered, what would he be like in a bigger film?
Well, I’m here to tell you, Terrifier 2 is that film!
Picking up with a bloody and homicidal Art in a laundromat post kill, things get raw really quick as Art sees a little deranged clown girl. Art, sitting naked, waves at the little girl, who waves back before spewing what appears to be coagulated menstrual blood. Hello! Nice to meet you too!
That unsettling scene is just a glimpse of what is in store. Now, those who know me, know I wasn’t a fan of the original Terrifier or All Hallows Eve. Mostly due to a lack of story and obvious budget limitations (I don’t cut slack for small budgets. If you don’t have the money, don’t try to make a movie).
This time though, there is a large story that not only works, but sets up a slam bang third film without leaving us hanging with this one. Props to all involved above the line and a special shout out to Producer Steve “Uncle Creepy” Barton, whose DNA is all over this film and it shows.
What is the plot? I was thinking on how to give you enough without spoiling anything, so here it goes…
Sienna (Lauren LaVera) lives at home with her mother and little brother. Her father is dead and her mother is spread thin. Then there is her little brother, obsessed with Art The Clown. He even plans on dressing as him for Halloween. Much to the dismay of his family.
Meanwhile, Art has zeroed in on her, as if he is drawn to her. He and his new “friend”, the creepy girl clown, rampage on the unsuspecting town. Heading for a collision course with Sienna. The question is “why?”
Terrifier 2 is epic. Like Dawn of the Dead or It: Chapter 2. It has a lot going on and tells an epic story, while also revisiting characters from the first film. There are a lot of twists and turns and they are interconnected so I won’t go into detail.
But what can you expect? The film clocks in at around 2:16 minutes. But it does not spend its time meandering. Its driven. Filled with character beats. These are people you get to know, so when the bloodbath ensues, as it does frequently, you feel it. Every minute. And there are a lot of bloody minutes! Trust me.
This is a film that needs to be seen in the theater, simply because of the extreme nature of it. A film like this hasn’t been seen in a theater since the early eighties. A story driven film that is ultra-gory and will show you things you may never see again. Or at least till part three!
Terrifier 2 is the film that we need at this moment in our history. A return to passion driven quality film making. Devoid of the corporate cookie cutter mentality, but still looking like it had a respectable budget that warrants the respectful title of REAL FILM. Terrifier 2 may just be the best horror film of the 2000s. Not because of what it is on its own. But for what it accomplishes. And the hope it gives us for the future of horror films.
TERRIFIER 2 Hits Theaters Friday! GET YOUR TICKETS!