I had a handful of favorite horror movies as a small child. I watched People Under the Stairs and Child’s Play fairly regularly with my mother, but our favorite movie to watch is that notorious little ditty called Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
This is probably why we also started to watch the 1990 IT miniseries anytime it came on. There’s a tasty je ne sais quoi when it comes to evil clowns. Maybe we are scared of clowns because they are caricatures of ourselves. It’s a sort of uncanny valley, as it were. And sure, there have been plenty of duds while indie filmmakers tried to capitalize on the cursed clown craze, whether it’s the likes of the resident jester of Full Moon Features in the Killjoy series, or the cringeworthy Klown Kamp Massacre. But then came Stitches, Clown, and Andy Muschietti’s IT remake, and Evil clowns were cool again.
If you’ve been paying attention to director Damien Leone you are likely already familiar with an evil entity known as Art the clown. A sadistic mute clown with gingivitis in black and white facepaint and garb. Many horror viewers learned of his existence in 2013 with All Hallows Eve. Fortunately for us (not so much for his victims) Art the clown is back in Terrifier, and he’s meaner than ever.
How much horror can be inflicted with a single stare? I wonder if this was a thought that crossed Damien Leone’s mind while he was making Terrifier. Art the clown has a face not even a mother could love, and he could probably stare a hole straight through the sun. When he’s not terrifying you with his gaze, he’s murdering. Those are his two horrific modes and dear god are they effective.
The story is simple enough. Two girls drunkenly heading home from a costume party encounter a creepy clown. The clown then begins to stalk them, appearing at a table next to them at a restaurant. It’s an eerie set-up, and things go south for the ladies from there. What follows is a brutal and grisly cat and mouse game—one that illicits that “it’s only a movie” grade uncomfortable laughter.
While the budget was lower than I anticipated, it didn’t harm Terrifier in the least bit. The performances were pretty great too. I particularly enjoyed Catherine Corcoran (Return to Nuke ‘Em High) as the hot mess, Dawn, and Mr. David Howard Thornton as the murderous Art. I hope Terrifier finds the traction it deserves so that we may receive a sequel. I have a feeling Damien Leone isn’t quite through with Art yet.
Terrifier is the first film released physically by Dread Central Presents on gorgeous blu ray/DVD combo pack, March 27th. Pre-order available exclusively at https://epic-pictures.com/merchandise/terrifier-dvd–blu-ray-2-disc-pack