Movie Review: Terrifier 2 (2022)

Written, directed, edited and produced by Damien Leone, Terrifer 2 was released in 2022 and is the third film to feature Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton). Picking up immediately where Terrifier left off, Art awakens in the morgue after shooting himself through the top of the head and continues his rampage. Meanwhile, Sienna Shaw (Lauren LaVera) is finalising her Halloween costume, preparing for a night out with Brooke (Kailey Hyman) and Allie (Casey Hartnett). At the same time, Sienna’s serial killer obsessed younger brother Jonathan (Elliot Fullam) begins to see a Little Pale Girl (Amelie McLain).

+ Sienna and Art are a great duo; I’m a big fan of Art from his very first appearance in All Hallow’s Eve (2016), especially how he stays absolutely dead silent whether he’s happy or sad. It would be an easy cop out to have him crack jokes, or even if laughter was his only noise, but he is equal parts mime and clown, despite his one sided name. Sienna (LaVera) is the perfect foil, as she comes across genuine and not wanting, but willing to do what she has to do. Perhaps a role in the new wave of scream queens is in her future?
+ a great mix of incredible gore and literally laugh out loud comedy. Much like the hacksaw scene in the first film, one victim here gets significantly worse than anyone else in an extended sequence that you could only consider torture. All throughout, there is enough fake blood on show to make Quentin Tarantino take notice. Howard Thornton has training in mime and clowning, and it shows in all of his facial expressions and exaggerated body movements. He makes something as simple as novelty glasses into some top-notch comedy
+ I loved the 80s synthwave soundtrack, though I admit I didn’t quite understand it in context (it’s a modern horror movie, so it didn’t really fit). There are also some good songs, especially in the always-important horror movie club scene, and one incredibly catchy acoustic advertisement jingle

– a few unimportant albeit noticeable editing issues do pop up, such as the level of blood a character is covered in or even their positioning in the room. In writing this review, I also struggled to work out the timeline of this movie. The events of the first film are referenced contemporaneously, but then a news anchor later says “the events of 2017” in reference to the first film
– this movie had no need to be as long as it was. At well over two hours, I can think of numerous unimportant bits and pieces that could have been removed entirely — and no, it’s not the obscene gore

Should you see this film: I’m surprised to read so many reports of people vomiting and passing out at viewings of this film, as for my money the first movie had the more violent scene overall (with the aforementioned hacksaw). But this was nothing but an improvement over that first film, with better acting, better music and a far more logical horror movie plot. This was great, if you can stomach it.

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