TERRIFIER 2 (REVIEW)
Dir. Damien Leone
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
With just a single film and short, Art the Clown has become a horror icon and it's reassuring to know that the menacing mime hasn't tamed. Damien Leone's TERRIFIER 2 has arrived and it proves that sometimes boundaries can still be broken. TERRIFIER 2 is sick, twisted and barbaric, and that's the way we like it.
On Halloween night, Art is resurrected to reek havoc in the residents of Miles County. And as far as plots for, that's all we need.
Stories of people passing out and being sick are justified as TERRIFIER 2 really pushes what is allowed on screen (more shockingly is the fact this somehow passed the BBFC). Scenes of bones snapping, chests bursting, heads being ripped apart are all the norm with Art and there are no lines he will not cross. Fortunately, the violent body mutilations are saved by a grounded and film stealing performance from Lauren LaVera who proves that not only does the final girl still has a lot left to give, but that in the same year Jamie Lee Curtis passed on the baton, that it's in good hands. She's a breath of fresh air against Art's mayhem and the ying-yang dynamics really help carry the film and with her school friends, Allie (Casey Hartnett) and Brooke (Kailey Hyman), give us a trio equal to that of Carpenter's 1978 classic. It's such a shame they won't be able to accompany LaVera's Sienna in the inevitable sequel. The cast really save this from being over 2 hours of graphic torture, especially as it's only flaw is its length.
A few supercuts, trimming of some of the more outlandish subplots that could have been saved for volume 3, and a butchers knife to some of the lengthier deaths could have given more life to this, instead it sometimes feels a hard ride with every death taking a minute too long and an unforgettable song that lasts a little too long throughout the film's runtime. With writing, editing and directing credits all attributed to Leone, it's a case of Quintin Tarantino syndrome where a new set of eyes may have created an instant go-to movie every Halloween if only it had a simpler structure that becomes convoluted by the end.
It's amazing how a film made for $250,000 looks this good. Where Leone succeeds is the practical effects which last long beyond the credits and give a firm grip of how evil Art really is and the real star of the show is David Howard Thornton who delivers so much menace it's an uncomfortable yet somewhat entrancing grasp of the audience. His child like malevolence is perfectly matched against his penchant for inquisitive body horror and the joy he takes in doing it is frankly more horrifying than the crime itself. One scene in particular will have you reaching for the sickbag as he leaves one victim alive long enough to puppeteer her. If you thought the body slice from part 1 was terrifying, that was simply a starter for what is on offer here.
TERRIFIER 2 is a milestone in horror and proves that there's plenty more to give and that Art the Clown is the most terrifying icon the genre has to offer. Despite a lengthy runtime, it's no less enjoyable and probably better to be taken as a two-parter given the character development we see for Sienna and her friends. At least there's so much to "enjoy" and Leone really has let the dog off the leash and it's not afraid to bark in what quite frankly has to be, the bloodiest and goriest film of all time!