A crazed clown called Art uses Halloween as the perfect night to wreak bloody havoc, murdering anyone who crosses his path.
Move over Pennywise, because there’s a new clown in sight and this one is a thousand times more violent and a million times crueller than you. Art is a sadistic and honestly terrifying clown. This comes from someone who has no problem with clowns; they don’t scare me, I’m not afraid of general clowns. But, this guy.. he’s something different. I don’t know whether it’s the oath of silence or the obscenely large black grin that looked like a gateway into an abyss he had plastered on to his face, but Art the clown freaked me the hell out. Without saying a word and even before he started his murderous spree, he came across as clearly psychotic. Is Art the scariest clown to grace the horror screen? Quite possibly.
We’re introduced to Art the clown as Tara (Jenna Kanell) and Dawn (Catherine Corcoran) are walking to their car after painting the town red. It’s Halloween night, so when they come across Art they believe him to be just another guy in a costume. At least, that’s what Dawn thinks. Tara is more suspicious, so when Art shows up in the pizzeria they’re trying desperately to sober up in – the film, at least, does promote the message to not drink and drive – she gets a bit worried. Rightfully so! The scene in the pizzeria is hideously funny as Art stares at them dead-faced from a nearby table, refusing to order anything to eat and being generally unnerving, all the while a rubbish bag filled with god-knows-what sits ominously next to him. (We’ll see what’s in that later…)
There’s an unmissable humour to Terrifier’s dark centre, which makes it even more viciously entertaining. Those with a dark humour will find it to be plenty funny as Art sadistically waves and smiles; refusing to say a word or scream in anger when he gets stabbed in the foot. His silence is a brilliant touch; he becomes a more animated Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees, stalking his victims with glee but never saying anything. There are no threats or witty one-liners from this silent killing machine and that just adds to the terror.
Terrifier is a brutal and vicious throwback to the days of ’80s exploitation, where chaos reigned and violence ruled the roost. I promise that this will go beyond what you’re expecting, delivering a frequently shocking and gruesome story of one clown’s desire to unleash hell. I’ve seen a lot of violent cinema, but Terrifier truly pushes the boat out as Art torments, stabs, shoots and mutilates his victims. It’s a real bloodbath and it’s all the more grisly as Art wears his victims’ blood on his white clown suit like a twisted badge of honour. Many will be unimpressed by the film’s almost gratuitous display of violence which is almost unrelenting; it’s mean, it’s nasty and it has no shame in being just that. Don’t go looking for meaning, because it’s simply not there. This is a slasher and should not be seen as anything more or anything less.
Terrifier is like Marmite; you’ll love it or you’ll hate it. I loved it. It’s a horror film that doesn’t want to change the game or promote a meaningful message. It’s a proud shower of blood and guts that will be enjoyed by those that like their horror to be distressing and disgusting.
Words: Jessy Williams (@JessyCritical)