Terrifier has quickly become one of the horror genres most hyped and praised releases of the past few weeks as the film has been getting into the hands of more and more horror fans each day. Although it was debuted back in 2016, the film was just recently released to the masses after being picked up by the fine folks at Dread Central and Epic Pictures, who released the film back on March 15th. Terrifier is the feature length film based off the character Art the Clown from 2013's All Hallows Eve, and it brings new life to the horrifying clown as he descends upon the city on Halloween night, thirsty to torture and kill anybody who manages to cross his path. Before even going any further, let me just get this out of the way: Art the Clown (portrayed by David Howard Thornton) has to be one of the freakiest, strangest, unnerving, and downright terrifying characters of any movie I've seen in the past ten years, if not more. There is this unsettling and disturbing feeling you get in the pit of your stomach just by looking at the guy, let alone watching him slowly become creepier and creepier as the movie progresses - but more on that later.
As two friends are leaving the bar on Halloween night, they stumble back to their car only to realize that they are both a little too intoxicated to drive home right away. So they decide the best idea is to grab some food to try and sober up a bit before driving, and as they make that decision they meet the beloved Art the Clown out on the street - with his white face paint, tiny black hat, creepy black lipstick, goblin-looking nose, empty eyes, goofy black and white jumpsuit and of coarse... his gnarly teeth. Oh god those black teeth - they are arguably the most chilling part about him: Art has this frightening smile that will literally send shivers to your very core. After being thoroughly creeped out, the two girls Tara (Jenna Kanell) and Dawn (Catherine Corcoran) have another eerie interaction with the clown before returning to their car to find it has a flat tire (which you can only assume Art is responsible for). After calling her sister to pick them up, Tara heads inside a sketchy ass NYC building to use the bathroom, and unbeknownst to her, this building would be the home of her (and others) cat and mouse chase from the sinister Art the Clown.
One thing Terrifier does not skimp out on is gore - there's a great balance of it throughout the movie; it's not an over-the-top gore-fest with blood and guts every two minutes, but there's absolutely plenty of blood and guts to justify the film falling into the slasher category. Some of the devastating death blows Art delivers to his victims are totally fucked up - from a chick being cut right down the torso to another dude getting his head stomped to mush, there's no doubt Terrifier delivers if you like your gore; you want blood, you got it! The various characters you meet along the way are super likable, the party goers are definitely cute, and Tara's sister is definitely one hell of a sister. The acting performances by all are pretty great - their reactions seem authentic and their sheer terror of Art the Clown feels so real, which really brings authenticity to the film. I found myself rooting for Tara the whole way through, hoping she would be able to escape from the grasp of death Art had in store for her. Overall, the casting selection was on point and great choices all around. Thornton definitely stole the show, however, as his portrayal as Art the Clown is by far one of the most terrifying and haunting characters from a horror movie you'll see pretty much ever. Even though the film was released pre-2017's IT, there's no doubt in my mind that Art has the potential to be one of the most notorious psychotic clown characters of all time, as long as Terrifier gets the viewership it most definitely deserves. As the film progresses, Art the Clown begins to act straight up fucking weirder and weirder: from being cuddled like a baby, to riding around on a tiny tricycle, to even eating the flesh off one of his victim's, Art continuously manages to one-up his grotesque behavior. You really need to see the movie to understand just how truly messes up this character is.
Other things to note about the film definitely includes the score and the production levels of Terrifier. The soundtrack to the film totally plays as an ode to the classic horror films of the 1980's - that had to be a conscious decision by the crew. Every sound and every effect is perfectly places to really add to the atmosphere and chill factor of Terrifier and the lunatic killer clown. Phenomenal job by the crew members responsible for putting that together, as well as the production of the gore and violence in the movie. When Art slices the poor girl in half, not only does the body look totally spot on of the actress, but the blood and guts that follow as a result are pretty legit looking. Same goes for all of the other killing scenes in the movie: everything looked pretty realistic and authentic, no cheap Party City props were used in the film, that's for sure.
The feeling you get when you see Art the Clown up close and personal in the film (which happens quite a bit, thankfully) is definitely described in the title: terrifying. He's dead silent the entire film: even when he's stabbed, he doesn't make a goddamn sound. And his actions down to the way he moves his fingers and hands are chilling. Art has quickly become one of my top killers for a number of reasons, but you definitely need to check out Terrifier to understand why exactly. Terrifier no doubt lived up to the hype surrounding it in the horror community, and I can't wait to see just how far this film manages to go. Spend the money and rent it today - it's well worth your time and cash.