“On their way home from partying, Tara and Dawn cross paths with a mysterious clown on Halloween night. What begins as a seemingly innocent encounter soon takes a turn for the worse as the clown's playful antics become the prelude to something much more terrifying: The stranger is a sadistic madman named Art the Clown who murders everyone in his path. A gruesome game of cat and mouse ensues as the women take refuge in an abandoned warehouse, becoming the maniac's latest target. Who will make it out alive and what will be left of them?”
Director: Damien Leone
Writer: Damien Leone
Stars: Catherine Corcoran, Jenna Kanell, Sylvia Ward and David Howard Thornton
As someone who spends a large portion of their free time sorting through a variety of horror news sites, you begin picking up on small subtleties which seemingly push the agenda of one specific story over others.
I began noticing this type of pattern developing on Dread Central regarding the killer clown film, Terrifier. This turned out to be with good reason as they had picked up the distribution rights to the film and would push interest in the project in order to turn a profit from this purchase.
This abundance of coverage did however have enough of an effect to have me look more into the film, prompting me to view the trailer.
I had been stunned by what I just witnessed. This was something which look creepy, dark and disgusting with an excellent use of a killer clown. This preview had gotten me ready to watch the film and I couldn't have been more excited to do so.
One of the major factors that got me hooked on the idea was when I realized that I had seen this specific clown somewhere previously. Upon further research, I found this would be from one of the shorts in 2013’s “All Hallows Eve”. In the anthology film, the clown is only shown for a short amount of time and used as a form of bait in order to trap victims for a more sinister group of individuals.
As for the feature length film and depending on if you’re taking the short on as cannon or not, it could be interpreted in a few ways. Without, a straight slasher with a raging lunatic dressed as a clown or with the short, the same with the add-on of supernatural elements and a small degree of explanation of what may have taken place in the feature.
From a creative standpoint, I unfortunately had some issues with the film. The most notable of which were the capabilities of practically all the actors. They sounded great most times, but on occasion, there was no believability in what they were trying to say. The feeling of dread and terror would suddenly go missing and take me right out of the film. Worse than this however was the physical acting with certain actors being forced to do ridiculous things while others seemed to have their attention taken away from what they were doing from either something going on behind the scenes or because they were reading from cue cards. Either way, this was yet another major distraction which shouldn't be made present in the final cut of the film.
Additionally, the storyline was very plain. There is nothing that is being built up next to the victims attempt at surviving, a lack of backstory for everyone involved and in the manner the film is played out, you can easily decipher what the ending is going to be fairly early in the film.
Now, this doesn't mean you shouldn’t watch 'Terrifier’. There are still some redeeming qualities to the film that you may enjoy including a large variety of kills, more gore than you can shake a stick at and the acting of David Howard Thornton who portrays the silent but deadly 'Art The Clown’ with incredible grace and what feels to be a tribute to silent film actors with his performance.
I wouldn't typically recommend something like this but with the previously mentioned positives alongside the simple to follow story, this would be perfect to just chill to or have on in the background while keeping occupied doing other things.
4 out of 10.
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Have you listened to the newest Beyond the Void Horror Podcast? You should they interview the Director Yfke Van Berckelaer who co directed the Documentary "Xangadix Lives" about the movie "The Johnsons" (1992). It's pretty fun! They talk Demon Embryo Gods, Hair Metal Puppet Space Movies & a lot more. LIsten here or on iTunes HERE.