Connect with us

Movie Reviews

Terrifier 2 ★★★★★



Director: Damien Leone

Cast: David Howard Thornton, Lauren LaVera, Elliott Fullam, Sara Voigt

Release: October 24th, 2022 (UK)


“Even maggots need loving.”

Impaling its viewer into its macabre and viciously depraved environment, delightfully deranged delinquents Damien Leone and David Howard Thornton have created one of the most viscerally brutal pictures to grace both celluloid and the IMAX cineplex screen. Art the Clown’s rampage returns almost six years later in uninhibited, unfiltered fashion in Damien Leone’s 138-minute masterwork.

Paying visual homages to the likes of Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 and Tobe Hooper’s polychromatic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Damien Leone’s two-and-a-half-hour hybrid-slasher NAILS itself firmly into the top tier of modern genre cinema. Throughout the duration of the narrative, of what can only be recognised now as an epic, Leone’s pacing is bone-crunching. Every segment of Terrifier 2 is topped by an ever-surging set piece that still manages to remain balanced without ever becoming monotonous. My fear heading into the sold-out SUPER-SCREEN in Leicester Square was that I would become desensitised and aggravated by the relentless ferociousness of the on-screen events. However, Leone gives us just enough breathing space to fully submerge into the narrative realm of Terrifier 2.

Leone truly isn’t concerned about what the spectator thinks of him, however, this time round, there is a sense of absolute control in his craft, with a careful understanding of trauma. Terrifier 2’s narrative is entrenched in the world of the subconscious. Using the notion of one’s subconscious as a symbolic reflection of one’s trauma, Leone’s fascinating take on both killer and victim makes Terrifier 2 so successful. The horrors of the subconscious live synonymously, in blood-fuelled harmony, with the horrors of growing up in a volatile environment and suffocating Sienna’s, Lauren LaVera’s, daily existence. Although ostracised by her peers for her otherness, Leone makes Sienna’s difference her superpower, and this neatly mirrors Art the Clown’s own violent past, a narrative realm I was not expecting Leone to take us down. 

Art the Clown in Terrifier 2

At this point, it is entirely transparent that David Howard Thornton is an absolute master of physicality. As I stated back in 2019, when I first saw the original Terrifier, I commented on Howard Thornton’s performance being amongst one for the ages among the canon of slashers. In Terrifier 2, he resurrects the same unhinged mania, although this time, we get a personal insight into the scarred mind of horror’s greatest clown. Although, Terrifier 2 isn’t just held by its clown-faced menace. Our protagonist Lauren LaVera delivers a fearsome and emotionally charged performance as Sienna that matches the brilliance of Howard Thornton. Sienna, a controlled, caring, and emotionally literate individual juxtaposes deftly to Art’s deranged motives and bizarre physical orientation. As we reach the dénouement of Terrifier 2, let’s say Lauren LaVera gives Art a run for his money.

Formally, Terrifier 2 reveals the true extent of Leone’s creative endeavours. The man is a craftsman, and this work is formidable amongst the pantheon of slashers. For Terrifier 2, Leone has paired back up with the franchise’s original cinematographer George Steuber who rekindles the grungy, sanguinary photography from the first feature. With a discernible budget, Leone and his team of creatives lay no waste in creating a kaleidoscopic audiovisual experience that hacks through the veil of its predecessor. Accompanied by an arpeggiated synth score that the Safdie’s would be proud of, Terrifier 2 is a malevolent, nasty piece of work fuelled by ferocious on-screen barbarity. If there was any concern that Leone would be unable to match the genuinely repulsive nature of the first feature, then mark my words, Terrifier 2 is the behemoth of clown-killer slashers.

Just For You