Written and Directed by Damien Leone
Two tipsy teenage women find themselves being stalked by a creepy man wearing a black and white clown outfit with matching ghastly white facepaint and tar-black teeth. Whilst at first he seems quirky and a little odd, the true nature of Art the clown soon surfaces as he unleashes his taste for human destruction.
Tearing through Twitter have been mentions of Art the clown and new horror flick TERRIFIER which is meant to live up to its namesake. With the reappearance of Stephen King’s IT and the rise of people in clown costumes at Halloween terrorising youngsters in parks and street corners, it’s no surprise that the film world feels there’s room for another big shoe’d villain besides Pennywise.
TERRIFIER starts as it means to go on with a victim of Art’s being interviewed on a TV programme before the traumatised victim assaults the host. With many believing the maniac clown to be dead, Art decides what better way to prove his living and breathing mortality than to hit the streets. Unfortunately for friends Tara and Dawn, their tipsy treat followed by an evening bite to eat is what sets them on a collision course with the creepy clown who has more in store for them than just a silly selfie.
This isn’t the first outing for Art. He was the villain of the piece in writer/director Damien Leone’s previous film All Hallows’ Eve albeit played by a different actor. It seems that Leone thinks there’s something about Art that makes him a good villain that can carry a franchise, hence this second movie, but I’m afraid I was unable to see it. Look past the costume and the simple yet grotesque makeup and Art is nothing more than a shit-smearing, horn-tooting mass murderer with a penchant for acting like a mime-clown when he’s not stabbing or sawing someone up, which leads me to my second point…
Blood, guts and grindhouse gore: TERRIFIER is full of it. However, what it lacks is realism. Whilst seeing a fully naked woman tied hanging upside down naked isn’t that out-of-the-ordinary to horror fans, the act of sawing up the woman starting from her crotch downwards is possibly something no-one expected. Did I cross my legs and wince? Yes. Was I impressed? No, not really. Whilst the effects team had a ball and did a good job in terms of practical effects, I thought the gratuitous scenes lacked believably as there’s no way that body could have been sawed using that meagre tool, especially through the ribcage and skull. Am I being too picky? I suppose but when a film hinges on the carnage it creates and has little else going for it, I demand a little more than what I received here in the movie. Had there been an actual character to Art, which initially seemed as though there would be, then my judgement on his bloodshed may be a bit more lenient. However, Art has nothing going for him except for the death he causes and that is why I struggled to invest in this movie. With every scene of horror I yawned and rolled my eyes. I’ve seen it all before and TERRIFIER is no different. I wanted it to give me a villain I could invest in but instead Art is an empty shell of a killing machine that seemingly has no motive to do what he does and so he, and the film, just become another bloodstained victim of the genre.
If gory horror with little to no story is up your street then Art the clown may just appeal to your tastes however if you’re looking for a semi-decent stalker story with a big bad to boot then you may be left disappointed by this shallow attempt. At 82 minutes, TERRIFIER outstayed its welcome with Art becoming the Mime in Sims that gatecrashes your party, makes everybody unhappy and causes your Sim to commit suicide because he ruined your big night.