Greetings, everyone! Hopefully November and the holiday season are treating everyone well. I have been immersing myself in some awesome nerdy celebrations, and horror films and the like. It has been quite a time. Most recently I have delved into the bloody tales of Art the Clown and his murderous antics, i.e. the Terrifier franchise.
I watched the first (technically second/third) Art film, Terrifier, a few years ago and enjoyed the character and his story. The silent antics of the killer clown, a horror trope that may honestly be slightly overdone, have been riding in the annals of my mind. Of course, Art’s complete silence, even in the face of pain and violence, set him apart from the other clowns in popular cinema. Art, to me, is more a mime turned rogue than a joke-loving clown, but either way his violent streak makes for quite an on screen tale. Once the sequel was announced, Art began to circulate more in the realms of nerddome that I frequent, so I knew I had to see it. I fulfilled that goal a few nights ago and have spent the days since ruminating on Art and the incredible, if lacking, story that he weaves.
We know nothing about Art’s history, his motives, his mindset, or his goals. In a similar motivation to the shark in Jaws, Art simply sees and kills. Throughout the two movies dedicated solely to Art and his mysterious journey through the night of All Hallows Eve we see him lock onto a female who is surrounded by friends and family, then he proceeds to destroy the entire group in increasingly creative, brutal and (let’s face it) moderately hilarious ways.
With Terrifier 2 the supernatural element comes into play in awesome ways, with an added dichotomy of good vs. evil, Heaven vs. Hell – if you’ve watched the movie you know what scenes I’m talking about. They were some of my favorites, honestly. I feel like this film truly captured the essence of deliciously evil and demented heartsick that is Art himself.
Needless to say, with my near obsession with Stephen King, my natural love of IT, and my own terrifying experience with a porcelain clown (check out this episode of my podcast to learn about that: https://anchor.fm/damean-mathews/episodes/Paranormal-Experiences-Part-2-e1pbdbp ) I am very drawn to the character of Art as a crazed horror output. Acting as a sort of anti-Pennywise, the mostly colorless and completely silent Art the clown paints a bland face on the idea of murder, but his creativity in acts of torture and slaughter bring about an interesting new spin on the clown story.
Art’s added Freddy Krueger-esque concept in this film brings about some new dimensions to his depravity, as do his new friend. Frankly, this film is an around B-movie delight, with an added element of modern gore. Personally, I don’t find the gore to be much higher the 80’s slashers like Hellraiser, but some people have apparently found it brutally harmful to their own wellbeing. Reports of people fainting and vomiting during screenings have circulated widely since the cinematic release. Granted, the same reports are released about most new horror films studios are trying to put good traction on, not to mention films like The Exorcist, which have been implanted in our minds as being truly horrifying since their release.
All that being said, I can definitely say if you are a fan of modern horror with something of an 80’s slasher twist, this movie may well be right up your alley. Art the clown is a villain that I truly enjoy and look forward to seeing more from. With the recent success of the film, Art will almost certainly be returning for another horrifying Halloween night. Writer/director Damien Leone has said he is interested in creating a trilogy, or even four solid movies filled with Art’s deliciously sadistic antics, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for plenty more from the silent killer. Before I forget to mention it, I also want to make sure everyone watches through the credits. There is a long, intense, star-studded mid-credits scene that I absolutely loved.
Regardless of your preference on clowns, body horror, grossout cinema, or slashers in general, I say you might as well give Art a shot. Check out the films in the Terrifier franchise and see what this weird, deformed, angry villain is all about. After all, what’s life without a little fear? Let me know what you think about the films and the character, and keep your eyes open for more reviews!!
Photo credit obviously goes to the creators of the film. Art the Clown and the Terrifier franchise are in no way my own, and I hold no rights to the image used for the over photo.