B-List Delights: Terrifier


Art the Clown, courtesy of Zombiesdontrun.net

Macy Fowler

As someone who is creeped out by clowns, Terrifier (2017) left me checking around corners for days. The film is based on Damien Leone’s short film, featured in his anthology All Hallows Eve (2013), and premiered at the Telluride Horror Show Film Festival in 2016. With Leone’s directing, Terrifier showcases ‘Art the Clown,’ the antagonistic and murderous character played by David Howard Thornton.

Thornton does an incredible job of engulfing himself into the deathly silent persona, which gives the film a constantly eerie feel. Art is introduced in the film during an interview with one of his survivors. The host of the television show explains to the victim that her attacker somehow escaped the morgue and the police were looking for him, but the survivor reminds the host that she saw him die. The movie transitions to two friends, Tara and Dawn, walking home from a Halloween party. The two decide to stop for pizza and while they are waiting for their food, Tara notices a mime-looking man staring at her. His black and white outfit, along with matching face paint, leave her uneasy. It does not help that the man is staring her down, refusing to look away even when the girls speak to him. After the girls leave, they find the one of the car’s tires is flat and without a spare, Tara calls her sister Victoria to come pick them up. While they wait, Tara rushes to an dilapidated warehouse so she can use the restroom, and the exterminator lets her inside. Dawn is kidnapped by Art while she waits for Tara, who quickly realizes what is going on. The girls are forced to fight their way out of the building and escape their attacker, who will go to any force necessary to murder them.

The movie did not seem to have a slow point since there were constant jump scares and gruesome scenes. The sinister silence was one of the most unnerving parts of the film, since the audience never hears Art speak, just sees him gesture with his hands or give his bloody smile. There were plenty of parts that made me jump or sent chills down my spine, especially when the clown stares Tara down. The film moves quickly, leaping from one scene to another in the beginning, and slows down a little towards the end. The finale was unexpected, but rounded out the entire plot to finish off the movie. I did not have any questions or confusions towards the ending, as Leone answered all of them. Jenna Kanell, or Tara, did a great job to create her character and give her depth so she was not just another horror victim. Samantha Scaffidi, who played Victoria, also worked hard to create an appreciable performance as she fought off Art. Scaffidi has performed in other horror movies, while Kanell has created a Ted Talk and directed multiple television series and short films.

Terrifier is a true B rated movie, and one of the many clown-based horrors. The slight difference with this one that makes it stand out to me is that Art was completely silent. It added a factor that I have not felt before with this type of movie, and it made the final product even creepier. Terrifier is a five out of five skulls, as the film reached a different level of sinister for me. This is not something I would recommend watching alone, especially if you are just as terrified of clowns as I am.