Review: The Terrifier

If you dislike horror or unnecessary gore, it’s time to turn away now.

One of my most beloved but extremely graphic horror films is ‘The Terrifier’. The film was recently brought onto Netflix and I honestly watched it just because I recognised the clown, Art, who featured as our voiceless maniac in All Hallows’ Eve.

Honestly, the opening scene had me really confused because it was just a warped girl killing her interviewer for no particular reason, and it is true that this particular clown terrifies anyone and anything for the sheer thrill of it – which is one of this films flaws. I personally love hearing motives and resolutions for horror films; I’m all about the ‘why’, however this film doesn’t really give us any clue towards reasoning behind the acts.

I will give this film, and this clown really, credit – it brings back the original craft of horror, where it’s unnecessarily bloody, obviously fake, but horrifying. It brings back old torture methods, some even from medieval times (which I honestly loved because I’m a massive history nerd, although it did made me cross my legs tightly in ickiness) and keeps you on your toes. It’s a mockery of reality, a mockery of humanity, and a blessing to those who miss the days of Freddie and Jason, even Michael. However, as I said before, unlike those older movies there is no proper storyline told, no ‘why’, just constant death and gore. I still find it smart that they make references to what happened earlier in the movie, more like a ‘if this is what you do to me, I’ll do it back’ kinda thing – and you need to watch it to understand what I mean by that,

Silence is a massive factor in this narrative as well. The only sounds we hear are from everything but Art himself, including a loud, sharp score. Art’s horror is silent horror, for he is something hidden in the night who reveals himself at Halloween. His laughter is silent, his torture methods are ‘quiet’ – he even silences a gun he uses. His expression is bold, his movements are expressionist. He’s the villain that doesn’t need to say a thing, because all he really does is taunt his victims to get the most out of their fear.

When it comes to costuming, I love the black and white nature of this character. Why? He’s stunningly blatant. There is no grey because he doesn’t give you a chance to think. He figures out who you are, what you’re like, and uses it against you in the most gruesome way possible.

A lot of people do question what Art actually is though – is he human, just some maniac in a suit? Perhaps a ghost, or a god? I honestly would not be surprised if he was a demon of sorts – in All Hallows’ Eve, there were many references towards demons and Hell, one scene particularly showing someone as the Devil. Hell (pun intended, and spoiler alert in this sentence), in The Terrifier, he eats someone’s face, and manages to survive a shot through the head. What is with that?

Is he the new Freddie? No, absolutely not.

Does he belong in horror culture if really all he’s doing is goring people up for the giggles? Hell yes. This movie may not be as psychologically testing as Saw, but it is something to boil up the blood, even laugh at for the extremities.

I mean, just look at his smile. You just can’t take him seriously!

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