If there was every a throwback to the mindless mayhem of the grindhouse slashers of the late 70’s and early 80’s, Terrifier is it. I’m not talking about Friday the 13th, Halloween, or Nightmare on Elm Street here. Nope, I’m talking about the seedy underbelly beneath those films. These were the movies at the video store that carried warning labels, were probably banned in multiple countries, and your mother was absolutely NOT going to let you rent them. Well, you’re all grown up now and Terrifier is taking you right back to the magical time when horror knew no bounds.
Let’s get this out of the way now, right here, right now. If you are looking for plot twists that will keep you guessing, subtle terror that ratchets up the tension, or a thinker that keeps you guessing Terrifier is not the movie for you. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re looking for a ballet of bloodshed, a no-nonsense hack ‘em up, or maybe one of the greatest new movie maniacs to grace the screen in ages…well, Terrifier has all of those things ratcheted up to 10.
As I just alluded, Terrifier, and the owner terrifying grimace that graces the poster above, Art the Clown, are steeped in slasher history. Not the glossy theatrical history of the AAA titles, but of the lesser known, but much beloved B, C, and D grade films that those blockbusters spawned. The acting isn’t going to win any awards, but at the same time, it isn’t really intended to. Director Damien Leone knows who the star of this film is…the brutally savage Art the Clown. If this is your first time experiencing his murdering ways, be sure to explore Leone’s debut film, All Hallow’s Eve for more fun.
The kills come quick and they come creatively. Let’s face it, horror films have a long history and getting one over on a jaded movie junky like myself takes some work. Art is like a surgeon…no matter what he has in his hands, he can use it with a deftness that inspires awe, and maybe an upset stomach before the credits roll. I mentioned it before, but I mean it, this movie is NOT for the lighthearted. Blood flows and it flows freely.
Art the Clown has reserved his place in the halls of horror movie maniacs, that’s for sure, and with him, Leone surely belongs there too. There’s nostalgia here but the movie is very self-aware, keeping you from ever feeling cheated by a cheap grab into the slasher goody bag. Besides, as over the top as the movie can get at times, the sincere terror that Art induces brings you right back down into the mire and the sludge. Recommended to any of you gorehounds out there, and that’s an understatement!