REview: Terrifier 2 (2022) | The Violence Is The Point

I genuinely enjoyed Terrifier (2016) because it played more like a pitch black, ultra-violent horror comedy than anything else.

Much to my dismay the sequel ditches the brunt of the humor, rendering it mostly of a study in the ways Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) can dole out grisly violence.

And if it had a runtime approximating that of the first movie, less than an hour and half, then I might have been okay with the shift in tenor.

Though seeing that Terrifier 2 lasts two hours and 18 minutes, it overstays its welcome.

It’s also a bit of a paradox in that while I don’t think it’s debatable that it’s better by most metrics than the first movie – the story is tighter and and the characters feel more defined, particularly Sienna (Lauren LaVera) and her mother, Barbara (Sarah Voight) – but it doesn’t say or do anything to justify the significantly longer run time.

And while it’s interesting to see so many practical effect set pieces (even the flaming woman in A Nightmare on Elm Street-esque dream sequence looked practical, despite the length of time she appeared to be on fire because I have never seen CGI flames that convincing) the gore is unrelenting and seems to not recognize that sometimes less is more and one might adjust to the unrelenting violence.

That is if Damien Leone, the writer/director of both movies, didn’t amp up the gore to such a degree that doing so is rendered extremely unlikely.

Terrifer 2 also somewhat reminded me of Scream (2022) in that shock and blood loss apparently aren’t a thing, so you can stab a person as often and for as long as you like, virtually wherever you like.

It might eventually kill them, though till it does they just scream a lot (and little else).

Strangely enough, the violence isn’t the most unrealistic aspect of Terrifier 2. What’s even more so was a scene where Art steps into a laundromat to wash his clown suit (?) which happened to be covered in grue.

The movie establishes that he picked up some change earlier, though being able to get blood out of a partially white costume with water alone was almost a bridge too far, as far as realism is concerned.

What’s also curious is that despite the brutality the movie never felt either mean-spirited or misanthropic – and I have seen significantly less violent movies that felt as if they were.

If you’re a completist and seen the first, you could do worse than Terrifier 2 though don’t be surprised if you don’t enjoy the ride as much as the original.

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