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By James Whittington, Sunday 18th March 2018
"Coulrophobia: the fear of clowns."
There's been a spate of "killer clown" movies of late as well as that trend of people posting increasingly boring videos of themselves dressing up as clowns and scaring the crap out of people. After we've been treated to the Eli Roth produced Clown and the remake of IT, step forward a movie that truly does make clowns scary, Terrifier.
This is the story of the maniacal Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton), who terrorizes three young women on Halloween, butchering everyone who stands in his way. In grand Halloween tradition, we see the night he came home in all its gory glory, in a place where nobody floats, and everyone dies. Art really is the clown who will haunt your nightmares.
If you like your horror movies to be violent and edgy with a touch of contemporary grindhouse then Terrifier is for you. Shot with bold but carefully selected colours and a small cast, this is a slasher that aims directly for the hardcore horror fan. The camera never moves away from the gore as each kill becomes increasingly bloody and graphic. Written and directed by Damien Leone, the film salutes the triumphs of late 70s and early 80s VHS but with effects that will make even the most hardened fan grimace. At first it plays like a standard horror with two not so innocent girls being hounded by a mysterious killer. This predictability doesn't last long as it soon becomes very apparent that none of the characters are safe, you just don't know who is going to be picked off next. We have slashings and hackings and a full body slicing, and that's just for starters.
The film belongs to Thornton who brings a delightful, silent glee to Art. This serial killer doesn't rely on one-liners or harrowing back-story to his slaughter, he just exists. This is far scarier than anything Freddy or Jason does as he has no reason for it. This could be the start of a very cool franchise if they continue to remain true to the character and its not so obvious roots or reason for slaughter. Though this is not Art's first appearance in a piece of film (he was in the short piece The 9th Circle and the original Terrifier short) the character is simultaneously horrific and funny.
The DVD only comes with a behind-the-scenes feature which is fun but only gives you a snapshot of the production of the movie.
Forget about Pennywise and all the others, Art the Clown is the real deal.
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