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How Terrifier Went From Low Budget Gore-Fest to Audience-Sickening Horror Franchise - Stream Terrifier 2 on Peacock
Don’t watch Terrifier 2, now steaming on Peacock, on a full stomach.
Don’t watch on a full stomach.
Horror movies are not for the faint of heart and the Terrifier films are not for those with a full stomach. When Terrifier 2 premiered in October of 2022, the slasher film was so gory, people were reportedly passing out in theaters and exiting just to puke. So, if you’re looking to stream something to give you an eventful evening, you'll be happy to know that the indie horror hit is currently streaming on Peacock.
The killer for the Terrifier movies, Art the Clown first appeared as a background character in director Damien Leone’s first official short film, The 9th Circle in 2008. Fans told him to do more with Art the Clown, so Leone decided to make the short film Terrifier (2011) (not to be confused with the full-length Terrifier (2016) featuring him. He tells Entertainment Weekly he had the idea of a clown bothering a woman on her way home from work where it starts, “awkward and uncomfortable, and maybe even funny, but then it gets progressively more intimidating and aggressive."
The Origin of Art the Clown
Every film festival Leone submitted the project to rejected it, so he uploaded it to YouTube instead. It received over 120,000 views and the attention of Jesse Baget, who would become a producer on Leone’s first feature film project, All Hallows’ Eve, which combined The 9th Circle, Terrifier and wrapped them into a babysitting story all featuring Art the Clown. After its success, Leone started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for Terrifier (2016) before his friend Phil Falcone offered a large sum of money and became a producer.
Leone has a background as a special effects makeup artist, so all the installments featured a lot of the punch seen in the canon movies. His mastery of over-the-top gore is a huge reason he’s been so successful. Funnily enough though, in an interview with HorrorBuzz, Leone tells them that despite how much gore he’s put into his projects, “in reality I can’t even look at [a real-life medical] operation.” Go figure.
This of course led to people throwing up and passing out watching Terrifier 2. Leone tells Entertainment Weekly, “Listen, I would have loved to have a couple of walkouts, I think that’s sort of a badge of honor because it is an intense movie. I don’t want people fainting, getting hurt during the movie. But it’s surreal.” It’s very honorable of Leone to say this, but this is exactly the kind of buzz that gets horror fans into the theaters.
Terrifier 2 grossed an eye-popping $15 million on just a $250,000 heavily crowdfunded budget, and it makes sense. Horror fans see a movie like this as a challenge. It felt like if you watched Terrifier 2, you had conquered the arguably goriest movie ever made. This has led to the stomach-churning news that there will be a Terrifier 3 with an even bigger budget and even more gore. We advise investing in vomit bag suppliers while you still can.
The Main Canon of The Terrifier Films
In the first Terrifier, characters play a desperate game of hide-and-seek before Art the Clown turns them into his best Jackson Pollock painting impression. If the idea of someone getting cut in half from a hacksaw between the legs is too much to handle, don’t worry, you’re just a normal human being. As for me, I watched on and awaited Terrifier 2.
The second installment undoubtedly ups its game from the first movie. Siblings Sienna (Lauren LaVera) and Jonathon Shaw (Elliott Fullam) are preparing for Halloween but are on edge from the past year’s murder spree. Their father had recently died, with strange connections to Art the Clown, creating plenty of compelling narratives to keep you invested. But as you probably have guessed, we’re not watching these films for the plot. There’s a nearly five-minute scene of Art the Clown scalping, sawing, and slicing someone in a fountain of never-ending blood. The lesson: don’t refuse Art the Clown Halloween candy unless you want your head to become a candy basket.
There are parts of the movies that seem to be creepy just to be creepy. At one point in Terrifier 2, a woman gives birth to Art the Clown’s head. Like, just the head! There are also times one character will tell the other to stay put while they inexplicably wander off into a hallway by themselves. But we’d argue this version of storytelling is exactly what makes it so good. Because so much of it doesn’t make sense, there’s no way of knowing what Art the Clown will do next.
So instead of yelling at the screen as dimwitted protagonists stumble into his disturbingly creative ways to mutilate people, just go with it. Your brain will be stimulated enough as it is.
While we can’t promise these movies are for you, we can promise watching them will lead to a memorable night... potentially too memorable. We cannot stress this enough: watch at your own risk.
Terrifier 2 is now streaming on Peacock.