Skip to main content
Art the Clown

The Terrifier franchise has achieved some remarkable heights in the Horror Film industry. Art, the mysterious and bloodthirsty clown became so popular that he is now a cult villain and can stand proudly next to the likes of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger. However, he is only one of the reasons for the franchise’s success. Whoever has watched even one of the feature or short films with Art the Clown, will speak about the gore and uncensored violence that make these movies hard to forget and explains their success in the box-office.

The thing that impresses me the most about The Terrifier franchise is the fact that in an era of CGI and special visual effects, the production team choses to go completely clean and use only props and amazing costumes, prosthetics and make-up. This in a flawless way that shows the incredible talent in the crew. The “very” low budget of all the movies supports this claim. Terrifier 2 for example costed only somewhere between $35.000 to $50.000 and made $400.000 only on its opening day. By the following week it had already passed $1 million.

While it’s not necessary to watch the Terrifier movies in order, we will rank them here chronologically. Besides, starting from the first appearance of Art the Clown in The 9th Circle, to The Terrifier 3, it will be fair to say that director Damien Leone has only improved his product.

The 9th Circle (2008)

This is the first film by Damien Leone, that Art the Clown (Mike Gianneli) makes his debut appearance. Although we don’t see much from him, it gives a hint of what is about to follow in the coming movies. Here, we see Art chasing a young girl whose name is Casey (Kayla Lian) in an empty train station on Halloween night. Art gets to her, abducts her and brings her to a satanic cult which wants to sacrifice her to the devil.

Terrifier (2011)

This is another short film by Damien Leone, but here Art is the main character. Here, the villain stalks a young girl which witnesses one of his murders. When he catches her, he tortures her and does unspeakable things to her. Still, this short film is only a small taste of what is coming in the feature films.

Terrifier (2011) trailer

All Hallows’ Eve (2013)

Finally, we reach our first full length film of the series. All Hallows’ Eve is Art the Clown’s debut in a feature. He is played here by David Howard Thornton. In the story, a VHS is given to one of the children that Sarah babysits while it is out for trick or treat. The tape includes footage from Leone’s first two short movies. Sarah and the children watch the tape in horror and after they go to bed, Art pays a visit and torments them, before murdering them.

Terrifier (2016)

On Halloween night, Tara and her sister Victoria are being followed by the maniac clown. After they leave a party, they visit a restaurant to eat pizza, but they encounter Art the Clown who messes with them. After their first meeting a series of sadistic and vicious mercyless games starts. In this film, Leone sets the standards for what will follow in his next two films. Terrifier becomes a show of torture, mutilations and plot twists. The movie made just $416.000 on box-office, however it’s success was just around the corner.

Terrifier 2 (2022)

Sienna (Lauren LaVera) and Art (David Howard Thornton) in Terrifier 2

This is the most successful movie from the series. Terrifier 2 takes gore to completely new heights. In the series longest instalment, Art the Clown is resurrected by a mysterious being and goes on his longest killing spree. First of all, we have the amazing storyline and character development. Every character is written carefully and is made to look important. Then, the amazing props and prosthetics which add to this movie’s brilliance. It feels as if Leone is protesting against the modern means of CGI and computer technology. Or, is it maybe limited budget that led to the decision to exclude CGI? I don’t think so. If one should pay attention to the murder and torture scene will agree that the decision was deliberate. So flawless are the prosthetics and “traditional” ways of depicting gore, that even in the close ups they leave us in awe. Finally, the performances are only adding to the success of Terrifier 2. This film is a proof that sometimes you don’t need a lot of money to make a successful horror. A team of talented actors and crew are enough.

Terrifier 3 (2024)

Terrifier 3 trailer

Terrifier 3 will come out on October 2024 and it comes out confident and tall. Starting from humble beginnings, Art the Clown has now surpassed the likes of Pennywise and Jigsaw. The third feature movie of the franchise is set to be the goriest of them all. The official synopsis for the film reads: “In the third installment of Damien Leone’s breakout horror film, Art the Clown is set to unleash chaos on the unsuspecting residents of Miles County as they peacefully drift off to sleep on Christmas Eve.” Also, we get to see some of the actors, we saw in the second film. Leone says that a lot of things will happen and the story will be worked more than in the first and second film. He adds that everything in the movie “unravels like a nightmare” for the viewers. Is this the splatter to look forward to this year? We should be patient until October and see.

Leave a Reply