Movie Review: Terrifier (2017)

Synopsis: It's Halloween night and Art the Clown, armed with a bag of weapons, is ready to start a killing spree. When he encounters two young women on their way home from a Halloween party, he decides to terrorize them while killing anyone else who happens to get in his way.

Who's in it? The movie stars Jenna Kanell, Samantha Scaffidi, David Howard Thornton, Catherine Corcoran and Pooya Mohseni.

Review: I haven't had much success picking out horror movies lately and, as a result of that, I was a bit hesitant to watch this one last night. But, since you really can't go wrong with a killer clown movie, I figured I would give this film a shot. And, as it turns out, it was better than expected.

Art the Clown (Thornton) was pretty much everything you could ask for in a horror movie clown. He was creepy looking, had a definite violent streak and was surprisingly unpredictable. As a result of that, along with his way he always remained silent, he managed to make us feel a little uneasy just by being on the screen (and my wife and I aren't people who normally feel that way about clowns).

At the same time, the filmmakers made sure to remember Art the Clown was, in fact, a clown and, despite his overall creepy vibe, he would occasionally do something or make a face that would actually make us laugh. That's something many similar films failed to do.

The movie is kind of gory and I would not recommend it if you are squeamish, especially when it comes to the scene involving him slowly slicing a woman in half. But, while there is a lot of blood, I don't think the film really reached a point where I felt it was too excessive.  The filmmakers had just enough for shock value but stopped just short of the "so much blood it's ridiculous" line.

Another thing I found I liked about this movie were Art the Clown's victims. As I've said in the past, horror movie villains are only as good as the people they stalk and I liked how many of his victims made and effort to fight back and, at times, even looked like they gained the upper hand. This made the movie much more enjoyable than it would have been if the victims just ran away screaming and crying.

Of course, as is usually the case with films like this, some of his victims weren't exactly the brightest people. At one point, my wife and I were practically yelling "double tap" at the screen because, on more than one occasion, someone would stab Art the Clown or knock him over the head and, rather than make sure he was dead or, at minimum, incapacitated, drop their weapon and walk away only to predictably run into him a short while later. But, to be fair, if they weren't idiots, the movie would have been over in about 10 minutes so I guess it was a necessity.

Final Opinion: I don't know if this movie ever reached a point where it truly scared me. But, it was a pretty intense film that did manage to have me on the edge of my seat at times and I thought it was entertaining throughout. Again, it's not a movie you'll want to watch if you are squeamish (or just had a pasta dinner) but, if you can stomach it, I would recommend it.

My Grade: B


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