Let’s play with clowns.

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Terrifier seems to have a bit of a following, but I wasn’t familiar with it before throwing it on.

The film follows a group of people one year after a massacre before. We get an interview with a mutilated victim, and this sets up I suppose an amusing scene where the victim then kills the host who mocks her appearance.

This sort of set-up has happened before. We have a massacre, and there are questions about whether or not the killer is actually dead (the entire Halloween franchise sets itself up on this premise). Of course, we as the audience know that the killer is still alive, and we get to tag along on his new massacre.

I tend to like these sorts of movies. Something about the time limit makes the films fun. Knowing that those who survive the night are more than likely to survive to the end credits gives a sort game-like feeling to the film. This plot can be a cut and dry slab of horror that promises some good tension and lots of blood. Unfortunately, a lot of these films seem to believe that interesting characters are entirely optional.

We primarily follow Tara and Dawn, who seem to be having a night out on the town when they realize they are both too drunk to drive. Tara notices a creepy clown watching them, and this is our primary introduction to Art the Clown—the killer. Art is interesting and creepy for a bit, but once we realize he is just a Michael Myers clone, things get a little tired. We also don’t have the best characters to root for.

Tara is fine and seems almost too smart to be in the universe of this film. Dawn, however, is almost too stupid to function. Art is creepy, and Tara is clearly uncomfortable, but Dawn seems to refuse to acknowledge the situation. You could sum this up to being too drunk, but I think even most drunk folks get when their friend doesn’t feel safe (and they aren’t acting completely smashed).

I will likely rail against characters in horror for as long as this blog continues. Dawn’s entire character can be summed up as the “dumb blonde one” as opposed to the “smart brunette one” with Tara. I think I am giving Tara more of a pass because her character seems to exist in a world where horror movies and crime exist. The blind stupidity of characters in horror is something I will never understand.

Are the kills good? Sure. There is some fun to be had here, but it all smacks as a little to convenient for the killer and a little to familiar for the audience. This is just another guy who kills women (mostly) and you’d think horror could come up with something a little better. (Yes, he kills men, but let’s be honest, the violence is extremely gendered here). I’m no prude, but the film could have hit a lot harder with a bit more thought behind the violence.

Some good scenes and genuine tense moments are present here. While there is a lot to be annoyed at, there is also a lot to enjoy. The film will surprise you at certain points, which is becoming a rarity. The brutality will also get your attention. For fans of the genre I think this one is a go.

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