[31 Days of Horror Reviews] Day Nine: Damien Leone's 'Terrifier'

For Day Nine, I’m reviewing a movie I’ve seen several times since it came out: Damien Leone’s Terrifier.

I know, I know, I’m breaking my own rule. This is supposed to be thirty-one consecutive days of movies I’m seeing for the very first time, not movies I’ve watched too many times to count. But I’m a little hung over, so…yeah. We’re doing Terrifier.

Leone hit the big time when he introduced the demonic Art the Clown in his horror anthology All Hallows’ Eve. I have a hard time imagining a horror villain more unnerving than Art the Clown, and with very little backstory and even less plot, Leone delivered exactly what his fans wanted with his feature film Terrifier.

The story follows a series of unfortunate protagonists as they’re hunted and tortured by a mute man in a clown suit on Halloween night. Although that’s about as much story as we’re given, Terrifier is rewatchable for the sheer creativity behind the ultra-gory kills and masterful acting of David Howard Thornton’s Art the Clown. I feel like actors who play silent killers are rarely given the appreciation they deserve, because audiences seem to think body language is cheap and dialogue is where the craft lies. But, hey, those people can all go suck a bag of mime dicks; Thornton’s silent character got under my skin and stayed there for the full ninety minutes, something I can’t say about many horror icons.

It was announced recently that Leone’s follow-up, Terrifier 2, has been pushed from Halloween 2020 to sometime in 2021 due to COVID-19’s impact on filming. This is a true bummer for fans who’ve been scratching their forearms furiously, jonesing for their diabolical fix. On the bright side, Leone and Thornton have both said Terrifier 2 will be richer in story and character development while keeping all the gory kills and sinister vibes that made first film so successful.

The best advice I can give you is to go into this movie blind. Don’t look anything up online, don’t watch kill clips on YouTube or skim reviews for hints of what’s to come. You’ll want your first time to be special, since you’ll likely remember it forever.

If you haven’t seen Terrifier yet, it’s worth checking out with a group of friends. Better yet, show it to your girlfriend on date night. It probably won’t get you laid, but there’s more to life than just sex…there’s also hacksaws.



Throughout the month of October, I’ll be reviewing 31 movies I’ve never seen before. Is there an excellent movie you think I haven’t seen? Tell me in the comments below, and I’ll check it out!