9/05/2018

TERRIFIER (Review)

Title: Terrifier
Writer/ Director: Damien Leone
Cast: Jenna Kanell, Samantha Scaffidi, David Howard Thorton, Catherine Corcoran, Pooya Mosheni
Year: 2017 (Released in 2018)
Min: 82

We start with a prologue, where pretty talk show host Monica Brown (Katie Maguire) is interviewing a horribly disfigured woman. This poor woman survived an attack by a killer named Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton). Art, himself, is actually watching the show from his TV set, while applying his makeup. After the show, Monica is in her dressing room talking on the phone. She makes some mean and bitchy comments about the victim, only to have said victim come in and gouge her eyes.

We then cut to, Halloween night, where two beautiful friends, drunk Dawn (Catherine Corcoran) and Tara (Jenna Kanell) are heading home after a clearly fun night. They soon encounter Art, who is carrying a large, black, plastic bag with him. Victoria is rightfully creeped out by him, but Dawn doesn't take it very seriously. When, they both head to a pizzeria for a bite to eat, the clown also walks in quickly there after. Dawn still finds it all rather funny and even takes a selfie with him. Soon after, he does something that is enough to get him kicked out of the eating establishment (we quickly learn that he left the bathroom covered in shit and piss!). The girls eventually go their own way.
Unbeknownst to them, the employee and the manager (whose decapitated head gets carved like a fucking jack-o-lantern!) of the pizza joint get slaughtered by Art. Meanwhile, their car's tire has been slashed. Tara thinks its the scary looking clown, but Dawn doesn't believe it is. Either way, they end up calling Tara's sister, Victoria (the lovely Samantha Scaffidi) to pick them up.
Tara needs to take a piss really badly, so she ends up going in a nearby building. Soon there after, Dawn hears on the radio about two people getting killed at the pizzeria that they just left by a clown! It soon dawns on her (pardon the pun) that Tara was right all along! It's too fucking late though, as Art is in the car. He soon turns his attention to Tara, and will do the same with Victoria when she finally arrives at the rat infested, dump of a building, where the majority of the remaining film will occur at.

Let's not mince words here, Terrifier is the best slasher movie since Hatchet II, hands down! This is 80's inspired splatter done right. It's brutal, uncompromising, and gory as fucking hell. The movie has been garnering strong word of mouth and reviews and is rapidly gaining an ever growing cult following, all of which it rightfully deserves.
Writer/ director Damien Leone has crafted a movie that doesn't simply play oving tribute to stalk and slash movies of their golden age but manages to surpass many of them. This is due to the fact that he doesn't have some cookie cutter bullshit that does the same tired shit over and over again. He also does not play it safe taking it to a far more extreme level than many of the weak ass Friday the 13th sequels and their ilk never had the guts to partake in.

Leone is also very apt at adding much tension and suspense. The pacing is fast and tense, resulting in a short running time that flies by. Most of the time when I watch a movie of this type I just sort of look at the screen and not much else. Watching this one, though, I was screaming at the screen and the characters, telling them to run, hide, fight back, whatever the scene dictated. I don't think there is a better sign that you have done a good job, then getting the audience to shout and be invested in what is happening onscreen.
To achieve this you need to care about the characters and for them to be played by a talented cast. The girls aren't just there to provide eye-candy, though they are certainly gorgeous. You actually don't want to see them die. Most of the cast are unknowns, save for the gorgeous Catherine (Return to Nuke 'Em High Vol. 12, Sociopathia) Corcoran, who is one of my personal favorite, current scream queens.

But, extra praise must be given to David Howard Thorton. He is perfectly terrifying as Art. Without saying a single word, he manages to be menacing and utterly bone-chilling. His creepy ass smile will fucking haunt you. And, for those of you who are scared of clowns, be prepared to clean the shit from your undies. Cause, Art manages to be more disturbing than Pennywise is on his best day.
Of course, it also helps that his look is unsettling to begin with. Also solid are the gore FX. Decapitation, slashings, stabbings, blood spurting gunshots, eye gouging, cannibalism, and bludgeonings hit the viewer with no mercy. Included in these acts is a snatch to head bisection that is more than likely the year's most memorable and shocking kill and probably one of the vicious kills by a psycho killer since the glory of Lucio Fulci. Throw in a little bit of nudity, courtesy of Corcoran, and you have something that gives you everything you want and more.
Terrifier is a killer slasher movie and destined to become a modern, cult classic. The movie is brutal, vicious, and does not fuck around. It is also a shit load of fun and keeps you invested throughout its running time. Suspenseful directing and characters you actually give a flying fuck about played by a solid cast help things even further. And, here is hoping Art becomes the next big slasher villain, especially as how he is bought to life by Thorton. Distributed by horror website Bloody Disgusting, Terrifier is currently streaming on Amazon. It is an absolute must for those who like their throwback horror movies to be as uncompromising as possible.


4 out of 4

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