TERRIFIER (2016) reviews and overview

Terrifier is a 2016 American horror feature film written and directed by Damien Leone (Frankenstein vs. The Mummy). It features a maniacal clown named Art who first appeared in the director’s 2008 short, The 9th Circle.

The Dark Age Cinema production is a feature-length version of Leone’s 2011 short film of the same name, which has also been used as one of the segments in his 2013 anthology movie, All Hallows’ Eve.

A maniacal clown named Art terrorises three young women on Halloween night and everyone else who stands in his way…


Terrifier is a very simple film, providing 84 minutes of stalking and slashing that occurs largely within the confines of one location. Leone directs the hell out of that simple scenario, though, milking every possible bit of tension from each moment. It’s a thrilling, brutal, gory ’80s throwback that I recommend checking out…” Arrow in the Head

“The real star of this movie is obviously Art the Clown, who is played by David Howard Thornton […] Overall, Terrifier will satisfy gorehounds and those who love slasher flicks. There’s a solid body count and it’s unique enough to merit its existence.” Bloody Disgusting

“The gore and blood is plentiful which will satisfy fans of old school make-up effects.  Although I would imagine the film obviously was made fairly cheaply, it is in no way a bargain basement looking picture.  It’s incredibly polished, well acted and most importantly incredibly entertaining with some good plot twists if non stop carnage, sadism, good looking ladies and clowns are your thing.” Fleapit Cinema

“This is a horror movie fans worst nightmare and dream come true all rolled into one. Exciting, scary as hell and with a cruel streak a mile long. But you love it anyway. Would I like to see a Terrifier 2? Hell yes!  Would I want to see an origin story…No…Art is far more terrifying knowing nothing about him and him just… being there. This is a must-see.” Hacked in the Head

“Now played by David Howard Thornton, Art has a wicked sense of humor that the film shares, while elevating this wildly hardcore killer clown to Horror Icon status. It’s not enough for him to kill you. He’s going to make you suffer in the worst way imaginable and laugh at you while doing it […] In its extremity, it is certainly not for everyone, but fans of All Hallows’ Eve will adore this visceral, ferocious followup, and gorehounds will crown it a cult classic.” Halloween Daily News

“Art the clown is creepy, filthy, unrelenting, and disgusting while constantly pushing the envelope per way of equal intensity and viewer tension (yes viewer tension). While we ultimately know what is about to transpire it is the process of his silence and glaring seediness that sets us up for an unnerving experience.” HNN

“Every year (or month) we’re promised the next “icon of horror”, and it always fails to deliver. But Damien Leon and team did it. The circus is officially in town, and Art is a star. Not only is Terrifier an instant Halloween classic, it’s required viewing for every sick and twisted SOB out there.” Modern Horrors

“The movie overall appears quite apologetic in being a classic horror throwback. But it gets right the most important aspects of a bloody slasher film. Terrifier isn’t out to be transcendent in the genre rather than just being a good bloody time. In that respect, it most certainly delivers.” The Movie Sleuth

Terrifier is like Marmite; you’ll love it or you’ll hate it. I loved it. It’s a horror film that doesn’t want to change the game or promote a meaningful message. It’s a proud shower of blood and guts that will be enjoyed by those that like their horror to be distressing and disgusting.” Scream magazine

“Thornton brilliantly stays in rôle throughout as a fun-loving mime artist, ensuring that all his slayings involve an unnerving combination of predatory sadism and popular performance. This, of course, makes him a perfect vehicle for the paradoxes of horror entertainment – and of horror as entertainment.” Sight & Sound

“It isn’t just the blood and guts that look fantastic – the film wears its grindhouse aesthetic with pride, and cinematographer George Steuber makes it look like a seedy, throwback a la William Lustig’s infamous Maniac. The film may feature mobile phones and modern technology, but Terrifier is an Eighties movie at heart, and it’s all the better for it.” The Slaughtered Bird

“Leone is competent and comfortable with the motifs of the genre and in Terrifier he has announced his directorial intent as somebody who can handle suspense and gore in equal measure. Art is a truly malevolent and evil killer, up there with the likes of Freddy, Jason and Jigsaw.” Starburst


Terrifier is extremely effective and, thus, quite horrifying. It’s gory and bloody. And, above all, it’s virtually spoiler proof. The plot can be summarized as “killer clown stalks beautiful girls in empty warehouse” and, yet, without watching the film, you can’t know just how powerful and brutal a film it is.” The Farsighted

” …if all you’re looking for from the movie is to see a creepy clown hack and slash his way through numerous bodies then there’s no shortage of that, especially when it comes to gore. In fact, this is probably one of the goriest films I’ve seen in a good while. And not only is it gory, but it’s all practical effects, so everything looks pretty damn impressive and even cringe worthy at times…” Upcoming Horror Movies

Main cast:

  • Margaret Reed – Central Park Dark; White Privilege Frankenstein
  • Jenna Kanell – The Bye Bye ManDemonica’s Reign
  • Katie Maguire – All Hallows’ Eve   
  • Pooya Mohseni
  • Catherine Corcoran
  • Samantha Scaffidi
  • Gino Cafarelli
  • David Howard Thornton as Art the clown – Nightwing: Escalation TV series


Terrifier was released on DVD in the UK by Signature Entertainment on 9th April 2018, with a Digital release on 30th March 2018. BBFC insight [may contain spoilers]

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