What is Terrifier 2? The shocking horror movie everyone’s talking about explained

Art the Clown in Terrifier 2Bloody Disgusting

Terrifier 2 is a horror sequel that’s breaking all the rules, earning a fortune at the box office, and making audiences vomit and faint – here, we explain how the crowd-funded phenomenon got made, plus details of when and where you can watch it.

It’s been a good week for horror at the US box office, with scary movies making up five of the Top 10 movies. You’ve probably heard of four: Halloween Ends, Smile, Don’t Worry Darling, and Barbarian. But the fifth film is the outlier: a 138-minute shocker that was partly funded on Indiegogo.

Terrifier 2 is the little horror movie that could, costing $250k, then opening to a phenomenal $1.2m weekend. Week two saw the film play in 200 fewer cinemas, but make even more money per-screen, with the film’s running total now standing at $2.5m.

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So let’s look behind-the-scenes, at how Terrifier 2 got funded, why it’s making fans sick, and when/where you can watch the twisted horror.

What is Terrifier?

Terrifier began as an idea director Damien Leone had some 15 years ago. Speaking to EW, he explains: “I had this idea of a clown terrorizing a woman on a city bus. She’s all alone, coming home from work or whatever, in the middle of the night, and then this clown gets on, and sits across from her, and starts staring at her and toying with her.

“It’s awkward and uncomfortable, and maybe even funny, but then it gets progressively more intimidating and aggressive. I thought that was just an interesting, weird idea. When it came to making my first short film I said, you know what, I’m going to use that, that’s going to be the opening.”

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Short film soon became feature, with the first Terrifier movie hitting festivals in 2016, and getting a limited release in 2018, the plot revolving around a clown called Art (David Howard Thornton), who hunts three young women on Halloween, and kills anyone who gets in his way.

Funding Terrifier 2

The film did well enough to warrant a sequel, which Leone set on Halloween a year later. Trouble is – SPOILER ALERT – ‘Art the Clown’ dies at the end of the first movie, so he’s resurrected at the start of Terrifier 2, to wreak yet more havoc.

This time, the film follows his efforts to pursue a woman called Sienna Shaw (Lauren LaVera) as well as her younger brother Jonathan (Elliot Fullam). With shocking and violent results.

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Terrifier 2 was initially funded via private investors, but then director Damien Leone launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise a further $50k, which took off, so-much-so that he crowd-funded more than $250k for additional budget.

Giving Terrifier 2 a wide release

Bloody Disgusting is one of the companies responsible for Terrifier 2’s release, and the website’s Brad Miska explains how it got a wide release

“When Cinedigm and Bloody Disgusting acquired Terrifier 2, the plan was for a brief theatrical stint before sending it to SCREAMBOX and digital/VOD platforms. Damien insisted that the film be released completely uncut and in its true form, the way he intended and the way fans deserve their horror delivered.

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“The conversation started with 30 theaters and that turned into 60… then all of sudden it was 150, 300, 500, and by the time it was released last weekend we had topped 900. Uncut. Uncompromised.”

Making audiences faint and vomit

In Terrifier 2, the gore is hardcore, and the violence extreme. I attended a festival where it played, and several people walked out early due to the shocking nature of the material.

Reports of fainting and vomiting have been all over social media, and while you should normally take such claims with a pinch of salt, Miska swears they are true, while Leone admits he’s worried about the safety of his fans.

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Speaking to EW, the director said: “I would have loved to have a couple of walk-outs, I think that’s sort of a badge of honor because it is an intense movie,” before adding “I don’t want people fainting, getting hurt during the movie.”

How to watch Terrifier 2

As mentioned above, Terrifier 2 currently screening in cinemas all over the US.

If you’re in the UK, although the film premiered at FrightFest in London, it’s now bypassing theatrical, and heading straight to Blu-ray and DVD, courtesy of Signature.

Terrifier 2 will be available on both formats on Monday October 24, 2022. It’s also being released as a standalone disc, or as part of a two-disc package called ‘The Bloody Duo,’ that features both Terrifier 1 and Terrifier 2.

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