Release Date(s)2017 (March 15, 2018)
Studio(s)Epic Pictures (Dread Central Presents)
- Film/Program Grade: D
- Video Grade: B
- Audio Grade: B
- Extras Grade: B
A quasi-sequel to All Hallow’s Eve, Terrifier continues the horrific misadventures of the serial killer Art the Clown who, on Halloween night, kidnaps two women for an evening filled with a heavy dose of stalking, torture, and murder. Distributed by Epic Pictures, it’s also the first title in the new Dread Central Presents line of titles with, purportedly, many more on the way.
To be completely honest about Terrifier, it’s not my cup of tea. It isn’t completely terrible, but it’s not the kind of horror film that I can engage in. It’s really a shame that we don’t care more about the characters of the film than we do. The killer and the gore are the stars of the show which, unfortunately, makes the film less involving and not all that exciting. Some might argue that the film has a Friday the 13th type atmosphere with one dimensional characters whose demise is all but certain and, therefore, you don’t need to invest in them. That’s true to some degree, but that only works if the kills, as well as the build up to the kills, have some weight and imagination. Art the Clown pulls out a gun at one point, which is a far cry from a machete or a chainsaw.
All of that being said, Terrifier offers genre fans a maniacal killer with no backstory and no motivation to do what he does. He’s basically a killer clown with Hostel like tendencies, albeit through lip service. There’s a lack of identity to this movie, and it doesn’t offer much that we haven’t already seen, aside from a very gruesome and (in my opinion) misogynistic death scene that’s in poor taste if anything. Even the opening credit sequence is reminiscent of A Nightmare on Elm Street. So if paying obvious nods to horror films of the past interests you, Terrifier offers up a nasty little slasher that hits all of the marks genre-wise, but very little otherwise.
Terrifier creeps from the film festival circuit, VOD, and DVD to Blu-ray with a nice presentation on display. Shot digitally, there’s not an enormous amount of depth while detail is sometimes lacking. Black levels are deep and the color palette is aggressively graded to have more of an orange and green look (it does take place on Halloween night after all). The presentation is bright enough but with high contrast, and the overall quality of the presentation reveals the film’s meager budget, while at the same time showcasing Art and the carnage he inflicts quite well. The soundtrack is included in English 5.1 Dolby Digital with optional subtitles in English SDH and Spanish for those who might need them. The rear speakers are often reserved for ambience and score, more so than spatial activity, and dialogue is clean and clear and relegated to the front for the most part. I will give the score high marks though as it fits in with the other elements well. It’s not an amazing sound experience, but it’s free of any unpleasant sound issues.
This package also comes with a nice set of supplements, which is the most attractive aspect of it. It includes an audio commentary with director Damien Leone and actor David Howard Thorton (Art); 21 minutes of on-set behind-the-scenes footage during filming and prep; a 10-minute interview with actress Jenna Kanell; 2 deleted scenes; an Art the Clown makeup appliance time lapse; a still gallery with 24 pictures; both the red band and green band trailers for the film; a set of Dread Central Presents trailers (The Lodger, #Screamers, The Monster Project, Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight); a DVD copy; and optional reversible artwork.
While Terrifier is definitely for a certain genre audience, this Blu-ray package should please that audience with flying colors. More titles in the Dread Central Presents line are coming down the pike, some much classier than Terrifier by comparison, but their debut release is a good one for those with a certain kind of taste in horror.
- Tim Salmons