The first Terrifier was a gory little slasher with a striking villain in the shape of ‘Art the Clown’, and had a tongue-in-cheek humour to it that helped gloss over any shortcomings in acting or budget. This bigger and bolder but still fairly low budget follow-up has the psychotic clown return to stalk a fresh set of victims on Halloween night.
With a run time of a surprising 138 minutes, this is far more ambitious than the first movie. It further develops the mystique of Art the Clown by introducing a haunting, freaky little girl version of him. The plot revolves around a teenager as she prepares to enjoy Halloween, creating a costume for the night etc. Her younger brother however seems obsessed with the stories of the killer clown from exactly one year earlier. The movie is a bit all over the place plot-wise throwing in dream sequences and hinting at a back story that’s never fully explored. However, director Damien Leone delivers a constantly freaky, unnerving and at times downright nasty experience. His style is very grind-house but there’s clear skill behind the camera. He was also partly responsible for the excellent practical effects and with that let’s get to the gore… oh my god! This has to be one of the most unrelenting and brutal slasher movies I have ever seen – seriously, no matter your disposition, there’s several scenes of savage violence here that are simply hard to watch.
The big failing though is that the plot doesn’t go anywhere, with any deeper lore kind of forgotten about as the movie nears its end. It’s also not as darkly funny as the first movie, preferring to be intense and nasty. Acting isn’t great either, with the younger brother especially cringe. That being said Lauren Lavera is at least a decent, gutsy heroine and her look and personality do stand out. Yet of course the star here is David Howard Thornton’s ‘Art’ – who cements his place in the halls of horror icon infamy. At over 2 hours this was too long and often felt self-indulgent… but as a movie it certainly packed a punch.
I went into this hoping for a fun 80s throwback horror like I grew up watching when first getting into horror. The concept is an appealing one. A nerdy girl begins to think her hot best friend may be possessed after a night at a drunken party summons a demon.
This did make me think of Megan Fox horror Jennifer’s Body. However with the casting of relative unknowns, the first mistake this makes is weak clichéd characters and only passable acting. Secondly for a demonic possession movie, teen comedy or not this is very watered down and tame. The horror aspects are not for a minute scary either. Even the effects work is poor (a vomit scene, obviously a nod to The Exorcist is just laughable).
For a movie set in the 80s, apart from the music and some posters, it fails to ever feel or look particularly 80s. Really, when I think the horrors I grew up on, this was just embarrassing.
I’ve kept an eye on the careers of both Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy in recent years, both having impressed in ‘Jo Jo Rabbit’ and Netflix show ‘The Queens Gambit’ respectively. So when I heard that the latest from director Edgar Wright starred both of these talents, I was certainly appealed. McKenzie plays Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer who moves to London. There she finds her love for the sixties era come to life when she experiences visions that follow the escapades of a young wannabe singer named Sandy (Taylor-Joy). Somehow the two girls lives become entwined as the glitz and glamour take a sinister turn.
Edgar Wright has always been one of the more inventive and stylish directors, first coming to fame with zombie-rom-com Shaun of the Dead, and that creativity is on fine form here, inventively jumping back and forth from past to present, whilst bringing to life sixties London with a top notch soundtrack. Both lead actresses deliver great performances but this is especially a showcase for McKenzie who carries the movie in a demanding yet effective turn.
This just held my internet throughout. For what on paper is a sort of horror thriller, this wasn’t as scary as it might have intended but was still a joy to watch and get mesmerised by the atmosphere, the twisty-turny plot and visuals. Is it Wright’s best movie to date? Possibly, and also proves a great showcase for two of the most watchable and talented young actresses currently working. A must see.
After a woman’s husband commits suicide under mysterious circumstances, she finds herself experiencing strange visions and creepy goings on during the night in the lakeside house where they lived together.
A fairly typical premise granted, but with effective atmosphere and a few genuine chills along the way. Rebecca Hall stars as Beth and is convincing as a woman struck by grief who begins to uncover a secret life linked to her husband. As the movie progressed it began to develop from standard haunted house fair to something more disturbing and I began to think – this was getting interesting. However a final act seemed to disregard much of what gets suggested in dreams and visions, instead choosing not to give the viewer any real answers.
Hall is very good however and the concept was an interesting take on a cliched setup. I just wished it had delved further into the more creepier ideas that may or may not have been real. I guess the director wanted to leave it ambiguous, but all I was left with was disappointment and frustration.
I can’t say I approached this ‘reboot’ latest entry in the long running franchise with much excitement. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the first movie despite the appeal of Eliza Dushcu. This time around a concerned father (Mathew Modine) arrives in a small town looking for his missing daughter. Flash back several weeks earlier and said daughter and her friends decide to go hiking in the rural mountain region, despite warnings of ‘stick to the oath’ from the locales.
So far, so predictable. However after stumbling onto the booby-trapped territory of a local cult (in place of hillbilly cannibals) the friends must battle for survival. What made this feel a bit more fresh and to a degree more realistic is that the cult are some sort of throwback to early settlers who have shunned modern society and prefer to be left alone. It’s not until the hikers treat them as a threat that they turn nasty. Interesting approach. Add to this the father and daughter subplot that bookends the movie and I admit I got rather caught up in what was happening.
There’s some memorably gory deaths, which is to be expected and a few cliched characters, yet with lead actress Charlotte Vega delivering more than the usual ‘final girl’ performance… this may not rewrite the rule book, but still managed to be effective. Worth a watch.
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