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May 15, 2017 by Kareem Youssef
A Damien Leone film short; Terrifier is an unapologetic tribute and possible love letter to Exploitation Horror. In a mere 20 minutes Leone shows us his mastery of the genre and reminds us all of why we love Horror.
Shot in the exploitation must of grainy camera quality, the Plot is a familiar one to us. A lone woman driving on halloween night stops to get gas. It is then we Meet Art, The Clown, being screamed at by the mechanic for smearing his feces in the bathroom. Art is a being of pure sadism, silent and malevolent he takes glee in agony.
Most killer clowns in horror are killers dressed as clowns and fail to incorporate the motif of a clown. As a result the rendition is dull and unmemorable. There is a whole tool-chest of the traditional clown; childlike demeanors, otherworldly aura, showmanship, props, and of course good humor.
Those qualities mixed with the Exploitation horror genre creates a true iconic character. The clown costume and makeup itself is great subtle black and white, that feels less ridiculous and more terrifying with the contrast of blood. I feel it’ll also age well with the movie.
There is one gory scene considering the length with many more chilling and spooky images. The ending is shocking and menacing never shying away from the spirit of its roots, as it should be, because if anything the premise to this movie is this is a horrific nightmare.
The music adds superbly to the atmosphere as any good soundtrack is charged to do, I felt as though the most gruesome scenes used the sound to amplify its terror in a quite hypnotic fashion.
Art also appears in the horror anthology All Hollows Eve. (2013) which includes this short as well and a couple of others scenes that adds to Art’s mythology and sadism. But by virtue of it being a anthology some stories are too disappointing (I.E. silly and having nothing to do with the rest of the story) for me to want to write a full review of it.
A future length Terrifier is slated to be released halloween 2017 which I am hotly anticipating as it’s likely to be a contender for the next Iconic horror entity, and overall fantastic horror film.
As for this 20 minute gem, you won’t regret finding it only will enhance the pleasure of watching his other film debuts.