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The Ending Of Terrifier 2 Explained

Contains spoilers for "Terrifier 2."

It's shocking that "Terrifier 2" even exists. The sequel to 2016's divisive "Terrifier" (itself a semi-sequel to writer-director Damien Leone's anthology film "All Hallow's Eve") was fan-funded on Indiegogo, where it reached 430% of its initial goal. But then, like many movies, production on "Terrifier 2" was severely delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And yet, that fan support and the dedication of the creators has delivered us an absolutely bonkers horror movie that runs a whopping 138 minutes and has reportedly left some viewers vomiting and unconscious from its intense gore (per Bloody Disgusting, who also distributed the movie). More shocking, though, is that the film isn't just a creative success — it's a financial one too. While a $1.2 million gross may not sound like much, for a movie that was fan-funded and made on a budget of around $250,000 it's a major win, and "Terrifier 2" will always be remembered as the movie that knocked "Top Gun: Maverick" out of the top ten after it held on for 19 weeks (via Forbes).

All that success has left a lot of people with a lot of questions, though. "Terrifier 2" greatly expands the mythology of Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) and introduces a new main character in Sienna (Lauren LaVera), who has a mysterious connection to the killer harlequin. There are questions with easy answers for viewers who saw the first film, but others that remain unclear. We'll do our best to answer any questions you had walking out of the theater (hopefully not feeling sick).

Who and What is Art the Clown?

Art the Clown made his first appearance in Damien Leone's 2011 short film "Terrifier," where the character was played by Mike Gianelli. That short then became a segment in Leone's first feature, the anthology movie "All Hallow's Eve." But already in "All Hallow's Eve" it seems that Art isn't just a man dressed in clown makeup as he makes his way out of a TV set as the characters watch an evil VHS. David Howard took over the role when Art took the spotlight for 2013's "Terrifier," which ends with Art seemingly dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound before his body disappears from a morgue.

"Terrifier 2" pushes things even further as it reintroduces Art, who still has a gaping head wound, but is otherwise fine. There's no real explanation given for how the clown survived, but as the sequel goes on, we get some hints. It seems that Art may be a cosmic or supernatural entity in the same way that some fans believe Michael Myers from "Halloween" to simply be the embodiment of metaphysical evil. As we learn more about Sienna's father's visions in "Terrifier 2," there's some evidence that Art is far more than a human in a clown outfit, and is instead something mythical. That would explain why he can pass into reality through media and why he seems to be unkillable, but it doesn't quite explain his particular glee in the horrific violence he commits — that remains disturbingly inexplicable.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Who is the little girl clown with Art?

"Terrifier 2" introduces audiences to a character never named but credited as "The Little Pale Girl" (Amelie McLain) early on when Art visits a laundromat to clean up after murdering the unlucky coroner who was to inspect his body. The girl appears in the laundromat and smiles a wide, creepy clown smile at Art from a distance before approaching and engaging him in a silent game of patty cake.

It's a bizarre moment that raises a lot of questions — one of which is quickly answered, at least partially. We get to see that from the point of view of only other person in the laundromat, Art is playing patty cake with the air. So it seems that The Little Pale Girl may simply be a vision of Art's, but Sienna and her brother Jonathan (Elliott Fullam) can see her as well. The reason Sienna and Jonathan can see her and others can't, is undoubtedly due to the strange link that they have with Art that we'll talk about more in a moment.

After first seeing The Little Pale Girl, Jonathan does some research and discovers that she looks exactly like a girl who is believed to have been Art's first victim. It's possible, then — and this is very much speculation — that this girl's soul has somehow transformed and been bound to Art in a way that has made her his attendant, someone who keeps him company as he terrorizes people. But she also helps, as we see when she mimics Jonathan's voice in a call to Sienna — something that also raises questions about her other supernatural abilities.

What is the Miles County Massacre?

The "Miles County Massacre" is the name given to the events of the first "Terrifier" movie in the universe of "Terrifier 2." There are frequent references to this event throughout the sequel, which takes place exactly one year after that event (both movies take place on Halloween night) as Jonathan has developed an obsession with the killings.

But it's not just Jonathan — there's a broader cultural interest in the events as well. A talk show host does an interview with the sole survivor of the original bloodbath, Victoria Heyes (Samantha Scaffidi). And there's significant news coverage of the event marking its anniversary on TV, online, and in the newspapers.

"Terrifier 2" largely stands on its own narratively, and viewers don't need to have seen the first film to understand what the "Miles County Massacre" was. It also helps that the attention paid to the "Miles County Massacre" in "Terrifer 2" is ultimately more thematically important than narratively.

Who is Sienna?

Sienna is a high schooler struggling with the recent loss of her father to suicide while attempting to maintain good relationships with her brother Jonathan and their mom Barbara (Sara Voigt). When we meet her, she's been making a Halloween costume based on the fantasy character that her dad, an artist, created for her.

From everything we can see (and from what Sienna seems to know about herself) she's just a regular teenager, living through the ups and downs of life. But in a dream sequence early in "Terrifier 2," we can see that there's something special about her when her dream has an effect on reality and starts a fire. As the movie goes on, Sienna becomes Art's target while Jonathan furthers his investigations into the connection their father had to Art, and eventually he theorizes that Sienna is the only one who can truly defeat the clown. Her importance only becomes clearer when she confronts Art at the end of the movie and even manages to come back from the dead (or at least from something like death).

We can't say for sure whether Sienna is the same kind of cosmic or supernatural entity as Art, or whether she is simply capable of channeling the timeless being that her father discovered and said he created for her. Either way, we can say for sure that she's a great final girl, and there's something magical about her.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Who is Sienna's dad and what happened to him?

At the beginning of "Terrifier 2," we learn that Sienna and Jonathan's dad is dead. We can piece together that he died by suicide but we don't learn the details until much later, when one of Sienna's friends explains it to her boyfriend. She says that Sienna and Jonathan's father struggled with mental illness late in his life as the result of a fatal brain tumor, and that the tumor caused him to have terrifying visions.

While their father was always an artist, his art took on a new focus when he became ill as he started to draw images of what he saw in his visions, including portraits of Art the Clown. When Jonathan shows Sienna their father's sketchbook, we see that he didn't just draw Art. He also collected newspaper clippings about Art's killings, including the Miles County Massacre and the girl who would go on to become The Little Pale Girl.

"Terrifier 2" doesn't offer any simple answers about what truly connects Art, Sienna, and her father. But we know that her dad has something to do with the clown, and with her ability to defeat him. Along with creating the fantasy character for Sienna, her dad also gave her a sword that seems to hold mystical powers and is one of the only weapons that can defend against Art's evil and cause any significant damage to the clown.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

What is the connection between Sienna and Art?

While we can't say for certain what the connection is between Art and Sienna, we have some ideas. At first, when Jonathan shows Sienna that their dad had drawn Art and was collecting newspaper clippings about his killings, it seems possible that perhaps their father is Art. Either he faked his death to become this deranged killer, or he somehow became the host for a metaphysical evil and hasn't entirely lost his connection to his human life.

But as the movie goes on, the former seems impossible given what we learn about his death. The latter, though, seems like it may still be true, and that leads to our two theories about what exactly the connection may be. The first is that her father's tumor caused him to see beyond human reality and see two warring eternal entities, one evil (Art) and one good (the character that Sienna embodies), this would then allow for the possibility that the evil entity has somehow taken over her father's essence. The other is that her dad somehow brought Art to life from his own psyche through the power of his, well, art, and this would also explain why he was able to create a character for his daughter and a weapon that can stand against the clown.

Is Sienna's dream a vision of something real?

Sienna's dream sequence near the start of "Terrifier 2" may be one of the longest dream sequences in any horror movie (or any movie at all). She dreams of a strange children's TV show set where a woman sings a jaunty song about a clown café, young people hang out on a small playset, and a line of adults is queued up at a food truck — a food truck with Art's face on it.

Nearby there's a young boy filming a cereal commercial for an Art-themed cereal that includes roaches and razor blades. We see the boy chew some down and bleed from the mouth before reaching into the box for a surprise. Suddenly, Art appears and kills everyone on set. He uses increasingly wild weapons like a big machine gun and a flame thrower to devastate the sets and all the people on them.

It seems like it's just a horrifying dream, but when Sienna deflects the fire from Art's flame thrower with the sword from her father, she causes a real fire to appear in her bedroom. And later in the movie when she's stabbed by Art with the same sword, she falls into a tank of water on the set that she saw in her dream, but now everyone is dead and mutilated. We can't be sure whether Sienna's dream was a glimpse of something that happened in the real world, but it was certainly more than just a dream. 

How did Sienna come back to life?

After Art stabs Sienna with the sword her father gave her, she falls through a hole in the Terrifier ride at the carnival where Art has lured her. But she doesn't just fall into dirt or another level of concrete — she falls into a water tank on the edge of the scene from her dream. More than being confined to a water tank that's drowning her, she's also being held down by something that looks equally like a frayed rope, a worm, and a decomposing human hand.

Again, it seems possible that this is her seeing something of Art's world, that he has transported her here by killing her with the mystical weapon bestowed upon her by her father. But she refuses to accept defeat. She struggles to get loose and while she isn't able to succeed at first, she is finally able to break free and heal herself through what seems to be sheer force of will motivated by her love for her brother.

She thinks of Jonathan and how she wants to keep him safe from Art, and the sword begins to glow along with her stomach wound. The wound then begins to heal and she is able to break free of whatever is holding her in the tank before returning to the land of the living and decapitating Art. To say that the power of love brought her back may sound cheesy, but it also seems true. She was unwilling to allow her brother who she loves die horribly at the hands of the sadistic clown, and that power allowed her to will herself back to life as we know it.

What is Terrifier 2 about?

While the first "Terrifier" clocks in under 90 minutes and overwhelmingly focuses on delivering extremely disturbing horror sequences for the duration of its runtime, "Terrifier 2" is a heftier film at a full 2 hours and 18 minutes. And while some might have been interested in a pure slasher that lasts that long, Leone has packed this sequel full of subtler thematic exploration.

First and foremost are the themes of grief, trauma, and mental illness as Sienna, Jonathan, and Barbara are all still reeling from the death by suicide of their beloved father and husband. The movie spends time with them as they talk about their loss and the different ways that they have responded to it, and whether those coping mechanisms are healthy. But the movie is also interested in the way that the news media fixates on and often exploits real life tragedies. There's significant time spent showing different kinds of news coverage of Art's murders, and especially the attention paid to how poorly Victoria is treated by the talk show host after her interview.

Most abstractly, but perhaps most fascinatingly, "Terrifier 2" seems to be asking questions about horror movies and what we want from them. Art is constantly mugging for the camera, waving his hands, smiling, and laughing at the horrific violence he enacts, essentially inviting the audience to enjoy his cruelty with him. But the violence in the movie is so intense and so realistically rendered that it'll likely be impossible for most viewers to experience these as fun kills in a slasher.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Why is Terrifier 2 so gory?

It's not hard to see why the violence in "Terrifier 2" has allegedly had some viewers passing out and vomiting. There are many extremely gory kills in the movie, but two in particular are extended to almost unbearable lengths.

The first is of Sienna's friend Allie (Casey Hartnett) and is incredibly brutal from the start, but it becomes something unfathomable when Art leaves the scene, seemingly to let her bleed to death, only to return and literally poor bleach and salt on her open wounds. The second comes during the movie's finale, when Art kills Sienna's other friend Brooke (Kailey Hyman) by breaking her sternum open and removing viscera from her living body.

Of course there's the basic answer that these set pieces are so extreme to satisfy the gorehounds who loved the first movie and are always looking for new ways to test their limits. But we think something deeper is going on here. The movie seems to be turning a mirror to its audience and interrogating what we want from horror movies. These severely disturbing scenes of mutilation are meant to force viewers to ask ourselves why we would ever think something like this is fun.

What was that mid-credits scene?

The mid-credits scene of "Terrifier 2" doesn't involve Sienna or her family, and instead re-centers on Victoria Heyes, who has been confined to a mental hospital after she attacked the talk show host who insulted her. At first we only see two members of the staff at the hospital talking about her and how she's been remarkably calm as a patient.

But soon we hear Victoria screaming and we see her writing obscenities (the same ones that Art carved into his victim in the "Terrifier" short) on the wall with her own blood. Then her stomach starts to swell, and it rapidly grows until she gives birth to Art's somehow living head.

It's an absolutely wild sequence that is nearly impossible to make sense of, but our understanding is that Victoria has become linked to Art in a similar way that The Little Pale Girl has, only Victoria is still living. The fact that Victoria is still alive may mean that she is now Art's lifeline to our world. He's been defeated by Sienna and her mystical sword, but through Victoria is able to return.

Will there be a Terrifier 3?

The many unanswered questions left by "Terrifier 2" and its bonkers mid-credits scene would seem to imply that we'll be getting a third movie in this slasher franchise. But more definitively than anything the movie could imply, filmmaker Damien Leone stated in an interview with /Film that he already has ideas for a third film in mind and is bold enough to declare, "I can almost guarantee a part three."

Leone says that he has a structure in mind for the third film and wants to build a narrative across three films. We certainly want to see how Sienna's arc plays out after her initial battle with Art, and we want answers about what exactly Art is and why it is that Sienna is able to defeat him, permanently or not. Given the box office success of "Terrifier 2" and the loosening of COVID restrictions on filming, hopefully that third part won't have to wait another six years before making it to our screens.