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Why Terrifier 2 Director Damien Leone Tried So Hard To Top The Original

When Damien Leone's "Terrifier" was released in theaters in 2016, the notoriously graphic film became one of those movies that stand out for their depiction of evil clowns. The film solidified this status thanks to its over-the-top, relentless gore and unique, singularly horrifying acting from David Howard Thornton as "Art the Clown," who stalks three characters on Halloween night in typical slasher genre fashion. The plot, dialogue, and acting in "Terrifier" took a backseat to the bloody mayhem, but for viewers simply looking for an '80s-style killer-on-the-loose flick, it certainly delivered.

Its 2022 follow-up, "Terrifier 2," doubles down on its predecessor's gore. The film contains a lot of practical effects in the age of CGI, and its nonstop terror and brutal violence should come as no surprise to fans of the first entry. But its reaction seems to be affecting viewers in ways not heard of since the days of "The Exorcist" in the early 1970s, with reports of audience members passing out and vomiting in cinemas (per Metro UK). But this was possibly intentional on director Leone's part as he tried hard to top the original movie.

Damien Leone ramped up the gore in Terrifier 2 to please fans

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "Terrifier 2" director Damien Leone responded to the news that moviegoers are leaving early and passing out during screenings. "Listen, 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," he said. "I don't want people fainting, getting hurt during the movie. But it's surreal. Here's the thing, it's called Terrifier 2, you should probably see Terrifier 1 before you jump into this one. If you see Terrifier 1, you'd know what you're getting into." He continued by referencing the scene in the first film that ultimately led to former WWE and AEW world champion Chris Jericho joining the cast of "Terrifier 2."

Leone added, "There is a now-notorious murder scene, a hacksaw scene, in Part I that everyone walks away talking about. We tried to rival that scene [in the new film] because the really supportive fan base that we've had this entire time, that has really started to put Art on a pedestal, I mean, those are the things that they really want ..." He then mentioned how he strived to mimic what "Terrifier" fans were expecting with the hope to bring new viewers to the movie series as well. 

On a Reddit thread for the film on the r/horror subreddit page, the director's hopes are becoming fulfilled. Redditor u/kb1117 stated, "That was all sorts of wild. Wow. Still processing." Another user, u/WAwelder, justified the added gore and longer runtime, writing, "I get why it may turn off others, but I really enjoyed the long drawn out scenes setting up and living in this world it's making."