Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Terrifier 2 Is So Much More Popular Than The Original

"Terrifier" was a simplistic slasher film that featured the unsettling and sadistic Art the Clown. While the film has gained something of a cult following, praised for its graphic violence and intense narrative that kept viewers on the edge of their seats, it wasn't a particularly well-known or well-received film. Notably, David Howard Thornton's portrayal of Art the Clown made this film stand out. Unnerving and with all the traits of an iconic slasher killer, Art had the immediate potential to sit alongside slasher and horror icons like Michael Myers, Ghostface, and Pennywise.

Written, produced, and directed by Damien Leone, "Terrifier" originally premiered at the Telluride Horror Show Film Festival in 2016. In 2018, it received a limited theatrical release. With an extremely minimal budget of $100,000 (via The Numbers), the convincing special effects of the production were impressive, cultivating some buzz for the film despite its limited release. 

Despite the cult following the movie garnered, no one anticipated that "Terrifier" would get a sequel. Considering it didn't perform critically well the first time around (via Rotten Tomatoes), "Terrifier 2" wasn't expected, and even though it received a full theatrical release with more popularity than its predecessor, it still wasn't widely advertised.

Terrifier 2 exists because of the fans

"Terrifier 2" had the challenge of standing out when it was released in the middle of spooky season. Opening in theaters on October 6, 2022, it battled against horror legends like The Shape in the highly anticipated "Halloween Ends" and the overly hyped "Smile." While Art the Clown's return hasn't managed to surpass these much larger films, it stands out.

With a budget of $250,000 (via CinemaBlend), "Terrifier 2" pulled in a massive worldwide box office of over $10 million (via Box Office Mojo). Considering the minuscule production and how under-advertised the film was, this was an impressive turnaround. Even amongst horror powerhouses, "Terrifier 2" carved out a niche for itself.

On top of that, most of the funding came from an Indiegogo campaign started by Damien Leone. Initially setting a goal of $50,000, Leone made over four times that. This campaign proved that sometimes critics get it wrong. While the original film was criticized for being too simplistic, the fans wanted more. Eager to see Art the Clown return for a bigger and more violent second installment, "Terrifier 2" is an example of how much influence fans have.

"Terrifier 2" is not a film for the faint of heart. The original's gore was considered over-the-top, and its sequel went bigger. Reports of audiences throwing up increased the popularity of the movie (via CinemaBlend), but that gross-out gore factor was always one of the things that fans loved about this franchise.