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Terrifier 2 Theory: Is Art The Clown Secretly A Father?

Though slasher movies have consistently tried to outdo one another for decades, Damien Leone may have finally snatched the crown from horror icons like Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. The first "Terrifier" movie contains one of the most gruesome kills in slasher history, but "Terrifier 2" handily outdid the original and was a hit with critics and audiences due to the brutal lengths of its extremity.

However, the ending of the first film and the plot of "Terrifier 2" opened the series up to a whole host of questions. After a mysterious force brings Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) back from the dead, it's up to Sienna (Lauren LaVera) and her little brother, Jonathan (Elliot Fullam), to fight off the seemingly unstoppable killer.

Still, arguably the most interesting aspect of the hit horror sequel is that Art is revealed to be somehow connected to the siblings in "Terrifier 2." While many have suggested that Art could even be their father, a Redditor has poked several holes in this theory, offering some pretty convincing counterarguments.

On the r/terrifier subreddit, u/radioactive-ghost pointed out a few reasons why this "Terrifier 2" theory doesn't hold up. After you read them, it's easy to see the points the user is making and how they go against the theory that Art the Clown is Sienna and Jonathan's father.

Fans are still debating exactly what Art the Clown is

While the drawings from Sienna and Jonathan's deceased father suggest that he is linked to the siblings in some way, the Redditor pointed out that Art the Clown has a very specific appearance. Tall and lanky, with decaying teeth and a long hooked nose, the user argued that it wouldn't make sense for nobody to mention or recognize his similarity to their father, Mr. Shaw, in "Terrifier 2" if that's meant to be the case.

The user also pointed out that the telepathic connection Jonathan has with Art and the existence of the pale girl suggests that this is likely not the case. "Jonathan appears to possess some degree of telepathic connection with Art and/or the Little Pale Girl and never mentions a sense of familiarity," they pointed out.

Instead, the Redditor suggested two alternate theories that fans have been floating regarding Art's origins in the "Terrifier" franchise. "It read a lot more to me like Mr. Shaw was being tormented by visions and that his drawings were an outlet," they wrote. "I've also seen theories that perhaps he has powers that accidentally brought Art to life, which I find equally compelling."

What exactly is Art the Clown if he's not Sienna's dad?

Some fans have also surmised that Art the Clown from "Terrifier 2" might be a mystical force known in the occult community as a tulpa. Originally found in Tibetan mysticism, a tulpa is thought to be an entity from within a person that can be brought to life simply by focusing intently on it. This essentially gives the entity enough energy to enter the real world and take on a life of its own. Based on Mr. Shaw's many drawings, it would certainly suggest that he was very focused on Art, which is the main thing required to supposedly create this kind of paranormal entity.

Though this might sound really complex, there are actually plenty of examples of this trope occurring in modern pop culture. You know those stories where someone writes a book about a character or obsesses endlessly over a fictional being only for them to suddenly come to life? That's basically what a tulpa is. This would also explain how Art always reanimates despite being killed several times and why Sienna's blade, also from Mr. Shaw's artwork, is the only thing that can really hurt him.

Even in a world where slasher villains are constantly upping the stakes with more and more gruesome kills, Art the Clown is particularly sadistic. While many horror villains like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers stare with cold indifference at the suffering of their victims, the gleeful killer clown from the "Terrifier" franchise takes a special joy in the suffering he inflicts. So, what drives him?

Art could also be an imaginative construction of Mr. Shaw

As mentioned previously, many fans of "Terrifier 2" believe that Mr. Shaw was being haunted by Art the Clown in his dreams. This would explain why the deceased character has pictures of the fiendish killer in his various illustrations, and it might also help to explain his untimely death. After all, it could be reasonably surmised that if Mr. Shaw was afraid that he was drawing someone as evil as Art the Clown into our world, he might instead decide to end his own life.

Being that this is confirmed to be the way that the character died in "Terrifier 2," it could also explain why he decided on that particular method to end his life, drinking copious amounts of alcohol before lighting himself on fire. Perhaps this was the only way he thought he could stop his body from being used as a vessel by Art. Unfortunately, it looks like this may have only temporarily kept the entity from coming into our realm to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible.

Either way, however, while Art the Clown may have tried to enter the world through Mr. Shaw in a more physical way, it seems pretty unlikely that he is Sienna and Jonathan's father back from the grave to exact bloody revenge. 

Whether we will be getting more clues about Art the Clown's origins when "Terrifier 3" arrives in 2024 remains to be seen. However, it seems pretty likely, based on the huge financial gains that the second film made on its meager budget, that fans will definitely be returning to find out.

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