Movie Reviews

Terrifier 3 MUST End The Franchise (But Will It?)

Art the Clown might be one of the most memorable slashers of recent years, but Terrifier 3 needs to end the series before it gets milked to death. Art seems to have become a horror icon entirely by accident. He made a brief but memorable appearance in short film The 9th Circle, where he wasn’t even the main threat. His creator Damian Leone recognized his potential, first making the clown the focus of anthology All Hallow’s Eve, but the character broke through thanks to the cult success of Art’s Terrifier movies. Even slasher has their hook, and aside from Art’s nightmarish visage, he’s famous for his elaborate murders too.

From the infamous hacksaw death in Terrifier to the somehow even more revolting “bedroom” scene in Terrifier 2, Art takes screen sadism to new extremes. Despite their tiny budgets, the Terrifier duology has excelled in creating gory kill sequences, and teasing out the origins of Art himself. The end of the second outing made it clear there’s at least one more story to tell, but instead of burning itself out like many other horror sagas before it, Terrifier 3 should close the door on Art the Clown’s rampage.

Related: Terrifier 2: Who Is Sienna’s Dad & What’s His Connection To Art The Clown?

Terrifier 2 introduced a mortal enemy for Art in the shape of Lauren LaVera’s Sienna. It ended with Sienna her his head off with a sword, but Terrifier 2’s mid-credits sequence revealed his demise was a mere inconvenience. Leone has given interviews in the past – such as this 2018 Bloody Flicks conversation – where he’s stated “I can see us making 3 solid Terrifier movies before the well is completely dry.” This suggests he has a roadmap of how Art’s story will play out, and despite the shock success of the second film, he should stick with this plan and end with Terrifier 3.

Part of the appeal of the series is the way each outing ups the bloodshed and extreme violence. Terrifier 2’s aforementioned bedroom scene already tested the stomachs of hardened horror fans, so Terrifier 3 will have to raise the bar once again. That means any entry beyond the next film will have to keep doing the same, which will eventually just get ridiculous instead of fun. Art the Clown – who breaks every slasher rule – can also learn from the mistakes of past franchises that just kept churning out endless, mediocre sequels. Best to close on a great trilogy capper, then become the next Hellraiser or Saw.

Of course, there were so many entries in the latter sagas because – despite their critical receptions – they made money. Art the Clown has emerged as one of horror’s freshest villains, and his face alone is guaranteed to sell a low-budget chiller. That means that whatever Leone’s intentions were to end with Terrifier 3, the property might be too successful to simply end now. In fact, even if the upcoming Terrifier 3 does close out the current Art storyline, he will likely appear in another sequel somewhere down the road.

Next: Why Terrifier 2’s Bedroom Scene Is So Controversial

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