Horror Lists

Making An Icon: All Of Art The Clown Movies In Order

We have written more than once on the website about our love for Art the Clown, one of the prominent horror characters of recent years. While it may still be too early to say he will be one of the biggest icons of the 21st century, some say he’s headed in the right direction. The fan base of the Art the Clown movies is growing, from negligible films to those with a decent budget. There are more and more Art Clown products, including some that we have already reviewed here on the site, such as dolls (for example, Art the Clown Living Dead Doll, which we wrote about recently), Funko pops, action figures, costumes, and even blankets and cereal bowls.

So how many Art The Clown movies are there, what can you expect in which one, and where do we go from here? Read it below.

Who Is Art The Clown?

Before reviewing all Terrifier movies in order, let’s talk about the man bad guy in here. Art the Clown is the main villain of the Terrifier movies and several other short films, as we will see later. It was created by Damian Leone, who did almost everything in these films. Leone is the director, screenwriter, producer, and even the make-up and special effects man, at least if we understood the credits list correctly. 

As you may have already guessed, Art the Clown is horrifying. His background could be more apparent, with each film solving some questions but mainly providing some news. For example, it is unclear who exactly Art the Clown is, even if the answer to the question that recurs in many cases – is Art the Clown human – is probably negative. It’s hard to tell how tall is Art the Clown, but he sure has an appearance. We can maybe say he has disproportionate power, and in one of the films, he will be shot directly in the head, keeping us asking how did Art the Clown survive this, or should we say how did Art the Clown come back to life? So another question which arises is Art the Clown a demon, a ghost, an alien, a doll comes to life, a warewolf, a cruel Hobbit, or whatever.

We are yet to know why Art the Clown killHe has a penchant for pranks, but the nasty kind. He doesn’t speak – there was a scene in the first movie where he screams weirdly to mimic a character screaming annoyingly – but thankfully, the creators decided to cut it off.

Undoubtedly, one of the most prominent signs of Art the Clown, and here we have to give a lot of credit to the creators, is his performance. Art the Clown stands out in his black-and-white clown clothes with a pom-pom (in “Terrifier 2,” we learn he also does laundry). His face is white with a lot of black, mainly around the lips, eyes, and fake black eyebrows. He wears a small black hat and white gloves and carries a black garbage bag with him, where he keeps all kinds of weapons.

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Who plays Art The Clown In Terrifer?

In a way that perhaps corresponds with another famous clown, Pennywise, Art the Clown has been played by two actors until now. At the beginning of his franchise, in 2008-2013, it was Michael Gianelli who played Art the Clown. Gianelly is an actor with only four roles on his resume, three related to Art the Clown, while the fourth is a short film. At some point, Gianelli retired from acting, so Art had to be recast.

The relatively unknown actor David Howard Thornton was chosen for the role and is doing a great job. Until his casting as Art the Clown, Thornton was mainly a voice-over actor in TV series, animated movies, and computer games. Thornton certainly attracted attention: he was nominated for the horror actor award at the Fangoria magazine ceremony and was even compared to the representations of Pennywise by Tim Carrey and Bill Skarsgård; he has received and will receive several more roles, which will perhaps make him one of the subjects of our horror celebs section. 

Among other things, in addition to the expected third film of the Terrifier series and his murderous version of the Grinch from Dr. Seuss in the disappointing horror film “The Mean One” from 2022, Thornton is expected to act in the coming years mainly in horror films (“Stream,” “Rough Cut,” “The Dead Place”).

How Many Terrifier Movies Are There? All Of Art The Clown Movies In Order

The 9th Circle (2008)

The 9th circle poster

The first appearance of Art the Clown, played by Michael Ginalli, was in a short film called “The 9th Circle” by Damien Leone. The film lasts a little over ten minutes and is about a girl who arrives at an abandoned metro station. There, she meets Art the Clown, who uses his charm to pull pranks. At one point, he brings her a flower that makes her scream in panic, and she later passes out on the train. Our Art abducts her into a tunnel, where she discovers that there are hideous creatures with rather sinister plans for her.

This film is very low-budget, poorly acted, and ineffective, but Art stood out. That may be exactly Leone’s plan. “”I threw in everything, clowns, witches, demons, monsters, everything up against the wall hoping something would stick,” he said. And that something which was stick was Art the Clown.

Here is the full short film, to get you started:

Terrifier Short Film (2011)

Terrifier short film 2011 poster

The audience responded superbly to Art the Clown, making Leone realize he had a treasure in hand. His character has developed and already received a more central role, even though it is still in a short film.

“Terrifier” short film – not to be confused, of course, with the feature films of the same name – lasts about 20 minutes. A young costume designer discovers that her gas is about to run out during a night drive on Halloween Night. She stops at a relatively deserted gas station, except for the employee who scolds the clown for defecating in a gas station. Here is our lesson for the day: when you spot a scary clown defecating at a gas station, you might not want to confront him and threaten to call the police. 

From that moment, we get Art the Clown we have come to know. At first, he decides to cut off the unfortunate worker’s head with a chainsaw. From that point, our heroine becomes a victim, maybe just because Art likes to chase people.

The chase in the “Terrifier” short film includes a lot of blood, grotesque humor, murders, and one very endearing scene in which the heroine discovers that Art has operated on her that is anything but cosmetic.

All Hallows’ Eve (2013)

All Hallows' Eve poster - Art the clown movies

They say that a film producer who watched the short films of Damian Leone saw the character’s potential. He approached the director and suggested that he produce an anthology film, a single film consisting of several short films and a subplot connecting them. The subplot here is a babysitter (Katie Maguire) who cares for two children on Halloween. She discovers an old videotape on which three short films appear. The first is “The 9th Circle,” in a slightly expanded version. After the babysitter decides that a movie where the devil rapes a woman is probably too much for the kids, she puts them to bed and watches, alone, the next two movies.

The second and bizarre short film is about a woman who moves to live in a new country house. She discovers a bright object that lands near her home at night, causing a power outage and all kinds of things to stop working, as happens in horror movies (a phone or a car are useless as always). She discovers that a strange alien has entered her house and hides from him, unsuccessfully. If you’re asking what the hell Art the Clown has to do with it, we’ll say that towards the end, the wife finds out exactly what her husband, who is an artist, painted. We didn’t like this short film, not only because the character of Art the Clown is almost non-existent.

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We continue with the third short film, an upgraded and slightly expanded version of the “Terrifier” short movie. What’s more interesting is the ending segment, which explains why we included the film in our list of favorite babysitting movies. Without spoilers, towards the end, the unfortunate babysitter finds out that Art is entering through the TV screen in a very effective scene. Without giving spoilers, we’ll only find out that she won’t be happy to find out why he’s laughing, covered in blood, outside the children’s room. “All Hallows’ Eve” was Mike Gianelli’s last and most successful performance as the main villain of Terrifier and Art the Clown movies.

Terrifier (2016)

Terrifier Poster - all Terrifier movies in order

We continue with the evolution of Art the Clown movies, and this time, a full-length film in which he is the main character. Once again, the plot takes place on Halloween, when two sisters – Terry (Jenna Kennel) and Victoria (Samantha Scafidi) – go for a fun night out. At some point, they arrive at a pizzeria, where they meet the clown, who tries to impress them with his tricks. For example, the two decide to mock him with a disparaging selfie. It was a big mistake.

 If you understood who we were dealing with in all Terrifier movies, you can probably conclude that Art would not go over this in silence. Well, he’ll be silent, but in between, he’ll be chasing the sisters and murdering a whole lot of other unfortunate people in an over-the-top, gore-laden way. In the most extreme scene – if you are sensitive to graphic descriptions, skip to the next paragraph – Art grabs a woman, strips her of her clothes, and cuts her in half through some intimate organ while someone she knows well watches helplessly. It’s over the top and primarily disgusting, but this scene shows the true nature of Art and the movies.

“Terrifier” was produced with a measly budget of only about 35,000 dollars, thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign by Leone, and the truth is that the film looks “cheap” in photography, acting, lighting, and, of course, also in the version of special effects and disgust. There needs to be a plot here. Indeed, the plot could be much more continuous and transparent, and many sections here seem random: for example, the film’s ending needs more scripted logic. Despite this, and perhaps because of this, we enjoyed the movie, one of the more precise definitions of pure trash with a compelling villain.

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Terrifier 2 (2022)

Terrifier 2 poster

As you read in our review of the film, 2022’s Terrifier 2 is, in our opinion, the best in the Art the Clown franchise, if you can call it that. Leone, who also directed, wrote, and edited the film here, managed to raise investors. He launched a crowdfunding campaign that was very successful and raised about a quarter of a million dollars, more than 400% above the fundraising goal. The film has already been screened more comprehensively in cinemas and reached a very nice grossings of more than 15 million dollars worldwide, the majority in the United States.

There’s no doubt that Terrifier 2 looks a lot better than its predecessors, which were also fun (even if their quality is questionable). It is longer – about two and a quarter hours – and for a change, this time includes a plot, reasonable dialogues, and even some depth to the characters. The acting is much much better, and we personally fell in love with the character of Sienna (the wonderful Lauren LaVera), the cool and intelligent “Final Girl.” Sienna is a young woman who is preparing for the Halloween party and tries to recreate the “warrior angel” costume that her father made before a brain tumor killed him.

Sienna discovers that her father had a notebook, in which one of the drawings is of Art the Clown. From there, Sienna, her little brother (Elliot Fulham), Emma (Sarah Voigt), and some of her friends have to face the clown, who once again crosses all boundaries. In between, we discover some lovable secondary characters, especially “the little pale girl,” a girl – probably one of his previous victims – who dresses like Art the Clown.

“Terrifier 2” is not a terrifying movie, but in our opinion, it is delightful. It combines lovable scares, humor (for example, the scene where Art following sienna to a costume shop, or the laundry room scene), and grotesque murders. The “bedroom scene” received most of the buzz and criticism. If you thought that was a code name for a hot sex scene, think again. In this scene, Art abuses one of the unfortunate characters in quite a detailed fashion, with various cuts and amputations of limbs, and as if to rub salt on the wounds, he rubs salt on the wounds. There are other excellent scenes, for example, where Art shows off his kitchen skills and a successful fight between the protagonist and the villains in the final scenes.

Although this movie is one of our favorites of 2022, it has some flaws. You could cut “Terrifier 2” in something like 15 minutes. It has scenes that do not connect to the plot or Art the Clown backstory (for example, some of the dream scenes that correspond with “A Nightmare on Elm Street”) and questions that remain open. One of them is the somewhat crazy final scene, which hints at the future generation of Art and about the return of one of the characters. It may happen in the next episodes of Art Clown movies.

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Terrifier 3 (2024)

Terrifier 3 poster

The third film in the trilogy should be released in the United States on October 25 and be, once again, more bombastic than its predecessors. According to the poster, the plot description, and the teaser trailer that was released, it is clear that the film will take place this time on Christmas Eve and that Bo Art will have no problem hurting children either (in fact, the teaser trailer received reviews on this background). The good news is that the film’s budget has increased and will be something like 2 million dollars, which will expand the possibilities of maneuvering and look, as the director promised, a more graphic and extreme film than its predecessors.

The other good news is that most of the prominent cast from the previous feature films remain. David Howard Thornton will again get into the clown suit and fight against Sienna and her little brother (unfortunately, the mother is no longer in the picture). We heard Victoria from the first film – and the ending scene of the second – will receive a relatively significant role here because Leone was not satisfied with how he developed the character and changed her concept.

Art The Clown Movies In The Future

Are we done with Terrifier movies? It may not be. There were rumors that Leone was planning a fourth film in the Terrifier franchise, which would be the fifth full-length (because it was an anthology film with three short films) and the eighth in total, including the first short films before the anthology film. So the answer to the question how many Terrifer movies are there should change, and will we be glad to update this article. A horror icon in the making, did we say?

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