After conquering the box office last year, Terrifier 2 is now striking fear into streaming audiences everywhere. With the first film in the franchise now poised for a theatrical re-release this summer, some may want to dive into the lore of the killer Art the Clown.
Having watched Terrifier 2 for the first time on Peacock a couple of weeks ago, one aspect of the movie that I don’t see people talking about very much is the Clown Cafe, which we see being advertised on TV. Later on, there is a nightmarish sequence involving the restaurant.
Near the end of the film, our hero, Lauren LaVera’s Sienna Shaw finds herself in the Clown Cafe after apparently being stabbed. However, everything is surreal in the sequence, including people being on fire. Director Damien Leon has explained that the sequence represents a kind of “metaphysical journey” to determine whether she is the chosen one when it comes to slaying Art the Clown. As Leon explained in the film’s commentary track (via Looper), the director described it as “a divine test that manifests itself within Sienna’s subconscious.” This includes having to deflect a flamethrower with a sword.
Does Terrifier 2’s Clown Cafe have a supernatural origin?
Leone provides an interesting bit of insight into what the Clown Cafe is. However, even though I love the more symbolic nature of some of the imagery in Terrifier 2, Leone’s description is just a tad bit esoteric. I believe that there is a more straightforward explanation that still doesn’t contradict anything he said. Put simply, the Clown Cafe is literally hell itself.
The reason I believe as much, is because Sienna sports angel wings in the movie. After the bout she experiences in the Clown Cafe, her wings are singed as the fallen angels depicted in the Bible. So who is the Counterpoint to Sienna? That’s easy: David Howard Thornton’s Art the Clown, of course.
In my view, the story of the Terrifier franchise so far is that the first film followed a mortal serial killer. Art then gets resurrected by a demon, the little girl in clown makeup that only he and a select few others seem to be able to see in Terrifier 2, after which Art himself also becomes a demon since he’s obviously immortal in the sequel. My interpretation is that, in the world of the films, people who commit acts of a certain level of heinousness draw the attraction of demonic spirits to keep the evil going even after they’ve died. This is the explanation for why Art gets resurrected.
If you want to see the first Terrifier in theaters, it is getting a big-screen re-release in select screens on July 19.