Exclusive: Terrifier 2’s David Howard Thornton Channeled the Joker to Play Art the Clown

One of the horror genre’s most dastardly killers of today would have to be Art the Clown, the demented antagonist from the Terrifier movies. The appropriately-titled original film, released in 2016 by filmmaker Damien Leone, introduced David Howard Thornton as Art the Clown. The film follows the sadistic, murdering clown as he torments young women on Halloween night.

Leone brought back Thornton for the new sequel, Terrifier 2, with Art the Clown resurrected for another Halloween night massacre. Just released in the United States, the film goes even further with how violently sadistic Art can really be. He’s a villain that is clearly having great fun with his brutal murders, seemingly enjoying them much more so than your average slasher movie killer.


In an exclusive interview with MovieWeb, Thornton commented on what it was like to play such a brutal and demented killer. For the actor, he says that it was the mischievous nature that attracted him to the role initially. Thornton also compares Art the Clown to the Joker, noting how they’re both characters who fully embrace how evil they are and have fun with it, and for Thornton, those kinds of characters are incredibly “fun to play.”

“Yeah, I’ve always liked mischievous villains, like villains that have fun being villains. That they’re not doing it out of just revenge or something like that. They embrace the fact that they’re villains, and they revel in it. It’s kind of like how the Joker is. And that’s how I kind of approached it, was like, he’s got a lot of Joker in him in that regard. He knows exactly what he’s about. And he loves it. And he’s just a lot of fun to play because of that.”

Terrifier 2 Does Not Hold Back on the Gore


Art the Clown’s gets particularly gruesome in Terrifier 2. Damien Leone also recently told MovieWeb that rivaling the famous hacksaw scene from the original was a challenge they had for the sequel. To accomplish that goal, it meant going all out with the blood and gore for one particular scene that we won’t spoil here. Leone told us that it was so bloody that they built a set rather than shoot in someone’s house as they knew it was going to be completely destroyed with fake blood.

“There’s one scene in particular that I knew we were going to cover the entire room with blood. We actually built that set because I knew I couldn’t shoot that in somebody’s house. We would’ve just destroyed their property. That set is still standing in a barn, and it still looks exactly like we left it. I think there are still just bottles of blood sitting on the floor. I mean, we just ran out of there. We never wanted to look back… we shot it for two days, and we knew that it was going to be one of the big scenes, if not the biggest scene to sort of rival the hacksaw scene in part one. That’s what everyone was expecting us to do.”

Terrifier 2 is now available in theaters, courtesy of Cinedigm in partnership with Icon Events. You can check out the official trailer for the film below.