‘Terrifier’ (2016) is Headed to Theaters in July – Here Are 6 Reasons Why You Should Go See It

You probably don’t need us to convince you, but here are a few very good reasons why you should go see Terrifier when it is re-released in theaters this July.

Terrifier (2016) is one of the best slasher movies ever made.

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Following the exciting theatrical success of Terrifier 2 in 2022, the first Terrifier movie is set to get a re-release in theaters on July 19th, 2023. With Terrifier 3 not coming out until 2024 at the earliest, this special event can help maintain the public’s interest in the next chapter in Damien Leone’s slasher saga. And for horror fans, this is the perfect way to celebrate one of horror’s newest icons, Art the Clown. But if you need even more convincing, here are six reasons why you shouldn’t miss Terrifier when it hits theaters in July.

1. You Probably Haven’t Seen Terrifier in a Theater

Dawn (Catherine Corcoran) takes a selfie with Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) in Terrifier (2016).
Art the Clown (played by David Howard Thornton) is a big horror celebrity now, but many current fans never had the chance to see him in theaters prior to Terrifier 2. (also pictured: Catherine Corcoran as Dawn)

Terrifier premiered in film festivals in 2016, and in 2018 it received a very limited theatrical release from Dread Central. After that it was released on physical media and streaming. So, for most of us, seeing Terrifier in a theater has never been an option. Thankfully, the upcoming July 19th, 2023 re-release will be the widest theatrical release ever for Terrifier. Thanks to Iconic Events, Terrifier will be on 700 screens. That gives all of us the best chance we might ever have to see the movie on the big screen.

2. Terrifier is a Much Different Experience from Terrifier 2

Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) smiles while holding his hands up in Terrifier (2016).
Art the Clown’s joy and humor are very apparent in both Terrifier and Terrifier 2, but the tone of Terrifier arguably feels more grueling and hopeless overall.

Considering the success of Terrifier 2, it’s very likely that many people discovered Art the Clown through that movie. Intrepid fans probably went back and found Art’s previous appearances in All Hallows’ Eve and the first Terrifier, but maybe some people didn’t. If you’ve only seen Terrifier 2, you’re in for a treat with Terrifier. Both movies are slashers, obviously, but Terrifier feels like an even greater throwback to the trashy, low-budget horror films of the 1980s than its sequel (and that’s meant as a big compliment).

Terrifier 2 does a great job of establishing characters and a rich mythology to support the action. Its gore effects are fantastically done. Its use of color ranges from cartoonishly bright to fittingly dark. For the movie writer/director Damien Leone was trying to make with Terrifier 2, that all works wonderfully. But Terrifier feels different.

Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) prepares himself at a table in Terrrifer (2016).
From the opening scenes, Terrifier is dark and gloomy in the best of ways.

With its smaller budget, the aesthetic of Terrifier is much more dour and grimy. As a viewing experience, Terrifier is grueling and mean in ways that are different from its sequel, particularly in how it handles its characters and how it crafts the tone of its finale. And the gore effects, while maybe not quite as refined as in the sequel, often hit the audience just as hard. Seeing all of this on the big screen for the first time will make Terrifier feel like a new movie whether you’ve already seen it at home or not.

3. You’re Supporting Independent Horror

Voctoria (Samantha Scaffidi) tries to escape in Terrifier (2016).
Supporting independent horror means more horror movies will get made, meaning more wonderful surprises like Terrifier and Terrifier 2 will be waiting for us in the future. (pictured: Samantha Scaffidi as Victoria)

Horror fans are the best and most loyal fans of any genre of film. Horror fanatics regularly flock to theaters which is why horror is probably the most reliably successful genre in cinema. As anyone reading this will already know, this is nothing new. But it bears repeating that supporting independent horror is always important. When re-releases like this are successful, they can potentially lead to more, similar re-releases in the future. Plus, if we can make Terrifier a success in July, it could show theaters and distributors that the public is interested in special screenings in months other than just October.

4. It’s a Fantastic Start to the Halloween Season

Art the Clown holds a meat cleaver behind a human-head jack-o-lantern in Terrifier (2016).
Art the Clown shows off his human-head carving skills in Terrifier.

For many of us, Halloween never really ends. We surround ourselves with creepy decorations year-round, we engage in spooky activities all the time, and, unlike certain portions of the general public, we don’t need to use a holiday as an excuse to watch horror movies. But, it’s always fun when we do have a good excuse.

Terrifier is a Halloween movie through and through. It is set during Halloween night and most of its main cast are wearing costumes. Watching Terrifier on any night during the year will get you into the Halloween spirit, so why not a night in mid-July? Some people might claim that starting Halloween celebrations in the middle of summer is too early, but we say they don’t know what they’re talking about. If people can have Christmas in July, we can have Halloween in July.

5. Tara Heyes is a Great (almost) Final Girl

Tara Heyes (Jenna Kanell) walks alone through a dark building in Terrifier.
Jenna Kanell (who plays Tara in Terrifier) recently appeared in Renfield as Carol, one of the prominent members of Renfield’s group therapy sessions.

Without completely spoiling the movie if you haven’t seen it, Terrifier does a superb job of playing around with the “final girl” trope. Early in the film we’re introduced to Tara Heyes, played by Jenna Kanell. Tara shows many of the traditional signs of being a final girl. She’s cautious and smart, and she is more aware of the danger closing in on her than anyone else around her. But, well, you’ll have to go see the movie to see how that plays out for her. Regardless, Tara is an undeniably memorable character in the Terrifier franchise, and she deserves to be seen on the big screen.

6. You Never Need a Reason to Watch Horror Movies

Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) applies his clown makeup in Terrifier (2016).
You don’t need any excuses to get dressed up and treat yourself to a good horror movie.

The best reason to go see a horror movie, any horror movie, in the theater is this: you don’t need a reason to see it. If you love horror, just go. You don’t need any reasons or excuses. Watching scary movies in theaters, alone or with friends, in the middle of the day or at night, is always a good decision.

Terrifier will be in theaters beginning Wednesday, July 19, 2023. Some locations will be screening the film at least through Monday, July 24th, but don’t wait around and miss your chance to see it. Times and tickets can be found at terrifierfilm.com.

Meet The Author

Chris has a degree in film studies at Temple University’s campus in Tokyo, Japan. He is a renowned expert on horror cinema.