- Terrifier 2 director Damien Leone defends the graphic violence against women in his films as a powerful component of the slasher genre that makes the villain more reprehensible.
- The final girl in Terrifier 2, played by Lauren LaVera, is a strong and protective adversary for the villain, Art the Clown.
- Terrifier 3, set to release on October 25, 2024, will continue to showcase a strong, relatable final girl and an underdog story for audiences to enjoy.
Director of the successful horror movie Terrifier 2, Damien Leone, addresses the criticism he has received for the graphic crimes against women portrayed in his films, particularly the violent scenes of female torture and murder. Leone argues that violence against women is a major component of the slasher genre, citing the role of the “final girl” as a classic trope that is very effective in making the villain more reprehensible and the audience more sympathetic to the female protagonist.
Having become a box office hit and impressed critics when it premiered last October, Terrifier 2 follows the terrifying events of Art the Clown, who returns to Miles County in time for Halloween to torment a teenage girl and her younger brother. In a recent conversation with MovieWeb, Leone made it clear that increasing audience empathy for the final girl was his main goal while making the film, especially with the fiercely strong character Sienna, played by Lauren LaVera. LaVera’s role has received praise from critics and will also be present in the film’s sequel, Terrifier 3, which is set in the Christmas season and scheduled to be released on October 25, 2024.
Art the Clown’s female victims lean on the more extreme side, thus making them mostly vulnerable, but Leone argues that, historically, men are more savage than women, making the male-versus-female psychopath dynamic more effective and disturbing. He says, “A male psychopath attacking a vulnerable woman is more effective and more disturbing on many levels, in turn making the villain much more reprehensible. This makes the audience 10x more empathetic for your final girl, and it’s exhilarating to root for them.”
Leone adds that having a male hero save the day in the end would have been more questionable and emphasizes that his intention with Terrifier 2 was to create a relatable underdog story with a strong final girl character. He believes that audiences enjoy rooting for an underdog, especially when they use their wits and courage to overcome extreme obstacles.