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Exclusive: David Howard Thornton Talks ‘Terrifier’ Sequel, Art the Clown

A little over a year ago, on March 15th, 2018, Damien Leone’s ‘Terrifier‘ officially dropped and a cult classic was born.

After a successful stint on the festival circuit, Leone’s gory horror flick exposed even more people to the movie’s killer, Art the Clown, who was portrayed brilliantly by David Howard Thornton.

The film became so popular that ‘Terrifier 2‘ is in the works, following a successful campaign on Indiegogo.

“We are definitely upping the game in the sequel” Thornton told me about the sequel.

“It’s much more ambitious and narrative driven from the first film. You’ll definitely be seeing some more over the top kills from Art since we are not pulling back. You’ll also see a new protagonist that just might be the Batman to Art’s Joker.

We are introducing that character here and hope to do more with them in future films.”

According to the synopsis of ‘Terrifier 2’: “After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to Miles County where he must hunt down and destroy a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night. As the body count rises, the siblings fight to stay alive while uncovering the true nature of Art’s evil intent. ”

Thornton’s performance as Art the Clown left a lasting impression on the audience, and when coupled with the creatively gory kill scenes, made for one heck of a memorable movie.

“I had seen “All Hallow’s Eve” before I even knew about “Terrifier” and loved the character” Thornton said.

“I found out about the auditions via an online actor’s audition site. They said that they were looking for a tall, skinny man that had physical comedy or clowning experience for “the role of a life time”.

I knew immediately that I was perfect for the role and contacted my reps to submit me for the audition. The rest is history. You can actually find my audition online as well, which I had to improvise on the spot.”

Thornton was a perfect fit for Art the Clown, and his facial expressions in particular, really accentuated his performance.

“Well, one of my biggest skill sets as an actor is my voice” Thornton said.

“I do over 200 impersonations, so that is something I have always relied on for characterization. That was taken away from me, so I had to find a new way to convey emotional meaning to the character while simultaneously making him an entertaining and unique character to watch.

As for my facial expressions, I have been developing them my whole life. I’ve always loved making cartoonish faces, so I thought that this would be a perfect place to put those skills to use.”

Thornton also discussed his inspiration for the Art the Clown character as he approached the role.

“I drew my inspiration for Art from a lot of different sources. The most obvious being Mike Giannelli’s original portrayal of Art in “All Hallow’s Eve”. He gave me a great foundation to really build my version of the character from.

From there, I combined my love of great horror villains (especially Freddy and The Joker) and coupled that with my love of great physical and silent film comedians. I look at Art as the bastard love child of Freddy Krueger and Harpo Marx.

I also found much inspiration from my dear friend and mentor, Stefan Karl (Robbie Rotten from “Lazy Town”) who I understudied as the Grinch for 5 tours. He was a master at physical comedy and taught me a lot that helped me to fine tune my skills. Unfortunately, he passed away last year from cancer. But yes, you will see a lot of Stefan in Art.”

Thornton also recognizes that the horror genre has produced a ton of content over the past few years, with many of the films going largely unnoticed by mainstream press, including ‘Terrifier’.

“Well, ours for one by the main stream press” Thornton pointed out.

“We still don’t get recognized by the likes of IGN, Hollywood Reporter, etc because we don’t have a studio currently behind us paying for that type of publicity.”

Thornton went on to say that horror fan sites and horror fans are to be credited in helping the movie gain popularity.

“It’s the horror fan sites and the fans themselves that have really gotten the word out for us” Thornton adds.

“Such is the case for many other entertaining indie horror films. Some that spring to mind that I really enjoyed are “The Babysitter”, “Tragedy Girls”, and “The Final Girls”. All really fun films that did some interesting things with the genre and took more risks and were more innovative and fun than many of the main stream big budget films that are out today.”

In regards to horror movies, Thornton is certainly a fan and lists the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, NOES 3: Dream Warriors, Halloween, The Exorcist, and The Omen, among his favorites.

With Thornton reprising his role for ‘Terrifier 2’, we are all in store for another incredible performance that should further cement Art the Clown as one of horror’s memorable killers.

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