The Weird Phenomenon of Terrifier 2

I went to see this on Friday and I still feel the need to write about it.

In short, it is not a good movie. It is pretty interesting, because it has various weird scenes, but all in all, the story is a complete mess with a lot of ideas being thrown around with some sort of allusions to a larger truth, which just never gets addressed, probably in hopes of having something to do in future movies. It actually has very good acting, especially considering a very limited budget. Also, the kills are quite gruesome, if that is your thing, and I do like some of the design in the movie, especially the little girl clown. Also, if poor picture quality is not for you, I should say this wasn’t exactly made for the big screen. It is also too long at 140 minutes.

I have seen the Terrifier, but I have no recollection of it. I didn’t even remember having seen the movie, but I could see from IMDb that I had rated it, so I must have seen it at some point. It just didn’t make much of an impression on me. It is also possible that I just saw it during a period when I was going through a bunch of horror movies, so it might have been lost in the shuffle. I did give it a 5/10, which for me usually means that it didn’t have any positive qualities, but wasn’t insulting enough to go below that either.

Now, why I was interested in writing about this movie was the general interest in this movie. They were supposed to show the movie only once in my town, but for some reason they filled almost filled the whole room and that never happens in this town, so they decided to bring it for more screenings. It has also done pretty good business elsewhere and there seems to be a lot of discussion surrounding it. Why? It didn’t feel that special. The killer clown thing is a trope at this point, there are plenty of movies with gruesome deaths and so forth. It is weird, but that isn’t usually a very big selling point.

I was just wondering how this actually works. How does something like this become such a phenomenon? I have nothing against the movie, but this all just seems very random. As far as I know, there wasn’t like a huge viral or guerilla marketing campaign for this. I guess it was just organic, but even that is usually the result of some form of campaigning.

I do find these kinds of movies interesting. This isn’t as big as Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity, both of which had a bigger studio behind their marketing efforts, but some people did still make a lot of money out of this. In some ways this is how movies used to work. Now the lifecycle of movie in theaters is pretty short. Movies make most of their money usually in just a few weeks, especially the bigger ones, which often make close to half their money during the first weekend. Back in the day movies start small and find an audience over time through word of mouth. Take something like Ghost Busters, which was a huge hit back in the 80s. It only did around 7% of its total box office during the opening weekend. Back to the Future made even less than that at 5.3%.

I feel that is something we have lost. If everyone goes to the movies during the first weekend, studios are not incentivized to make good movies, only appealing movies, because word of mouth doesn’t matter. Studios even take a larger share of the box office during the first weekend (especially Disney), so for them its all about finding that initial audience, so there isn’t much room for letting word-of-mouth do its magic. Of course, word-of-mouth works differently now as well with the Internet. Back in the day you actually had to meet people to tell them about movies.

It is nice to see a movie can still find an audience this way, even if the audience isn’t exactly big. I would love if all movies still worked this way, because it would actually encourage studios to invest in interesting projects rather than putting hundreds of millions into regurgitating the same movie over and over again.

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