Who Is Art The Clown, Is He Supernatural & Why Does He Kill? Meet The Terrifier

The Terrifier was a low-budget but successful gore horror movie from 2016 that featured a sadistic killer clown named Art. Now, the sequel is in theaters, and people dub it the most disgusting horror flick ever, with Art right back in the middle of it all, despite seemingly dying the last go-around. So, who is Art the Clown, is he supernatural, and why does he kill?

Art the Clown is the main antagonist of the Terrifier series by Damien Leone. He first appears as a sadistic killer clown who works in a circus, but he later turns into a demonic entity that kills people simply for fun to fulfill his urge and desire to murder.

Art tends to fixate on certain individuals and hunt them down until he gets them, but he rejoices in killing everyone who crosses paths with him in the most, gory, disgusting ways you can imagine. If you’re a fan of gore horror, you won’t find many films – and killers – more brutal than the Terrifier. Here’s all you need to know.

Who is Art the Clown?

Art the Clown is the main antagonist in both Terrifier (2016) and Terrifier 2 (2022). Those two movies made Art go viral, but neither was actually the first time the character ever appeared on the screen. His first appearance came in a short horror film from the same director called The 9th Circle (2011). 

Leone then realized that he had something real with Art, so he developed a short film, Terrifier (2011), based solely on Art the Clown. Subsequently came All Hallow’s Eve (2013), the first full-feature film featuring the psychopathic clown. In that film, however, Art isn’t hunting the protagonists. Instead, they find VHS tapes of his previous brutal murders.

Finally, Leone realized that Art the Clown works, and the first film in the Terrifier franchise was released in 2016. The sequel followed this year, and Art the Clown is more popular than he ever was. The character is portrayed by David Howard Thornton in the 2016 and 2022 films, whereas in the previous Art the Clown appearances, the sadist was portrayed by Mike Giannelli.

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Now, we know how the character came to be, but who is Art the Clown, really?

Art the Clown is a circus worker who, to put it mildly, has tendencies to kill people. He always drags a huge trash bag behind him, filled with all kinds of messed up things he uses in his exploits.

Although we usually see Art the Clown only on Halloween, it’s unclear if he does his ‘work’ outside of that dreadful day. That is, until the end of the first Terrifier movie, where we learn the true nature of his existence.

Now, it seems that Art the Clown easily develops fixations on certain individuals, especially if they witness him killing somebody else. He will go after those individuals for as long as it takes, as he did while hunting Tara in the first movie or Sienna in the second.

With his horrifying appearance and more-than-sinister actions, you can’t help but wonder – is Art the Clown human at all, or is he something else? Something even more frightening?

Is Art the Clown supernatural?

In the first Terrifier movie, one could argue that Art the Clown is simply murderer who uses the guise of a clown to wreak havoc on anyone he crosses paths with. However, near the end of the film, that all changes – if it wasn’t like that from the start, but we just didn’t know it.

There’s this scene where Art the Clown is just about to be apprehended by the police, and he just straight-up shoots himself from point-blank range. As he is put in a body bag, though, we see it unzip and Art getting out, alive and kicking.

Then, the synopsis for the sequel tells you all you need to know:

“After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to the timid town of Miles County where he targets a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night.”

In other words, Art the Clown is a supernatural, demonic entity that possessed the body of a human who once worked as a circus clown. We see him die several times and get back to life yet again, proving he is more than just a crazy dude with clown makeup. It also seems he ‘operates’ exclusively on Halloween.

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What is more, it seems that he met his match in Terrifier 2. I don’t want to spoil too much if you ever choose to watch the film (I honestly don’t know if I can recommend it, it’s just too bloody disgusting), but the girl he’s hunting is resurrected in the movie after being killed by Art.

The only difference is she seems to be an angelic entity after the resurrection, brought back to life to conquest the evil, demonic presence which resurrected Art the Clown. It’s a nice twist to the story, but if we’re being totally honest, the plot plays second fiddle in the Terrifier films – the number one thing that matters here is the gore, and more gore on top of it.

Why does Art the Clown kill people?

I think you pretty much know the answer by now, but if it’s still unclear, Art the Clown kills people simply because he loves and enjoys doing so. Granted, we don’t really have a detailed backstory for Art – when did he begin his mayhem, was he always like that, or did some past trauma cause him to become a maniac? It doesn’t really matter, though.

All we know – and all that matters – is that Art the Clown was a murderer, and that was only amplified to new heights after he was resurrected by a demon.
Terrifier 2 is out in selected cinemas for all the gore fans out there to watch. Still, even if you’re a fan of gore horror, I advise viewer discretion, as even the writer-director himself said that some scenes just ‘took it too far.’

  • Luka loves psychological thrillers, horrors, and mysteries. However, high fantasy and fiction are his primary interest, especially Tolkien's Middle-earth universe, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Marvel universe. Amateur filmmaker, screenwriter, cinematography, and trivia enthusiast.