One Brutal Terrifier 3 Scene Even Made Art The Clown's Actor Sick

How brutal does a film need to be for horror aficionado Mike Flanagan to invent a new "MegaSlasher" genre to describe it? As brutal as "Terrifier 2." The 2022 "MegaSlasher" (a term basically indistinguishable from the "splatter" genre) was director Damien Leone's sequel to his low-budget 2016 "Terrifier," and took the violence to extreme levels in order to differentiate itself from the standard Hollywood slasher fare. As Leone said during a 2022 Q&A, "We have to show the audience things that [Hollywood] would never have the balls to show.'"

It's a tactic that worked, with the film proving too brutal for some horror fans and making headlines with reports of viewers fainting and vomiting during screenings. "Terrifier 2" scared up big wins at the box office, too, making $15.7 million on a $250,000 budget. Not bad at all, especially for a film that contains some of the most sickening on-screen violence you'll ever see. One scene in particular became infamous for the sheer level of sadism and depravity it displayed, and involved David Howard Thornton's Art the Clown absolutely decimating a helpless teen in her own bedroom before her poor mother returns home to witness the devastation. It's Leone's favorite kill of the franchise thus far, and helped propel the film's notorious reputation, ensuring a threequel was quickly greenlit.

While that was good news for Leone, it presented him with a significant challenge. After all, he'd built this saga by trying to outdo not only Hollywood but also himself when it came to gore. So, with "Terrifier 3" he had no choice but to once again try to come up with something so sickeningly depraved it somehow topped his last effort. Well, according to Leone and actor David Howard Thornton, he's done just that.

The one Terrifier 3 scene that went too far

"Terrifier 3" is set to debut later this year and will take the violence to even more extreme heights, as if issuing a challenge to Mike Flanagan to top his previous "MegaSlahser" designation. With a much bigger budget and much more at stake, Leone has made no secret of his desire to outdo himself with this installment in his franchise, telling The Hollywood Reporter in 2023, "I do think ['Terrifier 3'] is going to be the scariest, darkest, and most sadistic one, believe it or not, of the entire trilogy."

Of course, you would say that if you were trying to build hype for your movie, so we'll have to wait to see whether Leone has, in fact, topped his last splatter-fest. In the meantime, the filmmaker is keeping the hype train running by claiming to have actually done the impossible and created a "Terrifier" kill so upsetting that one crew member couldn't handle it. As reported by GamesRadar, the director tweeted about a scene for the threequel that caught one person in particular off-guard. He said:

"Can honestly say we just filmed one of the most insanely horrific scenes of the Terrifier franchise and you'll never believe who couldn't handle it on set. The bts is hilarious. Can't wait for you all to see!"

Following this revelation, a fan posted a screenshot of what appears to be star David Howard Thornton confirming that he was the one who "couldn't handle it." The Art the Clown actor seems to have posted a social media comment wherein he says, "This was the first kill that almost made me vom. That's a first."

This Terrifier 3 scene must be bad if David Howard Thornton couldn't handle it

Part of the appeal of "Terrifier 2" was David Howard Thornton's portrayal of Art the Clown. As the murderous harlequin, he exuded a disturbing cheekiness, depicting Art as delighting in the mayhem he causes. Damien Leone has spoken about how humor is central to Art's MO, explaining how the character was inspired by iconic slasher killers while also differentiating himself from those figures with his twisted sense of humor. The director previously told /News's Jacob Hall, "Art thinks what he's doing is funny because he's laughing. He just really gets a kick out of it, he just gets pleasure."

Howard Thornton seemingly recognized the importance of all this when he first auditioned for Art in 2016's "Terrifier." According to Leone, he immediately got the part after performing an improvised scene in which he mimed decapitating a victim and salting the head. All of which is to say that Howard Thornton is a pro at playing Art, and hasn't yet balked at any of the depraved acts Leone has dreamt up. In fact, he seems to have had an absolute blast playing the part, speaking enthusiastically about his experiences during press interviews and generally seeming delighted to be involved.

So, if "Terrifier 3" actually did make Howard Thornton "almost vom" as that unconfirmed screenshot says, it suggests Leone has taken things to another level. Just how he's managed to do that considering he's already had Art slice a woman in half from the pelvis in "Terrifier" and absolutely obliterate poor Allie in "Terrifier 2" remains to be seen — or avoided entirely if you're a normal human being.

We'll have to wait and see what it was that made Howard Thornton retch when "Terrifier 3" hits theaters on October 25, 2024.