Film Review: “Terrifier 2”

If you enjoyed Damien Leone’s original “Terrifier” – then you’re in luck! “Terrifier 2” is the type of sequel where it feels like the director knows exactly what worked and didn’t work within their original film, and decides to double down on all the best parts. While “Terrifier 2” certainly has its fair share of bad performances and feels about ten minute over-long, it feels like an actual improvement over the first film in so many different ways. For starters, the original “Terrifier” is a perfectly enjoyable horror flick that is (rightfully, in my opinion) criticized for being completely light on plot and too reliant on its gnarly kills. Within the first twenty minutes of “Terrifier 2,” it’s apparent that Leone heard the criticisms and delivers a genuinely engaging protagonist within Sienna (Lauren LaVera) with a moderately compelling, emotional arc at her core. This won’t necessarily win any Oscars, but it’s nice to actually care about the characters this time around!

The film opens nearly exactly where its predecessor left off, with Art the Clown (played by the incredibly committed David Howard Thornton) terrorizing the coroner in a morgue. He soon sets off on a new quest for terrorizing more victims on Halloween, as Sienna and her brother (Elliot Fullam) are caught in the middle of all the carnage. The first thirty minutes are spent almost entirely setting up all the various supporting characters surrounded by the two leads, and the rest of the 138 minutes are a blood-bath that makes the first film seem tame in comparison. “Terrifier 2” is an acquired taste that still won’t satisfy all horror fans as it leans even further into torture-porn category than the original did, but you have to admire Leone’s commitment to furthering both his narrative and the extremes he can go-to with the kills Art the Clown can pull-off.

Another vast improvement here is the visual style and production design on display. The original “Terrifier” looked fine for a film of its budget, but one of the most striking things to me as this one began is that the cinematography is genuinely pretty impressive from the get-go. This is all due in-credit to DP Geroge Steuber, who also shot the first film. This advancement in style and change of pace within a more sporadic, popping production design and sets make for the horror to be all the more creative and creepy. Specifically, there’s a dream sequence near the beginning of the film where Art the Clown appears in Sienna’s dreams that is really impressive to watch and one of the more creative horror sequences that I’ve seen this year.

The original film was completely reliant on Art the Clown as a character and wasn’t focused on delivering much else, and it’s understandable as David Howard Thornton is absolutely magnetic and terrifying (no pun intended) in the role. But it is a refreshing change of pace to see him go against Sienna in this, who makes for a more than worthy adversary for Art. Lauren LaVera completely owns this role, and I could see her becoming an iconic final girl for the midnight-horror movie crowd as this is destined to become something of a cult-classic. The final set-piece that pits the two of them together made me desperately wish I saw this with a crowd! 

While “Terrifier 2” is far from the best horror movie I’ve seen this year, it’s easily the grossest and gnarliest – and I’m not easily squeamish. This type of horror usually isn’t my bag, but I have to admire its pure lunacy and commitment to grossing you out at every turn. It’s vastly entertaining, with a true vision behind the camera – and it makes me so happy to be a horror fan nowadays, being able to witness the renaissance we’re currently going through; creatives are truly expressing themselves in wild ways, and Damien Leone is no exception to this as he delivers an absolutely bonkers sequel that improves on the original in just about every way imaginable. And without spoiling it, make sure to watch throughout the credits to see a peak at how he plans to expand the “Terrifier” mythology even further! 

Paper Mario: The Origami King brings a new angle to the Tetris 99 15th MAXIMUS CUP

This week, the Tetris® 99 game on the Nintendo Switch system collides with the comedy-filled Paper Mario ™: The Origami King game for the Tetris 99 15th MAXIMUS CUP event. Don’t fold when the Tetriminos fall down your screen! While Paper Mario jokes never fall flat, you’ll always want to remain the last player standing in Tetris 99.

The Tetris 99 15th MAXIMUS CUP event runs from 12 a.m. PT on July 31 to 11:59 p.m. PT on Aug. 3. To participate, you’ll need to be a Nintendo Switch Online member* and play the Tetris 99 online mode during the event period. You’ll earn event points based on your placement in each match. Once you’ve secured a total of 100 event points, a new theme will unlock, featuring art, music and Tetrimino designs inspired by Paper Mario: The Origami King!

When battling foes in Paper Mario: The Origami King, it takes puzzle-solving prowess to line up enemies correctly and claim victory in front of an audience of cheering Toads. In Tetris 99 you’ll need to spin Tetriminos into the correct configurations to knock out all your competitors. In both games you’ll need to think quickly to impress the crowd! 

Tetris 99 features online competitive modes exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online members. You can also check out the best video slots online. Owners of the digital version of the game can purchase the optional Big Block DLC, which adds several offline modes, like CPU Battle and Local Arena. 

physical version of Tetris 99 is also available. For a suggested retail price of $29.99, the physical version includes the game, all DLC and a 12-Month Nintendo Switch Online Individual Membership.** Nintendo Switch Online members can enjoy online play and Save Data Cloud backup in a large selection of compatible games, along with access to growing libraries of classic NES and Super NES games, special offers and a smartphone app that enhances features of supported games.

For more information about all the benefits and services available with a Nintendo Switch Online membership, and to learn about the free seven-day trial, visit

*Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required. Persistent internet, compatible smartphone and Nintendo Account age 13+ required to use app. Data charges may apply. Online features, Save Data Cloud and Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app features available in compatible games. Not available in all countries. The Nintendo Account User Agreement, including the Purchase and Subscription terms, apply. 

**Included Nintendo Switch Online membership will auto-renew at the end of 12 months.

Tetris ® & © 1985~2020 Tetris Holding. Tetris logos, Tetris theme song and Tetriminos are trademarks of Tetris Holding. The Tetris trade dress is owned by Tetris Holding. Licensed to The Tetris Company. Tetris Game Design by Alexey Pajitnov. Tetris Logo Design by Roger Dean. All Rights Reserved. Sub-licensed to Nintendo. Certain new content developed by Nintendo, and any characters, sounds and video games originally owned by Nintendo: © 2019 Nintendo. Nintendo Switch is a trademark of Nintendo. © 2020 Nintendo.

Film Review “99 Homes”

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon and Laura Dern
Directed By: Ramin Bahrani
Rated: R
Running Time: 112 minutes
Broad Green Pictures

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Rick Carver (Shannon) casually stares at the corpse of a man who has just committed suicide. His look of disgust isn’t because of the blood or gore he’s staring at, but how much it’s going to cost to clean it up. Carver is the embodiment of the greedy industrialist stereotype we’ve come to expect in movies, but there’s something more to Carver. He’s covetous in a very threatening way, but once that icy stare of his fades away, there’s an understandably human side to him.

Carver expertise is real estate. He’s found out every backhanded way to make money off the company he represents, the U.S. government, and the people he’s foreclosing on. He’s sadistically smart on how he handles himself in front of people he’s evicting. Everything he says is cold and calculated. Shannon brings an air of hostility to Carver without having to raise his voice. He also knows that what he does makes him hated. So he conceals a firearm, ready and willing to get it out if need be.

The latest person to cross an unfortunate path with Carver is Dennis Nash (Garfield). He’s a home builder by trade, but he’s without any homes to build in the Florida landscape. He lives in his childhood home with his mom, and his only son. Nash is the only legitimate revenue stream since his mom simply cuts hair out of their home. Nash is out of options, legally and financially. That’s when Carver comes knocking. Carver has an answer for all of Nash’s tears and angry outbursts as he has only two minutes to pack up everything and get out.

Nash is a guy who’s made a lot of bad choices and good luck has stayed far away from him. So it’s very ominous when Carver offers Nash some cold hard cash to clean out a home. The hardworking skill that Nash displays impresses Carver. Carver formulates a plan in his head, which “99 Homes” slowly reveals. Carver’s motives are inherently selfish, but reasonable. So Carver offers Nash more and more jobs, and sadly, Nash believes he has finally came across the good fortune that’s alluded him for long Nash’s reasoning for working for the man who kicked him out of his home is clear, he wants to create a comfortable life for his son.

“99 Homes” is the best performance I’ve ever seen from Garfield and it’s equally matched by Shannon, who’s displayed this kind of acting prowess in the past. Shannon and Garfield masterfully display their characters true nature through body language and without uttering a single word. Laura Dern adds to the mix with her performance as Nash’s mom. There aren’t any other standouts in terms of acting in “99 Homes”, but being able to watch Garfield match the performance he did in the “Social Network” is refreshing after the unwanted Spiderman movies.

Writer and director, Ramin Bahrini, provides a riveting story, albeit one that feels a bit stale. I’m not saying that there aren’t people like Carver still lurking around, but this feels like a story that would be more interesting right after the 2008 house marketing crash. What Bahrini does do to keep “99 Homes” from simply being an outlet of social commentary, is pump up an engaging drama with relevant dialogue. While the housing market crash will inevitably be a thing of the past, “99 Homes” finds a more intriguing story in how the incorruptible can be corrupted and how the corrupted are looking for a little virtue to hang their hat on.


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