If you’ve seen the Terrifier movies, then the last thing you’d associate with Art the Clown is a toddler (not unless he’s eyeballing one of them for one of his carnage collages, that is). However, it turns out that very young children are becoming increasingly familiar with Art, and it’s not hard to see why: he’s arguably the most iconic horror villain of the modern era. As SlashFilm reports, Terrifier director and Art creator Damien Leone explained that rather than inspiring fear in these younglings, “there’s something appealing with this character to children.”
Art the Clown from Terrifier is, somehow, appealing to toddlers, according to director Damien Leone.
How would the director know how children as young as toddlers are fascinated by Art the Clown? As he explained, “I do a lot of conventions,” and at a recent con, he “had a ton of people coming up to me telling me how obsessed their children are with the film.” This included “two and three-year-olds who’ve either seen these movies all the way through, have seen pieces of these movies, or have just seen the image of Art the Clown, and they’re just in love with the image” of the terrifying monster.
Damien Leone compares the appeal of Art the Clown to how, as a child, he looked up to Freddy and Jason.
It’s admittedly very weird to imagine toddlers as young as two or three watching any of the Terrifier films, especially because the film that introduced Art the Clown (All Hallow’s Eve) features young children getting brutally murdered. However, the blunt truth is that kids have been watching horror films earlier than they should since the dawn of spooky movies, and as Leone has said, some of these kids may have only seen images of Art the Clown rather than full movies (the same way plenty of ‘80s kids knew what Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger looked like long before watching their respective films).
When it comes to why children this young would love Art the Clown so much, Leone thinks that many of them relate to his horror icon the way he related to other icons growing up. He remembers “looking up to Freddy and Jason and Michael Myers like they were my Batman and Spider-Man as a little kid” and how these characters “shaped my life.” He also thinks children’s fascination with these movie monsters is “instinctual” and “primal” and ultimately “has an impact on us at a very, very young age before we can even explain why.”
It’s admittedly very weird to imagine toddlers as young as two or three watching any of the Terrifier films, especially because the film that introduced Art the Clown (All Hallow’s Eve) features young children getting brutally murdered.
Considering how much Art the Clown’s murderous antics have wigged out full-grown adults that we know, we can’t in good conscience encourage any parents to show these films to their own young children (not unless you’re willing to transform those college savings into an ongoing therapy fund). However, we’d be lying if we said that we didn’t get his appeal to kids: Art the Clown is immediately mesmerizing in the same way that aforementioned horror legends Freddy and Jason are, and we certainly discovered those monsters at far too young of an age.
Weirded out by the idea of kids loving Art the Clown? Hey, we can’t blame you. If you’d like to re-live his carnage on the big screen in a venue that (God willing) doesn’t have many children, be sure to check out Terrifier 2 when it returns to theaters on November 1.