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Terrifier 3 Release Date, Cast, Plot, Teaser Trailer And More Details

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Hide your sharp objects, everyone — Art the Clown is set for a comeback.

The malicious, homicidal, hard-to-kill clown has become a popular horror icon during his brief existence. Less loquacious than Freddy Krueger and even more bloodthirsty than Jason Voorhees, Art is snickering and droll. Do not forget the "clown" part of his name; many of his wicked "pranks" are committed in pure pantomime. And yet when it comes to boundary-pushing mayhem, no horror villain has been more willing to wallow in gore than Art.

While "Terrifier" became a cult classic in 2016 due to its sheer audaciousness, "Terrifier 2" made a whole lot of bank at the box office pulling in over $15 million in total against a $250,000 budget thanks to a savvy Halloween weekend release. It became a surprise sleeper hit, making it much more popular than the first movie. That means a third film is well on its way, and fans should expect it to have a heftier budget to boot. Here's what we know so far about what you can expect from Art's next adventure.

When will Terrifier 3 be released?

Art the Clown scared up millions of dollars during 2022's Halloween season, and now, the demonic trickster is hoping to get even more kills and bills in 2024. After originally being scheduled for October 25, 2024, "Terrifier 3" will make us all nauseous a bit earlier — October 11.

Due to the success of the sequel, the movie received a major budget increase. Deadline reports the budget is within the low-mid seven-figure range, which is quite the step up from "Terrifier 2's" $250,000. This apparently allowed director Damien Leone to shoot for the moon. "All jokes aside," agent Priscilla Ross Smith of The Coven told Deadline, "we are going for that Oscar."

However, the budget won't negatively impact the film's goriness, as Leone has stayed away from major studios. "I got to meet with studios, like legit Hollywood studios, who wanted to make 'Terrifier 3,'" Leone told JoBlo Celebrity interviews. However, he went on to say, "They were concerned about the levels of gore and this and that. ... I knew they weren't going to let me make this movie based on the first five pages. Like that's how insane 'Terrifier 3' is."

Instead of coming from a company like Warner Bros. or Universal, "Terrifier 3" will be distributed by Cineverse Corp., the same studio behind "Terrifier 2" (known as Cinedigm at the time). So rest assured, the controversial first five minutes will make us all lose our lunch on October 11, 2024. But if you feel like the theatrical experience might be too intense, you can fast forward to your heart's content when the film hits the streaming service Screambox later on.

What is the plot of Terrifier 3?

Both the first "Terrifier" and its follow-up have taken place during spooky season, with Art the Clown mauling and mutilating on Halloween. But now, Art the Clown wants to haunt a brand new holiday, and he's set his sights on Christmas. Yep, that's right — "Terrifier 3" will feature plenty of holly jolly horror as Art begins caroling and killing on Christmas Eve, making sure the residents of Miles County have an unholy night.

So what else does writer/director Damien Leone have in store? "There's something very interesting that's going to happen with the Pale Girl in 'Part 3,'" he told Variety about Art's first victim/partner in crime. "That's all I can say right now." The director also told The Hollywood Reporter that we'll learn a bit more about Sienna Shaw's dad and his notebook. "I like revealing things as we go and uncovering these puzzle pieces as if we're uncovering a mystery," he explained. "So you will learn a lot of things from 'Terrifier 2' in 'Terrifier 3.'"

We also know that "Terrifier 3" will pick up immediately after the sequel, and it will also feel more like the first film. Speaking with Variety, Leone explained that while he loves the more fantastic elements of "Terrifier 2," "I want to shift back a bit to the tone of 'Part 1,' which I felt was a little more simplistic and old school, gritty slasher. I want this one to go back in that direction, and I want this to be the scariest one of the trilogy. This one will actually have a little bit more of an evil overtone to it, so this is going to be hopefully the scariest and the darkest?"

Who is starring in Terrifier 3?

It's a holiday miracle — all your "Terrifier" favorites are coming back for more carnage. Speaking with Deadline, director Damien Leone confirmed that David Howard Thornton will return as Art the Clown, and he'll be opposed once again by Lauren LaVera as Sienna Shaw. They'll be joined by Samantha Scaffidi as Victoria Heyes, the heavily scarred survivor of Art's first massacre. When we last saw Victoria, she was writing obsessive love notes to Art on the walls of her padded cell ... and giving birth to his severed head. 

Elliott Fullam will also return as Sienna's brother, Jonathan, and wrestling fans will be happy to hear that Chris Jericho will also come back. We last Jericho working at a psychiatric hospital during the "Terrifier 2" credits scene. Talking to Deadline about Jericho's role, Damien Leone said, "This one is going to pick up where 'Part 2' left off, in the insane asylum, so, you're going to see what transpires there, what mayhem unfolds, because seeing how Art and Victoria ended up, is so insane, and seeing how they get out of that situation and what happens next is going to be really wild. So, we have to get Chris back in there and see how he becomes a part of that situation." Plus, horror veteran Daniel Roebuck (Rob Zombie's "Halloween" and "The Devil's Rejects," among others) is going to play Santa Claus himself — here's hoping St. Nick survives his not-so-magical meeting with Art.

Who is writing and directing Terrifier 3?

Don't worry — the twisted minds behind the first two "Terrifier" movies are returning to gross you out. The series is courtesy of producer Phil Falcone and writer-director Damien Leone, the latter of whom sat down for a chat with Variety in June 2023. During their conversation, Leone gave us a glimpse of the horrors to come, and based on his chat, it looks like "Terrifier 3" is going to be even more messed up than the previous films.

Is that even possible? Well, Leone admits that upping the gore is incredibly challenging. When asked if he feels pressure about raising the stakes, the writer-director responded, "Always. There's sleepless nights sometimes where, 'Oh my god, I can't let the fans of the franchise down.' ... I always want to swing for the fences and try and see if I could outdo myself from the previous installment." 

Leone also promises that he has several intense kill scenes in mind, and we'll be watching with our fingers over our eyes. After all, the filmmaker said in a press release published by Deadline, "If you thought Art the Clown's reign of terror in part 2 was extreme, you haven't seen anything yet."

Is there a trailer for Terrifier 3?

The teaser trailer for "Terrifier 3" promises a ghoulishly good time during the holidays. It starts off on Christmas Eve, with a little boy waking up from his peaceful slumber. A gentle snow falls outside as the tiny tot hears something on the roof — Santa perhaps? 

Curious, he heads downstairs, teddy bear in hand, and sees jolly old St. Nicholas placing presents at the foot of the tree. Well ... that is Santa, right? Bad news, kid — Santa ain't real, but Art the Clown sure is. Wearing Kris Kringle's trademark outfit and armed with a rusty ax, Art proceeds to deck the halls with blood and carnage before treating himself to some gore-smeared milk and cookies. Yep, it's equally playful and upsetting, which perfectly sets the dark tone of the upcoming horror flick.

What horror movies and shows inspired Terrifier 3?

Damien Leone isn't shy about hiding his influences, as he's happily explained that the fantastical tone of "Terrifier 2" was largely inspired by "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors." However, while he wants the third movie to feel "more epic," he also wants it to feel more like the first movie. "We're shooting in anamorphic widescreen," Leone told Bloody Disgusting, "so I want it to feel more like an old-school John Carpenter movie. It's going to still have that epic feel of part two, but now have the tone of part one with Christmas."

On that note, Leone told the trade about his love for holiday horror. After all, Santa Claus and serial killing go hand in hand. Talking with Bloody Disgusting, Leone explained how he absolutely adores a "Tales From the Crypt" episode where a woman played by Joan Collins is hunted by a psycho Santa. As a result, "I've always wanted to do my spin on the maniac Santa Claus," he explained. "That's just such a classic archetypal horror trope."

Delving further into that topic, Leone told Bloody Disgusting that Art basically is the evil Kris Kringle. "He's just the perfect antithesis to Santa Claus. He loves giving out presents and putting smiles on people's faces. So, just the set pieces that we have in this film and around this holiday are just amazing. I've always been such a fan of that subgenre of horror."

What will Terrifier 3 be rated?

The "Terrifier" films aren't exactly what you'd call family friendly films. They're full of dismembered body parts, cannibalism, and over-the-top kills. In fact, they're so intense that the first two "Terrifier" movies aren't rated. If they did go through that whole process, chances are good they'd come out the other side with an NC-17. So will "Terrifier 3" follow in its predecessor's footsteps, or will it have a softer approach now that the series is more famous than ever before?

Speaking with Deadline, director Damien Leone gave us an update on the rating, saying, "I'm trying to make this one PG. ... Not. No, of course, everything has to be taken to the next level, and 'Part' 3 is going to be no different." The filmmaker then said the third film will also be unrated, explaining, "That's one of the reasons for the success of this film and what sets it apart from other slashers. I don't want to disrupt the formula that got us here. None of my movies have been rated to date."

Is Terrifier 3 the last Terrifier movie?

We all know the deal with slasher villains — they never really die. Sure, you can kill Freddy Krueger, you can stop Jason Voorhees, you can chop up Michael Myers ... but they're all coming back eventually. But is that true for Art the Clown? Will he return for a fourth film?

Speaking with Deadline, director Damien Leone discussed the possibility of taking the franchise even further. He explained that while writing "Terrifier 2," he basically figured out "the overall plot and structure of this franchise" and actually developed "a satisfying conclusion down the line." In other words, it sounds like "Terrifier 3" might not have a cliffhanger ending, and it might end with Art the Clown being defeated for good (or killing everybody, who knows?).

However, Leone also admitted that there's always the possibility that Art might return, saying, "t doesn't have to end, and you know, once we open the door of the supernatural, anything's possible in this franchise. So, I don't think you could ever officially put the nail in the coffin, but if I ever did want to end it, I now have a satisfying conclusion for myself as an artist, as the creator."

Where to watch the first two Terrifier films

Before "Terrifier 3" begins haunting theaters on October 11, 2024, it might be a good idea to revisit Art the Clown's earlier rampages. You can stream the stomach-churning original movie on Peacock and Tubi, and you can also rent it on Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, and Apple TV. If you want to get even more frightening — with a dash of Lynchian visuals and buckets of blood — then it's time to check out "Terrifier 2." The upsetting sequel is available to rent it Amazon Video, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, and Apple TV.