Terrifier 2 Ending Explained: Food's A Little Funny At The Clown Cafe

This article contains major spoilers for "Terrifier 2."

When you reflect on the slasher villains we accept as mascots of the genre, it's fascinating to see how far the sinister Art the Clown has come from his indie roots. The pantomime slasher initially started out as a creepy idea in director Damien Leone's 2008 short film "The 9th Circle," and has since become the kind of headline sensation that would make William Castle smile. From anthology antagonist ("All Hallows' Eve") to the star of his own film series, it's safe to say that Art's reign of terror is far from over.

It's pretty astounding how Leone manages to capture the sickening grime of grindhouse horror, where the violence is pushed to an extreme degree. It walks the line between being horrifically gruesome and absurdly funny. Once Art the Clown gets going, he becomes a relentless monster, unlike anything you've ever seen. The film's mainstream success is pretty wild considering these types of excessive gore flicks rarely ever see the inside of your local cineplex, let alone for four weeks as an indie box office sensation, but "Terrifier 2" has somehow beaten the odds.

On top of all that, Leone's demented horror-show clocks in at just under 2 ½ hours, which is wildly unheard of for a slasher flick, and yet the excessive runtime oddly works in its favor.

Where "Terrifier" was mostly a showcase for Art delivering brutal punishments for any poor soul who dared cross his path, "Terrifier 2" is a better movie. It opens the world of Leone's depraved imagination to unfathomable heights, along with characters worth following. There's more of a story behind the killer clown than we're led to believe, and that all starts with a final girl.

Sienna: Warrior Princess

The folks who met their end at the hands of Art (David Howard Thornton) in "Terrifier" are little more than a line of meat sacks waiting to be butchered, but Lauren LaVera brings a fresh energy to the series with Sienna. When we first meet her, she's working on her Halloween costume, which resembles the design of a winged warrior princess her late father designed in one of his sketchbooks.

It appears to be the one constant in her life, as Sienna is forever being pulled back and forth between her imaginative younger brother, Jonathan (Elliott Fullam), and temper-prone mother, Barbara (Sarah Voigt). Even when the wings burst into flames, she's still determined to do what's necessary to have this costume ready for the Halloween party.

Everywhere she goes, however, Sienna is haunted by Art's presence, whether it's in her dreams or a very awkward encounter at the costume shop. She's even able to see Art's miniature partner-in-grime in the form of the Little Pale Girl (Amelie McLain), who is as silently sadistic as her adult clown counterpart. Jonathan is the only other person who can see the demonic pair too. But what does it all mean?

There's a very strong implication that Sienna's connection to Art lies in the complicated webs of her family tree.

Grindhouse chills with a family twist

Even with its epic runtime, "Terrifier 2" somehow manages to leave more questions than ever before. The difference this time around, however, is that Leone smartly places little hints throughout the film regarding Sienna's prior family life. Throughout the first half, we know that Sienna's father has passed on from a brain tumor. He also leaves behind a sketchbook full of articles about the murders committed by Art (referred to as the Miles County Killer), along with sketches of him.

It's through her Molly-spiking friend Brooke (Kailey Hyman) that we learn that, while Sienna's father did suffer from a brain tumor, the way in which he went out paints a very different picture than the one we've been led to believe. He had been seeing visions he couldn't explain, which led him to become abusive toward his family. In his final moments, Sienna's father downed an entire bottle of Jack Daniels, crashed his car into a pole, and then proceeded to burn to death.

It stands to chance that Art is Sienna's father, or at least a demonic extension of him, given that we never actually see what he looks like in his human form. Hiding his identity seems like such a weird decision, especially since he plays a major background player in the story, but it very much feels like Leone is trying to lay the groundwork for a sequel that will elaborate further on this.

Look no further than the "Clown Cafe" dream sequence, for example, which gives a greater insight into how Sienna was likely treated as a child.

Childhood nightmare

Early on in "Terrifier 2," Sienna falls asleep while watching a commercial for a place called the "Clown Cafe." Perhaps the scariest curse is not visions of Art, but that catchy-as-hell tune I've yet to get out of my head.

Sienna wakes up in overalls while sporting Pippi Longstocking-esque pigtails, as she's entered the world of the commercial. Everyone in the dreamscape is really excited to see Art make an appearance, but she's the only person who seems very much terrified by his presence. Even the kid eating the hazardous cereal of glass, razor blades, and bugs suspiciously resembles a younger version of Jonathan.

She may not know what's going on, but it's hard to read the terror on her face as anything other than a subconscious fear of childhood trauma at the hands of her dad. Art even offers Sienna a box with a maggot-infested beating heart inside of it. If that doesn't show there's a larger family connection at hand, then I don't know what will.

From there, the sequence plays as the best "Nightmare on Elm Street" movie in decades, as Sienna's actions in the dream world affect what happens in the real world. Art mercilessly kills everyone in the dream, mirroring the silent killer taking out her friends in reality throughout the film.

The "Clown Cafe" is a tremendous example of a director having fun in the sandbox, but it's the amusement park chase where Leone is let loose.

A trip through Terrifier Manor

I think everyone pretty much assumed that the title "Terrifier" was simply describing Art as an entity bringing fear to everyone he kills. It's in the climax of "Terrifier 2," however, where we learn that it actually stands for a massive haunted house named the Terrifier. Even the Little Pale Girl is based on a child named Emily who went missing within the attraction long ago. The set is so detailed that they probably could have made an entire movie in the confines of this location alone.

Of course, this is where Sienna and Art have their final showdown. Jonathan believes that the warrior princess in their father's sketchbook was always meant to be Sienna. She's foretold as the one to put the clown to pasture. Sienna even goes so far as to become a literal guardian angel as she shields Jonathan from Art's hook whips, before fighting back with a vengeance.

"Terrifier 2" has a lot of endings, but the ultimate conclusion shows Art stabbing Sienna with the sword her father bestowed upon her. It lights up, resurrecting her "Clown Cafe" purgatory. In a moment of incredible catharsis, Sienna uses her father's sword to finally decapitate Art. The Little Pale Girl collects the clown's melon before walking off into the darkness.

Sienna has won the battle against evil, but for how long? There are still too many questions to be had regarding the family tie to Art, and the post-credits scene makes that even more complicated.

Congratulations! It's an abomination

We finally get to see what happened to Vicky (Samantha Scaffidi) after she viciously attacked television talk show host Monica Brown (Katie Maguire) at the start of the first "Terrifier." All signs point to her being under Art's control, as Vicky proceeds to write obscenities on the wall of her asylum room from the gushes of blood emanating from her vagina.

A nurse comes in to check on the disfigured victim, only to see that she's given birth to the head of Art the Clown. I don't quite know how this plays into the family connection, or how it explains Art's ability to resurrect himself in the grossest manner possible from beyond the grave, but as expected, you can't kill slasher villains like Art that easily.

I don't think Leone had the family dynamic of "Terrifier 2" in mind when he was writing the first film, but it seems like the conclusion to his epic slasher is only the start of all of the crazy ideas he has in store for future installments.

"Terrifier 2" has exceeded expectations in almost every way, accumulating a $5.2 million box office haul against a $250,000 budget. Leone has made it explicitly clear that there's a lot more story to tell with everything he's set up here, but the film's wild success has all but guaranteed a "Terrifier 3" in the near future.

"Terrifier 2" is now playing in select theaters nationwide, before making its streaming debut on Screambox on October 31, 2022.