Terrifier 3 Could Be So Big It Gets Split Into Two Movies

There's sleeper hits and then there's slicer hits. Ultra-gory clown slasher "Terrifier 2" is one of the latter: the independently made, low-budget film surprised moviegoers this month when it expertly sliced its way through the box office. Along the way, it earned a good chunk of change, a positive response from horror fans, and a reputation as one of a handful of unrated scary movies that could very well make you physically ill. Despite the reports of ambulances hauling away overwhelmed viewers, "Terrifier 2" mostly made headlines for the right reason: as a sequel that critics say outshined — and outsplattered — the original.

So, naturally, it was only a matter of time before writer-director Damien Leone started getting questions about continuing the series. Ahead of the film's public release, as positive word-of-mouth from an early screening had already been spreading, /Film's Ryan Scott asked Leone about whether a third film could be on the horizon. "Right now, I would like to just tell a solid story where it has a nice arc for my heroes, my villains, it's complete," Leone said, revealing that he's planned a trilogy. "So a three is, I can almost guarantee a part three. After that? We'll see if there's anything left and if the fans still are still accepting of this character and this franchise."

Part 3 might just be too big

Since this September interview, "Terrifier 2" has proven itself a hit, most recently seeing an unprecedented uptick of nearly 84% at the box office in its third week out. It's no surprise, then, that Leone's plans for a threequel are still on his mind, and apparently they've gotten a little too unwieldy to be contained to one movie. In an interview with Variety, he explained that he may have to chop the next movie into two parts to prevent a long runtime. "I pretty much have the entire treatment ready for 'Part 3,' but it's getting so big that it could potentially split into a 'Part 4' because I wouldn't want to make another 2 hour 20-minute movie," Leone said, referencing the length of the second Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton)-centered flick. "So we'll see."

The second "Terrifier" film was certainly enigmatic enough to warrant future installments: it introduced a mysterious pale girl (Amelie McLain) and ended with a gnarly, mind-bending birth scene, neither of which were fully explained. Apparently, there's a reason for that: "I had a 'Part 3' in mind when writing 'Part 2,'" the filmmaker told Variety. "There are so many questions brought up in 'Part 2' that are not answered, and that was part of the design because I know I'm going into a 'Part 3.'"

Leone wants to avoid jumping the shark

And what about the future of the franchise after that? It sounds like Leone is open to keeping the story going, but doesn't want to wear out his welcome. "My fear is that eventually the well is gonna run dry, we're gonna wind up jumping the shark, there will be nothing left to say with this character," he told the outlet, saying it "could be devastating" to the franchise if latter sequels ended the current hot streak. "It happens with a lot of franchises that I'm still a huge fan of. I've watched all these 'Part 10s' and 'Part 13s,' but sometimes that could really ruin the entire franchise."

Luckily, the franchise doesn't seem to have run out of buckets of blood yet. "Terrifier 2" is now in theaters and will be available to stream on Screambox beginning on October 31, 2022.