'Terrifier 3' Teaser Trailer Has Some Fans Claiming the Franchise Has Gone Too Far

The latest installment in the 'Terrifier' franchise is getting pushback from fans. Here's what we know about the 'Terrifier 3' controversy.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Nov. 14 2023, Published 1:40 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • The teaser trailer for Terrifier 3 dropped in November 2023.
  • Some fans think it went a bit too far.
  • In the teaser trailer, it's implied that Art the Clown kills a child.
  • Scenes from teaser trailers usually don't make it into the films.
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The Terrifier franchise is finally getting its just desserts and those desserts are cookies meant for Santa Claus. This cult classic turned beloved horror darling is set to release the third film in October 2024 with a festive Christmas twist. The monster who gives these movies their frightening flair is Art the Clown. He's a serial killer. In the second film, he's resurrected through supernatural means.

As the titles suggest, Art is indeed terrifying. Dressed as a clown that would put Pennywise to shame, his kills are both demented and delightful. His kills are made better by screenwriter/director Damien Leone's penchant for practical effects. However, some fans think Damien might have gone too far in the teaser trailer for the third movie. Here's what we know about the Terrifier 3 controversy.

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The 'Terrifier 3' controversy is as tame as its trailer.

The teaser trailer for Terrifier 3 is less than three minutes long. In it, haunting Christmas style music plays while a little girl sleeps. Hearing some rustling from downstairs, she wakes up and goes to investigate. We quickly learn that it's Christmas Eve as the child, clutching a teddy bear, sneaks into the living room and spies Santa bent under the Christmas tree. He's dutifully placing a plethora of carefully wrapped gifts beneath it.

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She excitedly screams "Santa!" and this is when he slowly raises his head to reveal it's Art in a Santa costume. Slowly Art picks up an ax and turns his head while letting out his infamous silent giggle. The teaser trailer then cuts to a bloody Art sitting in a chair and dipping cookies into a glass of milk. Naturally he has written his name in blood on the wall behind him. It's implied that he might have murdered the little girl.

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Relax everyone, it's just a teaser trailer.

Most of the social media responses to the trailer have been positive, except for one Twitter user who demanded people block them if they still planned on watching Terrifier 3 after seeing the trailer. Twitter user Back to Derf said while they understand these movies are "known for being gory and violent," killing a child is a bridge too far.

Several people replied with examples of other horror movies where children were the victims. In Halloween III: Season of the Witch, for example, a warlock designs cursed masks whose sole purpose is killing millions of children on Halloween night. Many folks brought up Pet Sematary, Pumpkinhead, and IT as classic horror films where children, not teenagers, were the targets.

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Looking at the rest of this person's tweets, it's clear that something else is going on. They frequently retweet videos and images of children dying in Palestine, which suggests the fictional death of a child in the Terrifier 3 teaser trailer might have gotten wrapped up in the emotional response to the very real issues happening in the Gaza Strip. This is understandable.

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I do think it's important to point out that since the beginning of the horror film genre, a disproportionate amount of women have been victims. I didn't see any tweets decrying the shocking amount of ladies that can't seem to make it out of a scary movie alive. It feels a little hypocritical to let that slide.

Also, a teaser trailer is meant to get people excited for a movie. Rarely does the scene in a teaser trailer make it into the actual film. When , the trailer featured Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly walking up to a car that we would later learn is the DeLorean. He gets in while a voiceover asks, "How far are ya going?" Looking at the camera, Marty says, "About 30 years." That was enough. I'm willing to bet the Terrifier 3 teaser trailer isn't in the actual movie, and I can't wait to find out.

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