Sequels with a holiday twist

I decided to end the year with a triple feature of sequels that all happen to be worthy of a spot on the holiday horror page.


Three months after Tubi premiered the Terror Train remake that switched the holiday from New Year’s Eve to Halloween, they’ve released a sequel that takes place on New Year’s Eve. As a typical slasher, Terror Train 2 delivers what we need…a masked killer with sharp weapons. As a sequel, this is a mess.

Essentially it’s a remake of the remake. It takes place 15 months after the first movie—hey at least the dumb ass final girl didn’t go back on the party train 3 months after all her friends were murdered. But she’s still a dumb ass for deciding to do so 15 months later to “face her fear”. Especially when her fear is usually behind her…

The fricking party train is now rebranded the terror train—someone has made her tragedy into a business venture. Same train, same crew members, same masks, same magician, same friends who survived the first film. This movie is so damn stupid.

On the bright side, it will drive the anti-woke crowd crazy, with people of color, lesbians, gays, and even a character specifically referenced as they/them.

Aside from nice vicious kills, it’s all about a bunch of asshole kids that want to go viral on social media, so phone cameras are rolling every minute of the movie.

Not to mention, pretty much every character is a red herring. But the ending is silly fun, and I can’t deny I want this piece of crap and the first film released on Blu-ray so I can add them to my collection.

TERRIFIER 2 (2022)

This 2-hour and 18-minute long hit sequel is now out on 4K, so I finally indulged in the wackiness of it all. Nothing will ever beat Art the Clown as he first appeared in All Hallows’ Eve, but I actually had more fun with this sequel than the first Terrifier.

First I’ll get the hyped gore out of the way—the stuff that supposedly made people puke. Look, if you’ve been around the horror block, you’ve seen gore this nasty before in numerous movies (hell, if you’ve seen Gutterballs, you watched a transgender person’s penis get split in two in graphic detail). The Terrifier 2 gore is way over the top, and every time someone is mutilated they’re still alive, so it’s hard to take the gore more seriously than being silly horror party fun.

Next, there’s that infamous dream sequence. It happens within the first ten minutes of the movie, and I can’t fathom what they were thinking keeping this in. It runs too long, is irrelevant to the rest of the movie, and it is just too goofy to be entertaining for me personally.

The bright side is that while Art uses a gun to kill a bunch of people, it’s just in the dream. He doesn’t use a gun to actually shoot victims as he did in the first movie, which totally ruined that film for me.

Perhaps the biggest shock is that we get to see Art’s ass! What the hell?

Despite this installment running approximately 50 minutes longer than I can usually stand, there wasn’t a moment of boredom for me beyond the dream sequence (that seriously bored me, and annoyed me). I was getting total 80s retro vibes from the performances and the characters (the mother being one of my faves), the throwback synth score nails it, the Halloween atmosphere is perfect, and Art is at the top of his gleefully Sadistic game.

The plot has a single mother dealing with her teen daughter and younger geek son, who has an obsession with Art the Clown, the infamous killer from Halloween the year before. Art sets his sights on killing them with the help of a new little girl clown sidekick that seems to be a figment of his imagination.

The big issue for me was the lack of cohesion. It’s almost like the filmmaker is trying to create some sort of backstory that Art absolutely does not need because he’s freakier as a mystery. The script drops all these pieces of the puzzle along the way, then doesn’t bother to put the puzzle together. This might be the reason for both the main girl’s regressive dream sequence and Art’s imaginary friend. I don’t know if the plan is to iron out the details in a third film, but it felt like there was just too much disjointed storyline going on that didn’t add anything to this splatterfest. And the end kind of jumps the shark, flirting with a touch of sci-fi/fantasy.

Thankfully, after the credits start to roll another scene resets the tone by bringing us back to the horror. This bonus scene also isn’t logical, but it’s better than the Sword in the Stone type shit going on for a few minutes during the final battle.

Other things to look out for include appearances by Felissa Rose and Chris Jericho, and a few other black and white horror movies playing on televisions besides Night of The Living Dead, including Plan 9 From Outer Space and The House on Haunted Hill. There are also what seem to be some segments and setup shots that give nods to moments from the Halloween franchise.


All the anti-woke white straight guys are on the Internet ragging on this movie for painting women as heroes and men as dumb idiots. These are the same types of douche bags who defend Dave Chappelle’s trans jokes as being “funny because they’re true”. Straight white men simply cannot handle being on the other side of the slander—they miss the days when only they were presented as all-powerful and punched down at everyone else in film and television.

The wraparound for Scare Package II continues one of the plots from the original movie, and I have to say I absolutely loathe it. It’s essentially a short film broken into parts between the other stories, and it is just an overblown and unfunny parody of Saw movies with some really absurd “traps”.

Meanwhile, two of the four stories here are holiday themed, and there are notable nods to other horror flicks, from Poltergeist to Black Christmas.

1st story – set on New Year’s Eve 1989, this is a rather clever nod to how the 90s would be the dawning of the age of slasher deconstruction thanks to Scream. Here we have two houses, one with the “final girls” and the other with the “sure to die girls”. Everything turns in on itself when the final girls discover their strict adherence to being good to stay alive is no longer paying off. There are also some “woke” pokes at the fragility of the very males that hate this movie for speaking truth: a) the laughable suggestion of a male being strong enough to be the sole survivor in a slasher, and b) mocking how slashers of the 80s sexualized and brutally killed women all for male enjoyment.

2nd story – this is another sequel to a story from the first movie, and has a couple going to a cabin in the woods on the Fourth of July and facing off against a killer that just won’t die.

3rd story – my favorite tale in the bunch, this is inspired by the urban legend about the ghost boy in Three Men and a Baby, and also flirts with aspects of The Ring.

4th story – a group of kids goes all Re-Animator by bringing a dude back to life.

The wraparound almost salvages itself by turning into a video store slasher in the closing segment. It’s also important to note that this film lands on the does the gay guy die? page thanks to a steamy kiss between two guys in love.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
This entry was posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.