The most talked about horror film in the last three years has got to Terrifier 2. It is a film that has popped up almost daily in my social media news feeds since it was first announced. That’s largely due to my friend Kerry McGuire (she also helps run the Facebook group The Art the Clown Appreciation Society) snagging one of the highly coveted Indiegogo perks to be killed onscreen by Art the Clown, but also because people are genuinely excited for the highly anticipated sequel to the 2016 film, Terrifier. How excited are they? Terrifier 2 has one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns I have ever seen, raising over $215,000 (430% of their original $50,000 goal) from 1,230 backers. It’s so popular that admins of the above-mentioned group had to ban the almost daily question, “When is Terrifier 2 coming out?” Well, that day is here. Releasing in theaters across the country on October 6, Damien and crew promise an insane amount of bloodshed, more Art the Clown, and plenty of violence and gore.
I’ve seen the film and I can tell you; they have kept every promise. I cannot wait for everyone to see these incredible practical effects, inventive kill scenes, and enough Art the Clown to maybe, just maybe, sate our appetites until the next sequel (I have no idea if there will be one but we’re all crossing our fingers).
To celebrate the release of the Terrifier 2, I chatted with star Lauren LaVera about preparing for the role of Sienna, what fans can expect from the film, what’s up next, and more!
PopHoror: I watched Terrifier 2, and it is super insane. Bloody, balls-to-the-wall the entire time. Complete insanity and I loved it, so I’m really excited to speak with you today.
Lauren LaVera: Great, thank you!
PopHorror: This is the most anticipated horror film of the year. It’s all over social media. How does it feel to be a part of something that is just so massively loved and the film everyone wants to see?
Lauren LaVera: It’s surreal. It’s not something that even now I fully grasp. When I was cast, Damien and David took me out to dinner just because they wanted to talk about the film, and they wanted to primarily talk about the character Sienna. And David had to said to me, “Sienna is the Batman to Art’s Joker,” and I kind of scoffed at that like, “Batman? Dude, that’s a huge statement to make.” And he was like, “I’m telling you!” And I looked at Damien and Damien’s like, “Yeah, he’s right.” I was just like, all right. These guys are blowing smoke, whatever. But I mean, I can’t believe the amount of fans. I didn’t realize the amount of fans and the cult following that Terrifier and All Hallow’s Eve had. I’m thrilled for Damien and David, but it just wasn’t something I was anticipating. I’m thrilled as well. Maybe after the film comes out it’ll sink in more but right now, it feels a little dream-like, to be honest.
PopHorror: I heard that you are a martial artist. Damien had said that it made him pretty confident that you would be able to handle the super violent and physical climax of the film. How did you prepare for your role?
Lauren LaVera: I teach kickboxing as well. It’s one of my outlets aside from acting because I’d go insane if I didn’t have something to hit. I was taking kickboxing a little more frequently before that just to feel strong. But I bugged Damien a lot, asking him questions about what I think Sienna is like. I said, “Hey are there any final girls that are reminiscent of Sienna to you? Anybody that inspired you for Sienna?” And he gave me a whole list of horror films from Halloween, to Scream, to Terminator, and Alien. He said, “Yeah, those final girls. I love them all. They all inspired Sienna.” So it was the best homework to have to rewatch these films, write all of the characteristics of each final girl, and then I made a separate list of the characteristics that I felt those final girls had that Sienna also could have. Then I put it in a pamphlet, I sent it to Damien, and I said, “What do you think? Do you think this is Sienna?” And he was like, “Yeah, that’s Sienna. I agree.” Then he made some tweaks. He also made a playlist for me, mainly consisting of Fleetwood Mac, The Chromatics, and so much wonderful music. It really helped me get ready and embody the role of Sienna. There was a lot of work, a lot of long-winded constant work went into Sienna.
PopHorror: I love that he gave you a playlist.
Lauren LaVera: Yeah, I still listen to it. It’s great.
PopHorror: That’s awesome. Was there anything that you were adamant about bringing to your character?
Lauren LaVera: I was really excited to show Sienna’s flaws, because I think that’s my favorite thing. I think Damien also said it’s his favorite thing about Ripley in Alien, and she was a huge inspiration for Sienna. We spoke about that constantly because I thought it was important. I did a lot of research on anxiety attacks because Sienna suffers from those. I spoke to some medical professionals and people that suffer from panic attacks, so I wanted to make sure that I was able to tell that part of her life as truthfully and with as much sincerity as possible. Just bringing forward her flaws helped me understand how strong she really was in the end, and how to overcome that stuff.
PopHorror: I think that showing her flaws makes her more relatable to people. It lets the rest of us know that anybody could be a final girl. Anybody could kick ass and fight for their life and be a final girl at the end.
Lauren LaVera: Nail on the head. I agree with you 100%, yes.
PopHorror: What can fans expect from this sequel? What do you want them to walk away with?
Lauren LaVera: I want them to walk away having the best time. My favorite horror films are so fun to watch, like they’re funny and you’re in awe with the amount of work they put into practicals. This is pretty much 100% practical effects and you’re just in awe with the amount of work and creativity they put into that. I just want people to have fun with it. I want them to see it as this wild ride and this wild experience and I think that most of the reviews that I’ve seen, they’re getting that. They might have their reservations about the film, but in the end, most people are having fun. And that’s all I want, and I’m pretty sure that’s all Damien really wants in the end – people to have fun with his “Art.”
PopHorror: I am so excited to see this with a crowd. We have a sold-out screening here at The Majestic here in Phoenix. I am so excited to watch it with my friends. I hope to hear lots of gasps and cheering.
Lauren LaVera: It’s meant to be watched with an audience, and I hope and I’m sure that you’re going to have a fantastic time.
PopHorror: What is up next for you?
Lauren LaVera: I have a couple projects that I can’t really talk about, but I will talk about one that’s in post-production now. I got to work with the incredibly charming Bill Moseley. He plays my father in the film, and he just brought so many dad jokes during filming and after-cut. He was just so fun. And I got to work with an incredible cast and crew. He was the main reason why I took the part and I wanted to work on that film, but I was just so pleasantly surprised at how wonderful and competent everyone else was in the film. It’s called The Fetus and it will probably be out – hopefully – next year. But you never know with horror films, with Terrifier 2 wrapping two years ago. I have some other films I can’t really talk about but that’s one I can promote at this time.
PopHorror: That’s exciting! I’ll have to keep my eye out for that one. I have just one last question for you today. What is your favorite scary movie?
Lauren LaVera: That’s so hard. It depends on my mood. Probably my favorite Halloween season movie is Halloween 1978. It doesn’t scare me anymore and I don’t really know if it ever did because growing up, it was just like a nostalgic film for me. Scary movie though, that actually scares me? Not many movies scare me anymore but probably the Evil Dead remake from 2013.
Thank you so much to Lauren for taking the time to speak with us. Terrifier 2 is currently in theaters from Cinedigm and Iconic Events!