Leone rightfully points out, at least in a passing way, that film running times are dictated less by convention and traditional storytelling traditions as they are by studio heads that are conscious of how well certain runtimes are marketed and presented in a busy filmgoing marketplace. “Terrifier 2” was a passion project with a small crew that cost a mere $250,000 to make. With so little at stake, Leone had no oversight, leaving him free to film and cut his flick however he wanted. In his own words:
“I never thought about the length. […] I just shot the organic story that I wrote, basically. I didn’t have anybody over my shoulder saying, ‘This is too long. What are you doing? This can’t possibly be.’ But I knew that we had to just keep the audience’s attention throughout the entire movie, so it was very important not to go too long without bringing Art the Clown into the mix back again, or have something exciting happen.”
This approach seemingly allowed Leone to have a good mix of story-based character moments, punctuated with just the right amount of bloody mayhem. Art, a supernatural entity driven to kill and maim people by an unnamed demonic impulse, has plenty of screen time, but so, too, do the human characters. Leone continued:
“[I]t was very important that every scene with Sienna [Laura LaVera] or Jonathan [Elliott Fullam], I had to keep raising the intensity or raising the stakes, or every scene you had to learn something new about them, or questions had to arise just to keep the audience invested and interested as you go. So those were the two factors in being able to maintain that length.