David Howard Thornton is fast becoming a popular horror star.
In recent years, the Huntsville native has terrified and disgusted audiences as Art the Clown, the villain on the gory hit series Terrifier.
Now Thornton is starring in The Mean One, a slasher comedy spoof of the 1966 animated film How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, based on a children’s story of the same name by Dr. Seuss based.
The Mean One hits theaters on December 9th. A trailer was released recently, see below.
Directed by Steven LaMorte, The Mean One is a little more intense than The Grinch. The title character is no longer just a greedy thief with green fur and a Santa suit. He’s also a meat cleaver-wielding monster. The Mean One movie poster slogan? “Punch through the snow.”
Cindy, the adorable toddler from the original story, is all grown up now and is packing a gun and a spiked club. And she wants revenge.
Alongside Thornton as the Mean One, Krystle Martin stars as the adult Cindy, who returns home for the holiday season 20 years after The Mean One brutally murdered her parents.
Like the “Terrifier” films, judging by the trailer, “The Mean One” shows Thornton’s talent to balance threats and murder with a Freddy Krueger-style wink.
The Mean One is the latest in a trend of turning classic children’s intellectual property into horror, see this year’s predecessor Winne the Pooh: Blood and Honey. Also reportedly in the works, “Bambi: The Reckoning.”
Unlike the 2000 live-action comedy adaptation How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carey and directed by Ron Howard, The Mean One is an unauthorized parody and does not use language from Seuss’s tome by 1957. For example, the villain is never called The Grinch, just The Mean One, a nod to the lyrics of the ’66 film’s theme song. And while the young protagonist was originally named Cindy Lou Who, in The Mean One her name is Cindy You Know Who.
The Mean One is Thornton’s first role since 2022’s microbudget sequel to the 2016 genre sensation, ‘Terrifier 2’. Produced for around $250,000, ‘Terrifier 2’ has grossed more than 11 at the box office Raised millions of dollars. Not blockbuster numbers, but a sweet win for an indie.
Thornton, who now lives in New York, began his acting career as a teenager at Huntsville’s children’s theater Fantasy Playhouse.
In a recent interview with AL.com, Thornton, a Grissom High School graduate, recalled childhood memories of playing Legend of Zelda, going to the movies at Hollywood 16, and dressing up as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for Halloween. Thornton, now in his 40s, told AL.com: “I’ve always been an entertainment junkie.”