I was not a fan of the first IT film. My main grievances were as followed, too many characters that seemed interchangeable, I mean, I constantly confused the Jewish kid with the hypochondriac kid in my review and no one noticed.
Another giant glaring issue I had was the film just wasn’t scary. It was mostly jump scares with really bad CGI.
Issue three, I hated the kids. Seeing as at least one of them was in Stranger Things, a series starring kids and a series I love, I knew it wasn’t the actor’s fault but the writing.
Issue four, the inconsistency with Pennywise. There are never any rules set out for him to follow, so in the end he does whatever you need him for depending on the scene or moment. Sure, a lot of that might have to do with the fact King wrote this 1000+ page book in a haze of snorting cocaine lines a mile long, but you are adapting a movie here. The major villain character of your horror film needs to have some guidelines to follow. This is the same for the TV movie as well, don’t think I’m singling out the new movies just because I don’t like them.
What are the things/monsters the kids see? Is that Pennywise? Are they really there or are they just imagining everything? If so, can these monsters actually hurt them or can only Pennywise as himself hurt them?
Can he hurt adults or is it only kids? If so, why would he want the losers to return if he couldn’t hurt them? But we already see that isn’t true as he eats a guy, who is an adult, at the start of the film.
What are the deadlights? Is that Pennywise’s true form? I thought the space spider was his true form.
Why do some kids get eaten immediately and others are left floating around in the sewer? Is he saving them for later, because space spider? If so, are they still alive? If they’re dead, doesn’t that defeat the whole taste better afraid thing? And if they were still alive, why didn’t anyone other than the losers walk out of the sewers at the end? If you hurt the monsters the kids are seeing, does that hurt Pennywise as well?
Does he feed on fear or does fear only make the kids taste better? If so, why act friendly to begin with to lure them in, why not just toss more The Thing prequel style CGI headcrabs at them and scare them that way? With Georgie and the birthmark face girl in the second film he didn’t use scare tactics, so… why is he doing that with only the losers?
What reason exactly did Pennywise break Henry Bowers out of the insane asylum? Why keep him alive in the first place? If the monsters are Pennywise, does that mean he’s the one actually driving him around town? Does Pennywise know how to drive? Does he have a driver’s license? Joking. Mostly.
In the TV movie I always assumed Pennywise needed Bowers to go after them as adults because he lost his mojo over them after they grew up. Or stopped fearing him… But clearly that isn’t the case since we know Pennywise can kill anyone he wants.
I don’t know what I was expecting since the writer of the script has mostly written garbage spinoffs to The Conjuring. All this talk about will there be an IT 3? Yes! Of course there’s going to be a third film, because money. Most likely it will be a shitty prequel, as I doubt they’ll be able to keep digitally de-aging the kids forever.
I made a previous prediction in my review for the first film that the second part wasn’t going to have much of a plot, as the bulk of the story was already told and that was flimsy at best. So when part two comes around, that movie isn’t going to have them doing much of anything.
And I was right.
What I didn’t know at the time however was, them not doing anything would expand over an almost 3 hour long runtime. It isn’t like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood where there wasn’t much of a narrative but instead focused on these characters, no. IT 2 doesn’t really have much character moments. Most of the runtime here is padding, padded with more pointless scenes of them as kids again.
Basically making the first film pointless, right? I mean, they’re essentially rehashing shit we’ve already seen, it even ends the same way. They must have known cutting the kids and adults up into separate films was a bad idea, but they did it anyway because two movies means more chances to rake in more money.
So what they had to end up doing anyway was basically redo the first film again. It was like they used deleted scenes from the first movie to toss at the audience to keep them all occupied.
Here are more scenes of the same shit, Pennywise showing them monsters they have to run from, that never really do anything to them. It’s kind of like if Freddy Krueger brought you into the dream world, just so he could go boo and then you’d wake up unharmed. Imagine if that was all of Nightmare on Elm Street. And to defeat Freddy, all they had to do was yell at him and bully him. You’d fucking hate that movie, right?
I was hoping they’d fix a bunch of these issues for the new movie, but sadly, very little was improved upon. The jump scares got replaced with hilarity. The annoying kids got replaced with lesser annoying adults, and the CGI monsters got even jankier and funnier, so much so I’m not sure if this is meant to be a horror film anymore but a comedy.
I think they knew this movie wasn’t scary, so they tried their best to salvage what they could by adding humor to it. That explains the ADR mullet comeback line, and that bizarre moment where time slows and music randomly kicks in as a character gets puked on.
The scene with the old lady in the apartment stands out as being the most hilarious scene in the film, trust me, all the scenes involving monsters are stupid and silly. Really it’s kind of a tossup between the naked old lady or the CGI Paul Bunyan. Both horrible scenes for very different but kind of the same reasons.
For the old lady they felt the need to give her these really funny looking googly eyes. I dare you not to laugh at seeing a giant naked granny with googly eyes running down a hallway.
A lot of times I wasn’t sure if the goal was to make me laugh or frighten me. Because they’re only succeeding at one of these things.
The only response this film got out of people at the theater I was in was laughter. It honestly started to feel like everyone was seeing Hobbs & Shaw instead of IT 2.
The humor in this for me was so painfully bad. Call me crazy, but I don’t know if your horror film should have two comic reliefs. And it’s nonstop with them. I got stabbed in the face. Time to make a joke about it. I stabbed a guy, time to make a joke about it. I’m dying, time to make a joke about it. My friend died, time to make a joke about it. I killed a guy, time to make a joke about it. It doesn’t fucking stop and it undercuts everything this supposed horror film is I assume building up to. Which is yet another hilarious CGI monster fest that again, isn’t even in the same ballpark of being scary. At least it was better than in the tv movie ending where they defeated IT by lightly shoving him over on its side.
It may not seem it, but not all is lost for this film. Actually, there is one saving grace and that’s Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise. They actually gave him dialogue this time around, actually making him a character and a menacing one at that.
In the first film he was designated to hiding in the shadows, where he’d jitter out into a jump scare. That’s all he did, with very little spoken dialogue.
In Chapter 2 however, he still does the jittery jump scare thing at times but for the most part and where he really shines is when he’s taunting our lead characters.
Because of that one small improvement, the film was immensely better. The real question is will that be enough to save this film from a SKIP IT rating? I guess you’ll have to read to find out. Or do what I’m sure most of you do and skip to the bottom of the review.
I mentioned Hobbs & Shaw, but really what this film kept reminding me of was Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. That’s kind of strange, right? These are two films that couldn’t be further apart from each other. But then I started to think about it more. Why was Jurassic World of all movies, a film I also disliked, popping into my head?
Then I started to notice the comparisons. They both share the same color palette, giving the film this cold lifeless feel. But it was more than that. Aside from how lifeless the film looked, the film in general was lifeless, meaning there doesn’t seem to be anyone living in this town, as the streets are all mostly empty. I think the only time we ever see people are at the festival and the Chinese restaurant.
But it goes even deeper than that.
The film has this aura to it, much like Jurassic World, this lifeless manufactured soulless quality. Like it was the product of film executives and not artists with a vision. It didn’t feel like people behind this had a passion for the source material but the money they were going to make, cashing in on the popularity of the first film.
This is exactly what those Jurassic World films are in a nutshell. It also didn’t help that the films share the same breaks in humor. Running from a poorly CGI’d dinosaur while cracking bad jokes to running from a poorly CGI’d monsters while cracking bad jokes, what’s the difference?
Any kind of tension this film might have had is instantly undercut by a character cracking an unfunny joke. And it’s constant throughout, they couldn’t even kill off one of the comic reliefs without cracking a fucking joke.
I love Bill Hader, I honestly don’t mind the comedy coming from him in this film, as his character is a standup comedian. But I never found anything he said funny.
Speaking of unfunny, then you have the grown up hypochondriac kid who also can’t stop joking. I hated this character in the first film and I hate him even more as an adult. Everything out of his mouth is meant to be a joke. Later in the film he gets stabbed in the face with a switchblade and even then he’s still cracking jokes, while the fucking knife is protruding from his cheek, he has to get in those haha’s.
I’m debating if I should even go into the plot. As I mentioned before, there really isn’t much of one, which might be why I was so fucking bored during this movie.
The only signs of life this film has is when Pennywise shows up, the highlight of the film being the moment he lures a little girl with a birthmark on her cheek under the bleachers.
It was very reminiscent of the opening scene in the first film with Georgie, arguably the only good scene in that movie.
He hides in the shadows, claiming he hides himself so she wouldn’t laugh at him and his appearance. Knowing the little girl must feel the same about her own looks.
Claiming he has the ability to blow her birthmark away, she drops her guard, allowing him to get close, only to have him eat her.
That scene was the closest the film ever got to being scary or atmospheric. But that’s one scene in a three hour movie.
We previously met this young girl at the start of the film, while at a carnival. We are quickly introduced to a gay couple as they are confronted by a kid who looked a lot like a lesbian I went to high school with. At first, I thought he was a girl, which seemed weird, like why is this little butch lesbian so upset about these two gay guys kissing?
Oh, that’s not a girl, ok.
The bullies follow the couple out of the festival where they beat them down, tossing one over a bridge. While trying his best to stay afloat, Pennywise is there to give him a hand, only to be eaten.
After that, Mike, the only one to stay in town, fears IT is back, calling the rest of the loser squad to reassemble.
The thing about that though… In the first film, they made the fat kid the one interested in town lore, not Mike. Which basically left Mike a completely useless character that would just vanish from the movie at times.
Now grown up, he’s the town historian. I guess.
Since Mike stayed, he still remembers everything that happened, the others however have all moved away and forgotten Pennywise and each other.
Bill has grown up to become Stephen King. All his books have shitty endings and can’t for the life of him come up with a better one for the new film adaptation being filmed, starring his wife. Who I shouldn’t even bother mentioning as she has one scene and vanishes from the rest of the film.
I’m not that upset about her lack of involvement, since I really didn’t care for her in the TV movie. And still, much like the TV movie, I still prefer Bill and Beverly as a couple, over Ben. There’s just something about that character I never liked.
The gang all come back to Derry, except for Stan the Jewish kid I confused the hypochondriac kid with. Stan decides to kill himself in the tub. The others however bound over Chinese food and fortune cookies that turn into hilarious CGI monsters.
Mike fills everyone in on something he discovered from the Native American citizens of Derry. They had a ritual to kill Pennywise called the ritual of Chud I believe. This wasn’t in the TV movie, but I guess is prominent in the book.
I feel this most likely should have been included in the tv movie, since it actually gives the losers a game plan here instead of just walking into the sewers hoping for the best.
But to pull this off, they need to remember their past, so they can sacrifice it by burning the thing that means the most to them.
To do this, the gang has to split up and travel down memory lane.
Bev goes to her abusive father’s house/apartment where she learns he died years ago, and his place is now being occupied by an old lady. This whole sequence is fucking hilarious. The laughter starts almost immediately as you’d sometimes see her in the background jitter dance away. Then we see her sneaking around like a Looney Toons character.
And then the grand finale to the scene, where she runs out as a naked googly eyed monster.
Bev’s totem or artifact whatever you want to call it, is her love poem she thinks Bill wrote her when they were kids. Maybe that’s why I don’t like Ben. For years he let this girl think someone else wrote this poem she loves. If it sucked and she hated it, sure let her think someone else wrote it to her. But as she clearly loved it, own up to it, you fat pussy.
Too harsh? I just really don’t like his character.
Speaking of characters I don’t like, Eddie, the hypochondriac, goes to pick up his inhaler prescription where he finds himself in the basement of the pharmacy. We get a flashback to his mom tied up and the leper from the first film about to… I’m not sure what. Eat her? Rub his germs on her?
As an adult, Eddie goes back down there to face his fears, only to get ambushed by the leper again, but this time he fights back and the leper vanishes. His totem is his inhaler.
Richie remembers getting attacked by a CGI Paul Bunyan where we learn he is secretly gay. His totem is an arcade coin.
Bill’s is the paper boat Georgie was playing with before Pennywise killed him.
We also get treated to a cameo by Stephen King. The scene was kind of pointless and mostly ate up screen time. It felt like a deleted scene that mistakenly made its way back in to the final cut.
I kept thinking, you know who would have been a better cameo for this spot? Tim Curry. It would have worked on a bunch of different levels. One, it would have been amazing to see him in this. And two, you wouldn’t know if this was actually Pennywise in disguise or not. So it would have you on edge… who am I kidding, the director doesn’t have that capability, I should stop asking for the impossible.
When it’s time to do the ritual of Chud, Bill takes off to save a kid Pennywise has his eyes on. In yet another scene ruined by something fucking silly, we are treated to Pennywise licking a window like a giant tongued Labrador Retriever.
Pennywise eats the kid with Bill watching helplessly. It might have actually been an effective scene if not for the absolutely ridiculous thing we were treated to seconds before hand. In the end, it’s just another unintentionally hilarious scene, a running theme apparently.
I’m going to skip over Bowers as I have no clue why he’s in this or what purpose he served in the end.
Moving right along, the losers go back to the creepy old house that leads to Pennywise’s lair. But first we are treated to a scene taken right from The Thing. But not the good one, more like the shitty reboot.
The losers venture down into the lair, where they perform the ritual. They burn the relics they collected, almost trapping Pennywise, but it fails. Now they must face off against a giant clown faced spider.
Eddie dies, everyone laughs, they rough talk Pennywise into submission and remove his heart.
Bev starts dating Ben, Bill finishes his new book, hopefully with a good ending and Mike calls his quits on the whole historian thing. I can’t remember what Richie did.
And that concludes that chapter of IT.
The film mostly left me bored, as it wasn’t scary. It didn’t even try to be scary. It was like something made for kids honestly. I’ve heard this comparison before, but it feels like a Goosebumps film. But with more swearing.
The one saving grace is Pennywise as I loved watching him taunting these people, even the scene with him and the little girl are all fantastic and I desperately wanted more of that since it was lacking in the first film.
Because of that and only that, I’m giving IT Chapter Two a RENT IT rating.
I’ll be back next time to review Rambo!
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