It (or It: Chapter One) was one of the most surprising movies of 2017, I honestly didn’t expect it to be as good as it was and that’s saying a lot. I was nervous from depiction of Pennywise, child actors, possible reliance on CGI and unbearable eighties nostalgia. To see that I was wrong on every level was genuinely uplifting. There is an audience for R-rated movies. Now to the sequel: while I was excited over what will come next for the heroes of the first movie and what scares Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård) use to scare them now when they are adults, I tried to keep my expectation in check, because sometimes a sequel isn’t as good as the original and this time, however, I was proven right to be worried.
Not scary at all
A lot of positive elements from the first movie, carried on to the second one. The soundtrack to this movie is similar to the first with some additional tones. Production of this movie was excellent (as in the first one). It Chapter Two looks very good. The cast in this movie is really great, adult members of “Losers Club” are excellent, Bill Skarsgård once again is great as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. The supporting cast is also decent from the over-the-top bully characters to other forms of It.
Scary and Story
“It: Chapter Two is set 27 years after the first movie and Pennywise re-emerges from his slumber and starts killing again. Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa), who still lives in Derry, summons his friends to fight Pennywise once again and destroy it forever.” With this premise comes my first issue, while you might be under impression that this movie is focused on the aged-up members of “Losers Club” you are wrong, there are so, so many flashbacks to the events of the first movie. The majority of scares are happening in the past, unless you count the finale, Pennywise attacking members of “Losers Club” three times, why not just focuse on the adults with minimal flashbacks? I don’t know if the novel is like that, because I haven’t read it, but the majority of scenes in It: Chapter Two has this default: “adult Looser goes to some place, ensue flashback”. But what this flashback tells me about that character now? He/she is an adult, I know what they were as kids, tell me what they are afraid of now! Another problem is the movie’s runtime, it is just too long and I wonder how long would this movie would be without those annoying flashbacks.
Every horror movie lives and dies on the simple question “is it scary?” and in the case of It movies “is it scary and also bit goofy?”. Goofiness works fine as in the first movie, and horror simply isn’t well set up and executed in most parts. The one scene where it is most noticeable is the scene with Ms. Kersh (Joan Gregson). The pay of for this scene is just awful, while set up is fine. Instead of creepy Ms. Kersh with some make up, there is this CGI abomination WTF, why not use practical effects? You had Javier Botet on the set, why not just mask him. The CGI problem doesn’t end here, there is one scene with a dog and that was laughably bad, this reliance on CGI is really something that bothered me and I know that the first movie also relied on CGI, it also used practical effects heavily. The finale of this movie isn’t scary, it is more like a thrill-ride in a horror park fun and sometimes a crappy skeleton manages to jump-scare you. One of the things I really appreciate about the first movie was how much details was put in it, scene in the library where librarian creepily stares at Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), while he was browsing through history books, will always win over CGI and effortless jump-scares.
End of It
Maybe I am wrong and I haven’t read the novel, from what I read while writing this review It: Chapter Two is very close to its source material, so who knows. And that might be the heart of the problem, director Andy Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman did their best, they tried to stay closest to original material, that is in its nature flawed. I do blame them however for the horror elements that aren’t very creative and were done better in the first movie. I really liked the first movie and sequel however is just not that good 4 or 5/10.
Until than keep watching It Chapter One!
Picture: Warner Bros.