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It: Chapter Two

It: Chapter Two

Moooom! The creepy clown is jumping at the screen again!

27 years after the members of The Losers' Club defeated It, visions of the clown start popping up again. Mike Hanlon calls everyone up for a meeting to come up with a plan to defeat It once and for all.

Like the first movie, it starts off promising enough with the opening scene. Eddie and Adrian just want to have a nice day at the theme park, but are confronted by a couple of bullies who try to intimidate them. They get annoyed, but walk away from them. After they get cornered again however, Adrian starts mouthing off, going so far as to insult one of their haircuts. As you might expect, this doesn't end well. What makes this scene so much more impactful than any other in the whole movie is that it's the only one which feels real. The violence inflicted upon them just for their sexuality is very disturbing, and the tragedy is heightened when Adrian gets thrown off a bridge. It then finds him as well and eats him brutally, but the scariest part is the homophobic violence shown just before. Though it's still notable for being the only scene where any restraint is shown with the clown at all.

As you can tell, I'm already getting into my negatives. This movie was horrendous. As someone who wasn't even a fan of the first one, I would much rather watch that one again since it seemed to care about its characters at least. Which is something It: Chapter Two doesn't.
If you're looking for good character development and interactions, look elsewhere. Instead it seems more interested in wasting its time on extremely obnoxious and laughably unscary jumpscares. I was laughing out of embarrassment every time the movie tried to be scary. Who did they think they were fooling? Fortune cookies cracking open Gremlins-style, one of them having an insect with a baby's head? A Paul Bunyon statue showing off its big scary teeth? A naked old lady with hanging tïts? A hobo making out with your mother? These attempts at trying to spook you were so phony I couldn't tell if they were trying to be funny or not. There's one part which clearly was supposed to be intense, but for some weird god-damn reason they added comedic music to it. It completely ruins any sense of danger they tried to establish, and comes off as a cringeworthy way to make the audience laugh, since at the test screening everybody already laughed anyway.

The CGI effects work is as fake-looking as it gets. Honestly, I'm surprised a lot of it even got past the pre-production stage.

The dialogue is horrible. Instead of incorporating humor into the script naturally when it fits, every serious moment is ruined by a stupid one-liner. Richie especially deflated the tension all the time by either pointing out they are in trouble (as if we're too dumb to get it) or saying something goofy at the most inappropriate time. If they were going for a horror comedy it's too tonally inconsistent, not to mention most of the jokes are so lame anyway they're not funny. And when they try to be heartwarming it's so overdone and cliché that you keep rolling your eyes at the self help-esque quotes they keep spitting at you. I swear, there are maybe FIVE MONOLOGUES throughout, and they all sound exactly the same.

Even Beverly's dad, one of the few creepy things about the first, comes off as a joke in the few scenes he appears in. The way he sprays his daughter furiously with perfume is so absurd I couldn't take it seriously, not to mention the moment where Beverly's inside a bathroom filled with blood and he keeps chanting "COME TO DADDY". Just like everything else it's too over-the-top.

And for a clown as powerful as It,
WARNING: spoilers below
the way he gets defeated is absolutely pathetic. Forget fighting him to death, trick him in any way, or even the ritual Mike keeps going on about (which conveniently he "forgets" way too late it doesn't work). No, let's just call him a few hurtful words and he'll shrink to the size of a baby. I sh'it you not. The most evil and otherwordly clown alive is weakened by being called a regular circus clown. The scriptwriter really must have backed himself into a corner with this one.

The acting is mixed. Bill Hader is good (even though I find his character a bit annoying). Jessica Chastain gave a very earnest performance, and was probably the best out of the main cast. Isaiah Mustafa and James Ransone were all right. James McAvoy was a little off however, which was disappointing. His stuttering doesn't feel like it comes out naturally. Jaeden Martell as the kid version of Bill did it much more convincingly.
Bill Skarsgård, and this might come as an unpopular opinion, was pretty hard to watch. To be fair the material he gets is ridiculous, but his line delivery was so exaggerated and goofy I wondered if he was trying to keep himself from cracking up or something.

Most of all however, I was bored to tears. With all the constant repetition of jumpscares and scenes dragging on and on, I kept asking my friend "How much do we have left?" since I could barely wait to leave the theater. No way in hell the merciless 2 hour and 48 minute run time is justified.

The biggest higlights are the cameos by Stephen King and Peter Bogdanovich. Skip this sorry excuse of a "horror" movie.