September 6, 2019, - 5:14 pm

Weekend Box Office: It Chapter Two

By Debbie Schlussel

Two years ago, I reviewed the first installment of the It movies, and my review generally applies to It Chapter Two, out today in theaters.  And my review of the first pretty much applies to the second. (Remember, you can hear my movie reviews most Fridays on “The Larry The Cable Guy Show” at around 10:35 a.m. Eastern on SiriusXM’s Jeff and Larry’s Comedy Roundup Channel 97 and every Friday on the Richard Dixon Show on Birmingham, Alabama’s Talk 99.5 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.)

The only real difference between the two movies is that, while the first was waaaay toooo loooong at two hours and 15 minutes, this one is far, far worse, clocking in at two hours and 49 minutes.  If you drink anything before or at the beginning of this movie–as I made the mistake of doing–your bladder is gonna be killing you.  Someone needs to put a gun to the heads of the filmmakers of this thing and order them to lop off at least an hour of the unnecessary repetitions, flashbacks, and slow slog that make this a yawner and take away from the limited scariness with which this supposedly scary film is already afflicted.

Then, there is the story.  As we already know from the first installment of this Steven-King-novel-based flick, the town of Derry, Maine is haunted by a scary clown who snatches, eats, and kills children.  A group of misfit kids–“The Losers”–band together to fight off both the clown and town bullies.  In this second movie, the kids have grown up and they have returned to town to fight off the clown for good. 

I recently re-read my review for the first “It” and it pretty much applies here.  To wit, this excerpt:

I temporarily bought into the hype over this movie based on a Steven King novel. But the hype is BS, and this movie is just okay. In fact, I didn’t really like it because, as horror movies go, this seems very dated and isn’t scary at all. Instead, it’s just bloody and crass. And pointless. It’s probably the worst horror movie I’ve seen in the last five years. And that’s saying something. On top of that, it’s really not better than the cheesy 1990 TV miniseries based on the same book. I’d say it’s worse. Plus, the clown looks exactly the same. This really didn’t need to be remade (except to make uncreative, idea-less Hollywood pigs richer).

A month ago, I took the DVD of the 1990 version out of the library. And I couldn’t believe how cheesy and silly it was (plus I think it’s cursed–star John Ritter died young and star Jonathan Brandis committed suicide; the acting careers of most of the rest of the actors died quickly, too, with the exception of that of Richard Thomas). This movie pretty much follows the same story as the TV version, but the TV version was warmer. And it was less violent, less bloody, and less filthy. Plus, there were some scenes in the TV version that were scarier. For instance, the killer clown’s image pops up out of a family photo book in one scene. That’s nowhere to be seen in this feature film version out today. . . .

It’s the same movie [as the TV version], but cut in half. Hollywood always has to be supergreedy, and so, instead of showing the characters as both children and adults (a la the TV miniseries), this movie is “Chapter One,” and the adult characters will be in a sequel.

I like a good scary movie, but this wasn’t it, even if it was “It.” I’m not scared of clowns, so the whole “fright factor” of this movie is gone for me. Instead, I laughed repeatedly when I was supposed to be scared. It’s just too heavyhanded and, frankly, hammy to be scary.

All of that applies to this latest It-eration.  The only thing to add is that Steven King has a cameo in this, a la Stan Lee in the Marvel movies. 

But who cares?  That’s certainly not enough to waste more than ten bucks and nearly three hours of your life you’ll never get back.

Nor is the presence of Bill Hader, who isn’t nearly as funny in most things as the conventional wisdom would have us believe, but is actually quite funny in this.  Hader is one of the grown-up Losers, along with James McAvoy, the vastly overrated, one-pout wonder Jessica Chastain, and a few other actors.

While this is only a tad better than the 2017 movie to which it is a sequel, the length, constant rehashing and repetitiveness, and the slow slog of this “It” more than make up for that . . . and not in a good way.

Media reports predict that this sequel will garner the largest opening weekend total of any horror film to date.  It just goes to show how easily duped the general American pop-culture-consuming public is by phony, trumped-up hype.

It’s September, when movies begin to get better after the August Pet Semetary, where Hollywood sends awful movies to die a quick, painless (except to those who paid to see them) death.

But It Chapter Two simply ain’t it.  Again, even if it is “It.”


Watch the trailer . . .

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4 Responses

I am not a fan of movies made from Stephen King novels. The only one I ever liked was Salem’s Lot which was a TV movie. I’ve read several of his novels and there’s this empty feeling in the story.

CC: You are so spot on. I read a book of his short stories, which I reviewed on this site, and I feel the same way. DS

Concerned Citizen on September 7, 2019 at 3:47 pm

Well, it’s so nice seeing you write film reviews again after months of hiatus. I myself have not watched “It (Part 2)”, so I don’t have any thoughts on that. The other movies I have never watched, but deserve a film review each are Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” and the Cartoon Network made-for-TV movie “Steven Universe: The Movie”.

Rick Robin Cagnaan on September 8, 2019 at 8:37 am

Really? Pretty broad stroke there.

No good movies from Steven King novels? Shawshank Redemption, Carrie, Shining, Stand by me, Misery.

Please…. There has been a lot (and I mean a lot) of duds, but there certainly were a few good ones

Jack on September 8, 2019 at 9:08 am

Thanks for the review Debbie. I’m taking the family to see this at the local Cinema Cafe. I read the book and saw the first one for free when it came out two years ago. My wife and daughter are horror movie buffs but I’m an action movie guy. Steven King has become a left wing kook who’s become infested with the Hollywood version of TDS so I’m thankful that this theater serves beer. I’ll milk it throughout because of the length of this flick.

Ken B on September 13, 2019 at 4:14 pm

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