Vids I Dig 461: Filmento: Why ‘It Chapter Two’ Failed Where ‘It’ Worked

From Filmento’s YouTube description: 2019’s IT Chapter 2 is the highly anticipated continuation to 2017’s success story IT, and it completely drops the ball, joining The Curse of La Llorona in the losers club of the worst horror movies of 2019. This “movie” has a bunch of problems, but the most noticeable of them all is that for a horror film… it’s not scary, there are no competent scares whatsoever. So, let’s compare Chapter 2 to Chapter 1 and see how to fail at constructing good scares. If you want clowns, stick to Joker.

Film Review: It Chapter Two (2019)

Release Date: August 26th, 2019 (Los Angeles premiere)
Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Written by: Gary Dauberman
Based on: It by Stephen King
Music by: Benjamin Wallfisch
Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Bill Skarsgård, Sophia Lillis, Jaeden Martell, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Olef, Stephen King (cameo)

KatzSmith Productions, Lin Pictures, Vertigo Entertainment, Double Dream, Rideback, Mehra Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., 170 Minutes

Review:

“For 27 years, I dreamt of you. I craved you… I’ve missed you!” – Pennywise

The adult half of the story to It was never as interesting or as engaging as the child half, so I probably shouldn’t have expected this film to be as good as its predecessor. However, it falls short in other aspects despite just being less interesting.

To start, it’s just too damn long and way too drawn out. The first two acts are slow as hell and I actually found it baffling that this wasn’t something that was fixed in editing.

The worst of it all, was the middle act of the film where all the characters had to go off on their own journeys to deal with their personal demons. I felt like each of these segments was too long and frankly, they could’ve somehow been edited together into one overlapping sequence, as opposed to multiple ones that just felt like their own separate chapters in the story. They felt more like side quests in a video game while taking a break from the main story. That works in a game but it definitely doesn’t work in a motion picture with limited time to tell its story.

Another major negative was the horror itself. I found many parts of the first film to be pretty damn disturbing. In this film, everything came off like this was the diet version of the previous installment. Pennywise wasn’t nearly as terrifying and most of the murders and violence were basic bitch shit. Pennywise pretty much just goes clown piranha and bites people in half. There’s no real creativity to any of it.

Additionally, the final monster was just a giant Pennywise with crab-like limbs. While I’ve knocked how the monster looked in the 1990 TV miniseries, it was at least more imaginative than just making a CGI crab monster with a clown head.

That’s really part of the problem here too. You see, almost every evil entity in the film has to be clown themed. The original novel and TV miniseries deviated from this, as the monster takes many forms. It isn’t specifically a fucked up clown. Pennywise (or It) is a shape-shifting alien from another dimension. He’s also thousands (if not millions) of years old. The MFer predates clowns and really just uses that form to lure in modern children… not adults.

Moving past all the faults working against this film, it is well acted and the cast did a pretty superb job, all things considered. It’s also well shot and visually consistent with its predecessor.

Still, the negatives severely impact the movie as a whole and I just don’t think that I’ll ever want to sit through this again, which is sad, as I really dug the first picture and typically enjoy film adaptations of Stephen King’s work.

Rating: 6.25/10
Pairs well with: its predecessor and other recent Stephen King adaptations for the big screen.

Film Review: It (2017)

Release Date: September 5th, 2017 (TCL Chinese Theatre)
Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Written by: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman
Based on: It by Stephen King
Music by: Benjamin Wallfisch
Cast: Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chosen Jacobs

New Line Cinema, Ratpac-Dune Entertainment, Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures, KatzSmith Productions, Warner Bros., 135 Minutes

Review:

“When you’re a kid, you think that you’ll always be… protected, and cared for. Then, one day, you realize that’s not true. If you open your eyes, you will see what we’re going through. ‘Cause when you’re alone as a kid, the monsters see you as weaker. You don’t even know they’re getting closer. Until it’s too late.” – Stanley Uris

I was a few weeks late, in seeing this. That’s not my fault, it is the fault of Hurricane Irma, who decided to bring her own version of horror, darkness and a lot of water. An inconvenient but impressive attempt at stealing It‘s thunder away from the residents of Florida.

Anyway, I can’t say that I was super excited about It. I was not a fan of the original adaptation and I’m not a huge Stephen King fan, from a literary standpoint. While I do like some of his work and have enjoyed some of the cinematic adaptations, over the years, a good King film is really hard to come by. Plus, I still can’t get rid of the foul taste that The Dark Tower left in my mouth, just last month.

It surprised me. In fact, it shocked me how good it was. Now we have a film fighting for a spot in the Holy Trinity of Stephen King Movies. Granted, it won’t usurp The Shining – the 1980 one, The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile but it is probably the best King adaptation outside of that perfect trinity.

While Tim Curry’s Pennywise the Dancing Clown was the only real highlight of the original It, Bill Skarsgård doesn’t try to recreate that magic. Skarsgård makes the role wholly his and gives us a version of Pennywise that is even darker and more terrifying. In fact, Skarsgård’s version of the character could feasibly reach the iconic heights of Robert Englund’s Freddy Krueger, Christopher Lee’s Dracula or Boris Karloff’s version of Frankenstein’s Monster. Skarsgård absolutely takes over this picture and doesn’t let go for a second. It isn’t often that you see an Oscar caliber horror performance but this is worthy of that distinction. I haven’t been this frightened and intimidated by a Hollywood monster since John Carpenter’s The Thing.

The kids in this movie are also great. While most children can tend to get annoying in films, these are kids that feel real and are real. Their horror and terror is greatly captured, feels authentic and keeps you invested in them. Also, their gravitas and their bravery on screen is astounding. It reminds me of the kids from E.T. the Extra-TerrestrialStand By MeThe Goonies and The Monster Squad but with an extra dose of realism and chutzpah. It probably didn’t hurt that they pulled in Finn Wolfhard from the super popular King inspired Netflix series Stranger Things.

The film is just perfectly cast, from top to bottom.

The cinematography, the sound, the attention to detail, everything visually and audibly just felt right. I was the same age as these kids at the time that this film takes place. I felt like I was reliving a part of my own existence minus creepy clowns, scary flute ladies, disease-ridden hobos, zombies and a rapist father.

The team behind this pulled off magic. It is quite literally lightning in a bottle. While it isn’t perfect, it is pretty damn close.

For those who might not know, the film just covers the timeline when our heroes are kids. It ends with “Chapter One” displayed across the screen. One can assume that Chapter Two, which should follow the adult half of the story, is still to come. Once I looked into it, the director has confirmed that production will most likely begin in the spring of 2018.

Rating: 8.75/10

Film Review: It (1990)

Release Date: November 18th & 20th, 1990
Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace
Written by: Lawrence D. Cohen, Tommy Lee Wallace
Based on: It by Stephen King
Music by: Richard Bellis
Cast: Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur, Annette O’Toole, Tim Reid, John Ritter, Richard Thomas, Tim Curry, Jonathan Brandis, Seth Green, Emily Perkins, Olivia Hussey

Lorimar Productions, DawnField Entertainment, The Konigsberg & Sanitsky Company, Greeb & Epstein Productions, Warner Bros., ABC, 192 Minutes (original), 187 Minutes (DVD version)

Review:

“Kiss me, fat boy!” – Pennywise

When the announcement that a new It film was being made, fans on social media were all like, “What the hell? You can’t remake a classic!” Really?! A classic? Do people actually think that the original It was a good movie (or television miniseries, actually)? Do they really remember it? Or are they seeing it through nostalgic glasses, as they haven’t watched it since 1990 and just recall being terrified by Tim Curry as Pennywise the evil clown?

It really sucks. No, it really does. Then again, I have never been a huge Stephen King fan. I do enjoy the film adaptations of some of his work though but this one is a boring shitty mess littered with some atrocious special effects, even for 1990 TV miniseries standards.

There are only two cool things about this film.

The first is the cast. Most of the characters are made up of television actors that I like: John Ritter, Annette O’Tooler, Tim Reid, Harry Anderson, etc. The second is that Tim Curry is scary and sinister as Pennywise. However, Pennywise is sparsely used. He is such a good monster though, that you kind of beg for him to appear when he’s not on the screen but that’s really just because the rest of the movie is a chore to sit through.

The big monster at the end is just some stop motion animated giant crab spider thing with a glowing stomach. The effects used to create the monster are horrendous. And the heroes kill this massive armored beast by simply pushing it on its side and ripping out its intestines or something. If they would have just done that simple task as kids, I wouldn’t have had to waste so much time on this seventeen hour movie.

People that think that this long, drawn out, boring piece of shit is a good film are the type of people that buy Coldplay records and NCIS on DVD, even though it is streaming for free everywhere. It is an awful, dull and terrible miniseries. Its fans are awful, dull and terrible people.

Does It deserve to be run through the Cinespiria Shitometer? Oh, you bet your dumpy ass it does! So what we have here is a “Type 6 Stool: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool.”

Rating: 2.5/10