It Chapter Two: scarily dissapoints audiences and box office

Tera Wilson

Photo credit: Wikipedia The characters of It Chapter Two make the movie

 It Chapter Two was released on September 6th, 2019, as the sequel to It, which was released in September 2017. 

These two movies are based on the book It by Stephen King, published in 1986. 

The book and movies follow a group of kids who are terrorized by an evil, shapeshifting being that feeds on the residents in their small town of Derry, Maine. 

The being prefers to lure in children, and thus often takes the shape of a terrifying clown called Pennywise. 

The first movie was an instant hit, terrorizing audiences across the nation and earning more than $123 million in its opening weekend. 

It Chapter Two, by comparison, has fallen somewhat short of the mark, earning just over $91 million in its opening weekend. 

The sequel follows the story of these same kids 27 years later, as they all get a call from an old friend that had stayed in town, and starts to witness the same monstrosities happening again. 

The now-adults return to Derry, to find that they had forgotten all about Pennywise and the horrors they had witnessed as kids. 

The movie follows them as they start to remember their old selves and continue to be terrorized by Pennywise. 

The shortcoming in box office sales seems appropriate, given that the second movie did exactly what it was marketed to do- and nothing more. 

The pacing of the movie was good, as I never wanted to leave my seat, but there were moments that seemed to drag the movie down. 

On the flipside, there were many side plots that were so brushed over that they became cliched entirely. 

Had the movie taken longer to develop those plot points, it would have been a stronger film. 

For example, there is a romantic subplot that never goes beyond two conversations about an old note and meaningful glances, that somehow becomes love that saves the lives of two characters, which just made me cringe. 

This happens time and again, with the movie becoming weaker with each glossed over and underdeveloped point. 

Additionally, as the adults have flashbacks to things they had “forgotten,” the child actors that had played their parts in the first movie are now acting out new scenes nearly two years later. 

Due to this break in time, the child actors had to be de-aged leaving the scenes with a distinctly CGI-quality that was downright distracting. 

The scenes themselves did a lot to add to the movie and to our relationships with the characters, but the heavy editing definitely took away from scenes that would have otherwise been more meaningful and touching. 

Something that frustrated me right at the beginning of the film was the fact that one of the two openly gay people in the entire movie is killed within the first ten minutes. 

For some reason, horror movies love to kill off members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and this movie was unfortunately no different. 

There is also a distinct lack of people of color in the film, which irritated me throughout. 

I understand that the book is also lacking in this department, and the desire to “remain true to the book” could be understandable, but the director could’ve done much more to bring in a more diverse cast. 

But in the end, it is a horror movie, and it definitely did horrify me. 

The scary parts of the film managed to blend creepy, gross, emotionally traumatizing, and sometimes comedic moments into jumps that made me grab onto the closest person I could find. 

Some scary moments could be anticipated, others came after the lull of suspense, and still others were a complete surprise, and these moments were what made the movie great. 

I was amazed, more than once, at Bill Skarsgård’s performance, and the way he completely embodies a truly terrifying character. 

Leaving the movie theater, I jumped more than once and made more than a few double glances at things to make sure they weren’t the silhouette of a clown, or the things in my room weren’t moving of their own accord. 

It Chapter Two did a lot to thoroughly scare me in a lot of different ways, but not much more than that.