Not really, no.
It: Chapter Two is a film based on the later half of Stephen King’s infamous novel It. Unlike the original source material, the film does an inadequate job of capturing the thrilling essence that many fans have come to love with King’s work.
Right off the bat, viewers can recognize the excessive changes made in the characters’ personality and storyline. While some traits that define the characters shines through, the movie often rushed or forgot their key elements entirely.
For example, in the novel, lead character Beverly Marsh deals with her abusive husband Tom Rogan following her to Derry, a town King created in his fictional topography of Maine, and attempting to kill her and the other members of the Losers’ Club. Although Tom was written out to be an abuser and sadist in the novel, he never crossed the many, many lines he did in this film. The filmmakers emphasized so heavily on the idea of their abusive marriage that it got to a point where they derailed from the original plot, especially considering how he’s just a minor villain.
The science-fiction elements in the film were skewed, while the ones fans adored were mostly overlooked. When the Losers’ Club discovered the creator of the universe, which was a giant turtle whose shell is earth, it’s alluded that Pennywise is from space. This scene was an addition to the storyline that doesn’t really fit in and eliminates all the unique quirks King spun into the book.
In fact, this might be one of the worst cases of editing in a movie this year. Transitions were executed in a way where it gave the viewers a headache and tried too hard to be creative. If the movie isn’t over-edited, it’s simply sloppy and repetitive. There were even moments in the film where it felt as if some takes were missing. Characters arrive at locations with no explanations and the focus fell on subplots too often. A movie that’s almost three hours long should not feel like an hour of fluff, but that’s exactly what happened here.
Not to mention, the tone of this film was an absolute mess. Having Bill Hader as an actor in the film doesn’t help at all; being the comedian he is, he spends a lot of his time telling jokes but his sense of humor doesn’t exactly fit in a movie where children get eaten alive by a monster clown. He’s not the only actor who does this, unfortunately. The cast constantly told corny jokes, which ruined the overall feel of the movie and led to more laughter than screams in the audience. Keep in mind that this is a horror film, not an SNL episode.
Speaking of horror, this movie relies on the lowest common denominator, being plagued with jump scares rather than actually inducing fear. With this movie, we know exactly what we’re expecting. There’s a clear formula that the filmmakers stuck to, and it wore out quickly. That’s not to say I wasn’t scared at all—some of the jumpscares may get to viewers—but this movie lacked the feeling of being on the edge like the first It movie did. Horror, ironically, is abysmal in this horror movie.
While the acting, cinematography, and soundtrack did the film a solid by saving it from mass critique, none of that makes up for the glaring flaws etched to this movie. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of the book, a fan, good movies, or horror, It: Chapter Two is not worth the $10 ticket you’ll be paying.