It 2, the second installment of Andres Muschietti’s film series, based on Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel It hit the theatres on 6th September, 2019. For those, who expect to experience the utter terror they got when they read the book, reconsider that because you will be left disappointed in this drawn-out and barely terrifying movie.
It was the first novel I read which “wasn’t meant for children,” and to a young child of 13, the entire book was nightmare fodder for a month and the cause of one too many sleepless nights. As a horror movie aficionado, when I heard they were going to make an It movie again, more than a 2 and a half decades after the 1990 It miniseries, which was quite frankly atrocious, I allowed myself to get a little excited and the first It movie of 2019 did deliver to some extent. With the capturing of Pennywise the clown, the underlying tones of friendship, and lost innocence and childhood (while all fairly cliché), the film did draw me back to the book, and while not the perfect movie, did serve to give a chill down the spine. However, the second installment, was the complete opposite, failing to frighten and becoming a drawn-out and a tedious affair.
On a positive note, Bill Skarsgard put in an impressive performance as Pennywise, the Dancing Clown, bringing in all the creepiness you would associate with a murderous extraterrestrial entity that prefers taking the form of a dancing clown. The little cameo by Stephen King, as a snarky antique store shopkeeper, was a nice touch, along with hiring an actual comedian in Bill Hader to play the role of Richie Tozier. The movie didn’t rely on cheap and unnecessary jump-scares and focussed more on a sense of gradual terror and suspense, which it somewhat succeeded at.
The movie was incredibly drawn out, with the run time being 2 hours and 50 minutes. The run time would have been justified if the movie kept us on the edge of our seats. With the last hour being incredibly drawn out and boring, with two-three nearly climaxes eventually faded into nothing, it left me checking my phone every now and then, something I never do in a movie theatre. Unlike The Shining, another Stephen King novel which was adapted into a movie with a run time of around 2 and a half hours, which succeeded in keeping an air of suspense and terror throughout the film, It 2 was unable to keep its audience hooked and glued to their seats.
Coming to the various manifestations of It to scare the Losers Club, most of the designs and animations appeared childish. They were more like a Goosebumps monster rather than corroborating with Stephen King’s raw and macabre writing style. I found myself smiling and chuckling because of the ridiculous designs some of these monsters had, probably not the reaction one should get while watching a horror movie, but sadly that was the case.
Some parts of the book were skipped, and while some should have been skipped. I particularly remember a showdown with IT and Richie, where Richie uses his humour to show he is not afraid, one of my favourite parts in the book and one which Bill Hader would have done well, buts oh look! It is not in the film. Another thing which this movie ignored was how when Stephen King told the story, it started from the main characters and slowly recalling their memories of the first time they faced It as children as they walk the streets of Derry, something which added a sense of suspense to the novel, and if the same approach was adopted in the movie series, it would have done it a world of good.
The experience of watching a film should be wholesome and enchanting, especially a film like It 2, which has a ton of expectations from its audience. After seeing the movie, I can safely say, It 2 is part of the losers club for movies, and not in the good and wholesome way.
Feature Image Credits: IMDB
Prabhanu Kumar Das
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